Thursday, February 26, 2009


I went to the doctor yesterday because I'm fighting a very yukky virus, but I went there to confirm that it was, indeed, a virus and not the flu like Nora had the other week. When I arrived I had my insurance card in hand (because that is what they ask for before even raising their eyes to say hello). I was handed a clipboard with a sheet that I needed to read and sign, entitled "Patient responsibilities." This sheet told me that I was responsible to arrive on time, or I would be charged. If I had to cancel an appointment within a certain amount of time, I would be charged. Basically, the paper listed a new fee structure.

I signed it and handed it back to the receptionist, saying, "every time I get a sheet of paper like that, I want to write one up that says, "Doctor's office responsibilities." She giggled. But I was serious.

If you keep me waiting in the outer waiting room for more than 15 minutes, I will charge you $25. If you keep me waiting in the examination room for more than 10 minutes, I will charge you $25 more. If the doctor stops examining me to take a phone call, I will charge you something huge (yes, this has happened). If you misplace my lab tests and make me go to the lab again, I will sue you. If you make me see one doctor just so that he can tell me that it is okay to see another doctor (which I knew in the first place, but couldn't make an appointment with directly), I may lose my mind.

I could go on and on. When I think of how much we have to fight with medical insurance companies for every little thing... when I think of the money they make and how they turn doctor's offices into cattle pens, I get so upset. They have responsibilities, too.

My brain is fuzzy today, and I feel like I'm not expressing myself clearly. But I just wonder whom I could get to sign my little form. Once I write it.

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