When is enough...enough?

Recently I experienced something that really had me scratching my head.

I had a procedure done by a local doctor. On my way out, she told me make an appointment on Monday for the results. I asked if she could call me on the phone instead and she said no. I had to make an appointment to see her. She wanted to deliver the results in person in case there was a problem. I told her I really didn't mind hearing what ever the results were by phone. Once again she said no.

I really liked this doctor. Everyone really likes this doctor. Besides leaving her patients on hold for extended periods of time, she is a pretty nice doctor. Nothing bad to say about her.   

That Monday, I called to see if she was running on time. By the time I got a live person on the phone, I was in the parking lot. They informed me that she was running a half hour behind so I drove around for a while. Then I sat for another half hour in her waiting room and decided this was crazy just to get results.

I went to the window and said "I would like to reschedule. Actually, please have the doctor call me. If I don't hear from her, I will assume 'no news is good news.'" The assistants asked me to please wait for just a moment. When they came back they quickly escorted me back to the examining room. On the way, they popped me on a scale. I told them I was just there to get my results. I hadn't gained any weight since they weighed me four days ago. When the doctor came in, she said I was fine and off I went.  

Two weeks later I get a statement that she is charging my insurance company $134 for an office visit. I thought there must be a mistake? I called her billing department and there is no mistake. They explained that all I owe was $25 of the bill. This is supposed to make me feel better. When is enough...Enough?

Our healthcare system is in such a mess and it is because of situations like this one. Basically, what happened was this doctor performed a procedure, held the results ransom so she could charge me for an office visit and then gift wrapped the whole experience by saying she want to tell me in person in case the results were negative. If she cared so much about my peace of mind, why was she charging me?  

We have become so numb to bad behavior in our medical system that we allow things to happen that are blatantly wrong. Who would you even call to report something like this? If we continue to stick our head in the sand on these kinds of things, what kind of world will we be looking at in the future?

I think most people today have a story that defy common sense and basic kindness in the medical field. I would like to meet one doctor that is a doctor because he or she truly wants to help people. Wouldn't that be great!

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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 5:54 PM, 01.28.2011