Manic Witch

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Insider tips for patients

I've realized that it would be very handy for people to have a list of "Do's and don'ts" when they need to see their doctor.

Do:
Make sure you have your insurance card with you. And make sure its current.

Don't:
Get pissed at us when it turns out that either: (a) It expired 3 years ago or (b) its the secondary, who won't pay until the primary one does.

Do:
Be aware of YOUR insurance contract. If we had wanted to know all about the 1000+ insurance policies out there, we would have gone into a different line of work.

Don't:
Get pissed at us when it turns out that most of your bill goes towards your deductible and you are responsible for it. Demanding that I re-submit it won't change the fact that you have a deductible.

Do:
Realize that if I tell you that you have to show up 20 minutes early for your first appointment to fill out paperwork, its because we need that paperwork for your chart and so we can see you on time.

Don't:
Get pissed at us when you show up 30 minutes late and you have to reschedule your appointment. Especially if its because you overslept and we didn't call to wake you up. (I am NOT making this one up).

Do:
Realize that we bust our asses to make sure we stay on time for appointments and we are pretty damn proud of our track record. Showing up "only" 10 or 15 minutes late puts us 10 or 15 minutes behind for everyone else. And DON'T you dare ask "Well, how late can I be?"

Don't:
Call us at 3:00 asking for an appointment for a cold you've had for a week, tell me you can't get there before 4:30 and then get all pissy when I tell you that we don't have any available appointments and we close at 4:00 anyway. If you've had this cold for a week, why did you wait until 3:00 to call?

Don't:
Call at 8:00 complaining of a cold and tell me you can't leave work for an appointment later that same day. I can hear you coughing up nasty gunk, sneezing all over the phone and sucking in snot. Believe me, your co-workers will thank you if you leave early.

Don't:
Get pissy when I can't schedule you the same day for your routine physical that you've blown off for 6 years now.

Do:
Make sure you have someone to watch your kids when you come in for your Pap smear, ladies. Obviously they shouldn't be in the room with you and I have enough to do without taking your spawn to the bathroom for the 6th time, or making sure they don't wander off somewhere, or answering "What are you doing?" 17 times. I suppose I could babysit for you, but I charge $10.00 an hour and that is NOT billed to your insurance company. It also doesn't include what you would owe the doctor for the lost productivity from me during that time.

Don't:
Come in as a new patient with a complaint of a simple cold when you have an agenda. I am only going to book a short appointment with the doctor. Now is NOT the time to tell her that you: (a) haven't seen a doctor in 10 years (b) have been having chest pains for a week now (c) and have some funny smelling discharge "down there."

Don't:
Tell me that you hate needles when I can't even see bare skin because you look like a walking work of art. I have nothing at all against tatoos-I still want one myself-but to tell me you hate needles? Just don't.

Don't:
Get all woozy on me as I am drawing your blood causing me to stop, help you lay down, make sure you're ok and THEN tell me this happens "all the time." DO give me a heads up for shits sake. I don't mind if you need to lie down for it. You're not the first. Trying to be brave for the nurse is pointless. We don't care.

Don't:
Keep pulling away from me when I am trying to draw your blood, causing me to miss. If I honestly can't get a hit after 2 or 3 tries, I will happily send you to the lab. But if YOU cause me to miss because you are fucking around? Know that Doc PAYS me to do this. And I can do it all day long if I have to.

Don't:
Get all pissed at us when you have blown off your follow up appointment for 3 months and the doc finally has to resort to giving you only a one week refill on your meds after giving you a one month refill for 3 months and telling you that you must come in. We don't care if you have the same co-pay for 7 pills as you do for 30. This is her ass on the line if we don't follow up with you. What if something happens? What if your meds need to be changed but we don't know about it because you don't think you need to be monitored? Believe me, her malpractice insurance costs a helluva lot more than your $30 co-pay.

Don't:
Bitch about your previous doctor. It's a small world. Yes, we probably know her and think she's a quack too. BUT-she could also be Doc's SIL. You just never know.

Do:
Know what medications you are taking. "The little white one" is NOT helpful. And if I ask about other prescription meds or over the counter stuff, please be aware that The Pill IS a medication as is Tylenol and Motrin. I know the Pill is pretty common-place these days, but if we don't know about it and give you an antibiotic, then 9 months later we will have a new patient. That is really not how we want to build the practice.

Don't:
Negotiate with your 5 year old over their "Kindergarten" shots. He will NEVER want them. It will NEVER be a good time for them. If I have to spend more than 10 minutes in the room while you try to hit a high enough pay out of McDonalds, Toys R Us, XBox games...I am letting you know that I will have to document that you refused the vaccines. YOU fight it out with the school.

Anyone else have some to add?

Manic Witch wove her spell:: 3/19/2006 11:47:00 AM ::
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