Doctor office visits

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Morgan3820, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Cleared for Takeoff

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    How long will you wait in a doctor's office before getting up and leaving, assuming a non emergency visit?
     
  2. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Now offering reverse discounts.
    Was this an unannounced visit? Or did you already have an appointment?
     
  3. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Sitting here waiting for an appointment that was made three months ago. I guess if I was in more pain I would be more tolerant of the wait. I just don't understand that I'm supposed to be here 15 minutes early yet I'm sitting here 45 minutes after the appointed time.
     
  4. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    the last one I walked out on was an ortho/neuro consult for an outpatient back prodedure. They put me into an exam room 20 minutes later than the appt time. 25 minutes after that, after nobody as much as peeked in? I walked out and left.
     
  5. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    How badly do you need to see this particular doc at this particular time?
     
  6. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Not very. Knee hurts when climbing into plane. Otherwise no problem. Now at one hour.
     
  7. wrbix

    wrbix Cleared for Takeoff

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    Depends - if your doctor doublebooks appointment slots and that’s the reason, then leave ASAP while voicing your displeasure with that practice.
    If waiting because the doctor is tied up with emergency, etc then negotiate the expectation of his/her arrival with your tolerance to wait.

    I hate the practice of double booking - way too many physicians engage in it.
     
  8. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I record the time I walked in, my appointment time, the time I was called by the nurse and the time the Dr. actually walks into the room. If it is a large amount of time, I use that when negotiating the bill.

    Medical billing is a game. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. Doubling up appointment slots makes for a bigger discount for me.
     
  9. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Cleared for Takeoff

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    No emergency. I can hear him talking to the staff in the hall. 69 minutes. I guess this is why they get paid first.
     
  10. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    This. My very good ophthalmologist is always late, but she's on call for emergency surgeries. I can't blame her or the person who likely had their eyesight saved after an accident. Goes with the territory, I suppose.
     
  11. Craig

    Craig Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Depends on the Dr. My GP, I'm usually 1st or 2nd appointment of the day, so rarely more than 5-10 minutes off scheduled time. My cardio, if depends. If he's running late from procedures, once he hits an hour late, the staff starts rescheduling those that are routine visits. The last time I had to be rescheduled like that, a simple stent placement turned into a quad bypass for the patient. I'd rather see my appointment screwed up and moved, than him hurry and not give the best possible outcome to a patient.
     
  12. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We double book at my wifes practice. You can see her now and put up with the wait, or you can see her three months from now.

    The most common reason for delays are patients that just fit neatly into a 15 minute timeslot on the schedule. Their problems may be more complicated or they require coordination with other services that eats into the next couple of patients.

    If you want to minimize waits, schedule early in the morning, and for surgeons avoid afternoon clinic when he/she is in the OR in the morning.
     
  13. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    How many days in practice does it take to recognize a trend and correct it? If I ran my business schedule that poorly my customers would find somebody else to deal with.
     
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  14. muddy00

    muddy00 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Got left in the exam room for an hour. Walked out and let them nicely know how I felt. Dr called personally later to apologize.
     
  15. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    I used to go to a Dr. who was bad about this. I started scheduling either the first appointment in the morning or the first one after lunch. This all worked well for a while. One morning I showed up at 7:30 for a 7:30 appointment. The nurse dutifully took my vitals and put me in the exam room. More than an hour went by-punctuated by the nurse sticking her head in a time or two to tell me that the Dr. was coming "soon". When the Dr. showed up, he told me very sheepishly that his toddler had hidden his car keys and it took him that long to find them. Having had toddlers recently myself, I let it slide.
     
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  16. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If the goal is to never have a patient wait, then sure I can build a schedule with plenty of 'padding' that allows me to get every patient seen 10 minutes after they arrive and the paperwork is done. But that's neither my nor the doctors primary goal.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  17. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Sure, emergency calls are a different story. I would not want a doctor to make someone wait that needs attention right now.

    I enjoyed my moms visit to the doctor once. She was told that the doctor got busy with other non-emergency patients and will not have time to see her today. The "nurse" told her she will have to reschedule. My mom said her appointment was for today, not 3 months from now. The "nurse" got snotty and told her "Well to go to the emergency room then." My mom told the "nurse" that this is exactly what she will do. And when they ask who her doctor is she will tell them, and then he will have to drop everything for the rest of the day and go to the emergency room. Or the doctor can take her in right now.

    My mom is 87 and can still make lawyers cry.

    My biggest complaint is medical people that do not take cash paying patients. It really is about the money for those doctors.
     
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  18. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    One of my docs is bad about making me wait long periods.

    Or rather, he was.

    When I last updated paperwork for him, there was a note that if I missed an appointment with less than 24 hours notice I would be charged a fee of $50. I wrote in my own clause that if he was more than 45 minutes late for my appointment, he would pay me $50.

    He hasn’t made me wait more than 20 minutes since.
     
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  19. Shepherd

    Shepherd En-Route

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    Ophthalmologist scheduled me in for 2 HOURS before his normal start time, then showed up an hour late.
    After I found out there was no emergency, just him being a total dick, I billed him for my time.
    Took him to small claims court, won, and walked away with $2,400.00, or 3 hours at my normal bill out rate.
    I was hoping he would balk at paying me. I really wanted to go into his office with a couple of deputies, (one a cousin, the other a lifelong friend) and loot his office.
     
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  20. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So did he pay or balk?
     
  21. Shepherd

    Shepherd En-Route

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    The weasel paid.
    Tried to put a "No talking about the incident" condition on it, but I threatened to go back to the judge, so he wrote me a check and disappeared into the night.
     
  22. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Line Up and Wait

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    My goal is to keep wait times less the 15 min. I do a pretty good job too. But sometimes it can get away from you. I don’t advertise but allow walk-ins. But ppl show up late and ppl show up early and I’m a nice guy who wants to get ppl seen. The administration pressure to see more do more can be intense at times and make it difficult at times. Medicine is changing.
     
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  23. wrbix

    wrbix Cleared for Takeoff

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    Your wife needs to hire additional providers - always a tough decision, but someone needs to tend to the patients in a timely fashion.
     
  24. wrbix

    wrbix Cleared for Takeoff

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    A laudable goal.
    I never had to deal with “the administration” - medicine IS changing.
     
  25. ARFlyer

    ARFlyer En-Route

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    Family Doctor never makes we wait more then 10 minutes once the nurse is done. Only doc I really wait for is my eye doctor. However, he's a good family friend and has a very unique appointment system. So I typically BS with the his nurses in the back office until he calls for me. Plus he saved my vision a few years ago after getting hit in the face with jet blast debris that got behind my contacts. I can never wear contacts again but I can still hold a FAA medical!!
     
  26. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We just did. Took about 4 years to find the right person.
     
  27. BrianNC

    BrianNC Pattern Altitude

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    I just got my teeth cleaned the other day, and they brought me back 30 minutes late. After they get through, then you have to wait on the dentist to come in and check you out real quick. Well I waited about 10 or 15 minutes and walked out. Now I need to call back for my next cleaning appointment. lol.
     
  28. pigpenracing

    pigpenracing Pattern Altitude

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    I think you will even be more ****ed if the doctor rushes you out when your talking about your problem so he can keep his next patient on schedule. It does suck waiting but I am sure sometimes doctors run into weird things. They need to take care of the patients and not send them home without being taken care of.
    Just do like me and don't go to the doctor unless you are dying.
     
  29. Dr. O

    Dr. O Pattern Altitude

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    I always start on time (after I quit delivering babies). I rarely end on time (like never, maybe once in 40 years).
    We never double book. But, a routine appointment to have BP meds renewed, or a sore throat, can blow up the joint when the patient casually mentions they are having these flashes of light in one eye, or they get a nosebleed if they bend over too far, or (suddenly dissolving in tears) tell me their husband was just arrested for molesting their daughter, or asking how much pain will they have if they slash their wrists in a warm bath, and on, and on.
    Then there are the grim reapers with their hand scribbled list of complaints, beginning when they scraped a knee at age three, who inform you that you are legally required to address ALL their complaints (and they have an article from the internet to prove it). Get more than one of those a day and you can kiss lunch, or supper (and sometimes both) good bye. So the first appointment of the morning is golden. After that, how tight you are with the big man upstairs, rules.

    I never apologize. It is neither my fault nor under my control. If that is not acceptable there is a concierge practice in the big town (40 minutes away) which for 6 grand a year will be available to you 24/7 and happy to spend an hour on your hang nail.
    My friend in a town an hour away does not make appointments. Walk in and sign the book and they will call your name when your turn comes. If you don't like how many are signed in ahead of you, don't sign the book. Must work for that town as he is swamped and works through supper time many nights.

    And as Weilke notes, finding someone who has the work ethic for a GP office, and the personality to have the patients come back a second time so you can stay in business, is right up there with hens teeth. (If they have those traits they are in business for themselves and not looking for a job) I never did find one. My daughter who has a busy walk in clinic has had it with the new docs the residencies are now turning out and says she is quitting.
     
  30. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    My former doctor and AME was a real hoot. He came in one time and told me he had come from a meeting where they talked about the complaints from patients. He told me the biggest complaint from patients was that the doctor never touched me.

    Ever since that time I would see him, and he would hold out his index finger, put it on my shoulder and say, "OK, I touched you." And we would just laugh...

    He was very good with communications. I was always in the loop while I was in his office. A few times when I was in the examining room, he would excuse himself saying he needed to tell the next appointment he would be a few minutes late. Never once did he send a nurse or secretary out to tell me he was running late.

    I believe that. I had to visit a different cardiologist to get some prescriptions renewed. I have never argued with a doctor before. This guy did a very brief examination, then proceeded to tell me that his diet plan was the only way to ever get healthy and gave me a website so I can buy his diet. He proceeded to tell me what deathly diseases I would get if I did not follow his plan.

    I basically told him there are more than one way to skin a cat, and he got defensive. I picked up my prescriptions and out. I took the bill to the administration office, told them what happened and handed them the bill saying I am not paying. Apparently this has happened before with this specific doctor as they just said Ok.
     
  31. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    :frown2::rolleyes2:

    Sure.
     
  32. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    If this happens typically every day, why don't you schedule in a blank hour (no patients scheduled) just before lunch and then at the end of the day to absorb whichever patient ends up taking too long? I realize that on good days that means two hours with nothing to do (making no money) and on bad days still making less money but you should get to eat your lunch and supper. The net result is the patient gets a better quality experience but less money comes in. Maybe it also means longer times out before a patient can get an appointment. If you tell me you cannot stay in business with two appointments less per day and cannot raise prices to compensate I will say the "system" is broken.
     
  33. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Line Up and Wait

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    Depends if you are in private practice or part of a large group.
    Prices are fixed by the govt and insurance companies. The only thing we can do is charge less then what they offer and they will reimburse less. One of the few industries that cannot work the basic supply vs demand pricing model like this country was founded on.
    We were forced to add Electeonic medical records to get the same reimbursement. Typically a 6 fig outlay. If you didn’t go electronic and gated paper you get docked a percentage of reimbursement.
    That’s what forced a lot of ppl to joint bigger hospital run groups. With the goal of cutting costs. Problem is reimbursement doesn’t change but now my bottom line has to justify a multi-tiers management crew that does nothing to bring dinero in- they only spend.
    System is broken. Tell your kids to go into aviation!!
    With all medicines problems I still love what I do. Love the pt interaction. When I goto work, I don’t feel like I’m “at work”.
     
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  34. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, that's nice to keep an hour 'buffer' in the schedule, but then your front-desk person pokes their head in, and hands you a chart with a sticky note and there goes 1/2 of your lunch break already. The 'problem' in medicine is not money, its the fact that people are sick or had recent surgery and need to be seen.

    I can raise the prices all I want, medicare pays exactly the same whether I charge $75 or $750 for a visit. Now with commercial insurers and HMOs there is some opportunity to tell them 'pay more or else', but that only works if you are the only one in your specialty in a given geographic area.

    As denny points out, if you don't ever want to be inconvenienced by sick people, go to a concierge practice. Sometimes I wish that we just went that route. $250 on your credit card and we can chat about your grandkids for 55 minutes. No need to even keep a CMS compliant chart or maintain a electronic medical record. Not even a need for a billing system. Very little need for staff, one smiling face for the front-desk who turns over the rooms and handles the little paperwork there is (labwork, surgical scheduling etc.). No need for a biller, no accounts receivable, no headaches.
     
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  35. Gerhardt

    Gerhardt En-Route

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    I get that emergencies come up, and that no patient's visit can be forced to fit into a time slot. I get that, I do. But when every doctor, on every visit, has patients waiting...they're simply pushing too many patients into too short of time slots. I'm 53 years old and have never, not once, seen a doctor at the time of my appointment.

    To be fair I may see a doctor only once every few years, so that skews the stats a little. So when I see one I really, really need him and walking out isn't an option.
     
  36. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And half the patients on that schedule see the doc because they 'really really need him'. And that's where the problem starts. Sure, you can see fewer patients per hour and doing so makes it a lot more satisfying for the provider, the problem with that is that folks are just gonna have to wait weeks for appointments.
     
  37. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    That works for small private practices, but there is ZERO room to negotiate fees, or much of anything else, at my PCP's clinic, which recently got swallowed up by large regional hospital. They simply don't have the authority to make the adjustment.
     
  38. KramerK

    KramerK Filing Flight Plan

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    I wait 30 minutes, especially for good ones, but if they can't provide an explanation as to time I walk out. Only had to do it twice. Last time I did it, the Dr. himself called me to apologize and worked me in the next day when it worked for me.
     
  39. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    Accompanied my wife to an appt once. Appt was at 1:30. We got there at 1:35 and there were 20 people waiting. This doc is a specialist who routinely keeps people waiting 2 or 3 hours or more, and appts are hard to get.

    Staff said "you weren't here at your appt time, so you go to the end of the day and we'll fit you in if we can." Wife: "you have 20 people waiting. If I would have been here 5 minutes ago, would you have seen me?" Staff: "No."

    Now, anyone who has met my wife, then a high-powered corporate attorney, can guess what happened. Long story short, she was the next patient seen.
     
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  40. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    You could probably make a fortune by renting her out to accompany people on doctor visits.....
     
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