I walk into my doctor's office today for my appointment. I'm greeted by the usual faces. I sign in and go to sit down. Jackie, hang on... we need you to sign this new policy. Okay. No biggy. It probably has to do with insurance or copays.
I'm paraphrasing here, but it basically reads as follows: You are now required to give a minimum of 24-hours advance notice that you are unable to attend a scheduled appointment. If you fail to follow this new policy, you will be assessed a fee of $25 which will be billed directly to you. We value our patients' time, and by failing to keep an appointment or provide a minimum of 24-hours advance notice of cancellation you have kept another patient from being seen during this time period.
OKAY, TIME OUT.
Are you kidding me? I really have to sign this?
Yes, it's a new policy.
But whose pocket does this $25 go into? I mean, this is more than most people's COPAY!!
And, since when did my doctor care about my time? Or anyone's for that matter? Do you know how many times I've sat in this lobby for OVER two hours only to have to reschedule my appointment because I can't wait any longer... I had to pick up my son or be somewhere else?
There's no way I'm getting out of signing. It's crap. But I sign.
I have SUCH a problem with this policy, both as a professional and as a patient.
First of all, $25 is WAY too much! That is such a ridiculous amount. Not only is that higher than many copays, to many people, that's several hours worth of wages. Pretentious much?!
Secondly, my time does NOT matter so don't pretend it does. That's just insulting my intelligence.
I get that it's a problem when people make appointments and fail to cancel or show up. I get it. I really do. But isn't there a better way of going about this?
For example, my other doctor's office has a policy in place to combat the same problem. Their policy is that if you fail to cancel your appointment with at least 24-hours notice and fail to show up two or more times within a one year period, you're subject to no longer receiving treatment there. Basically, they reserve the right to tell you to take your records and move on. THAT. MAKES. SENSE.
So to all those doctors out there who simply wish to pad their pockets when a patient accidently misses an appointment once every year or two rather than weeding out the patients who continuously fail to show at scheduled appointment times by refusing to work with them anymore: GET OVER YOURSELF!!