Monday, January 27, 2014

The doctor will see you NOW!


Here in Maryland, we have the best laws.  And Delegate Robert Costa, a Republican from Anne Arundel County (District 33B), has another Bill proposed:


NOT WITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SUBSECTION 
A) OF THIS SECTION, A LICENSED PHYSICIAN
 MAY PRESENT OR CAUSE TO
BE PRESENTED A CLAIM, BILL, OR DEMAND 
FOR PAYMENT FOR A PROCEDURE 
 PERFORMED DURING AN OFFICE VISIT AT 
 WHICH THE PHYSICIAN DID NOT 
COMMENCE TREATMENT WITHIN 30 MINUTES 
AFTER THE TIME SCHEDULED FOR THE 
OFFICE VISIT.
Okay, so if the doctor runs more than 30 minutes late,
 the appointment is free.  I love it! Didn't Pizza Hut 
once have a similar policy at lunch time?  Your order
 gets filled in a specified period of timeor your pizza is free?
  You're worried about Emergencies? Del. Costa has 
you covered, all the doctor has to do is present the
 patient left waiting with an "emergency verification
 services number" if he was held up by an emergency, 
and he can charge.  What's an "emergency 
verification services number?"  I have no idea, but I'm wondering 
if this means the patient who had to wait
gets all the clinical details on the patient with the 
emergency.  How does it get challenged?
 I hate waiting, so I'm Lovin' It (oops, wrong fast food franchise)...
But I'm kind of wondering: Why did Del. Costa 
choose doctors as his target to legislate promptness?
Why doesn't my hair stylist have to give me a free 
blow dry if she's running late?  How
come the furniture delivery guys make me wait for a
 4 hour window and then still come late?
Shouldn't my couch be free?  I wait at the mechanic, 
I wait (often way too long) at restaurants, 
I wait for the plumber and the guy who fixes the 
furnace.  I wait on line at the grocery store, 
I wait for patients who are late, no one is prompt 
anymore.  Why is it only doctors who should 
not be paid if they run late?  If they get stuck in traffic?
If a patient has an unexpected problem
and needs extra time?  If they have to call other
 docs, pharmacies,
 family members, labs, and insurance companies 
 to coordinate care?  If someone's late 
and their schedule gets thrown off?

"I'm sorry Mrs. Smith, I know you came from 50 miles away after hiring a babysitter to watch your handicapped son, and  I'm truly sorry to hear about that accident closing down the Beltway this morning, but you're late, and if I see you now, I'll be late for the rest of my appointments today, and I won't be able to bill for them, and there is the matter of my mortgage, the kids' tuitions, and my student loans, not to mention dinner at the steakhouse and my BMW lease.  Please do schedule another appointment to see me. I imagine you guessed that I asked you to come in to discuss your biopsy results, and indeed they did show a particularly aggressive form of cancer with a poor prognosis, but we'll go over that when your appointment is rescheduled".