Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Office Policy

I have been seeing the same doctor since we moved to Maple Valley 2 years ago.

Due to a bunch of stuff physically I have seen my doctor alot.

And I kind of felt like her and I had developed a good patient/doctor relationship.

Well, I guess I had an appointment a week ago to follow up on some medication. I completely spaced it.

I made the appointment a month before, and I never received a reminder call about it.

This is the first time I have ever missed an appointment, ever.

So imagine my surprise when I receive a bill for $75 in the mail. What for? A missed appointment.

I called and left a message, basically asking for their mercy since I have never missed an appointment before and reminding them of how I almost always ask for a reminder call.

The front desk gal called me back, and gave me the ol' "It's our policy, sorry, we couldn't care less that you are normally always on time and never miss an appointment, and we would rather bill you $75 dollars and lose all future business with you" line.

Ok, she didnt' actually say all that, she just told me it was their office policy and would I like to reschedule my appointment?

What? No freakin way.

I'm trying to decide if I'm being silly. But honestly, my feelings are hurt. And I think it's a stupid, greedy way for Dr. to get some extra money out of her patients.

I know that people just skip out of appointments and that they have to have a policy in place for such things. But if you look at my records and see the previous 20 times (no joke) that I have NOT missed my appointment, well, I can't even say outloud what I think of them.

So I hope it was worth it to the Dr. She may be making $75 bucks off of me for a missed appointment, but she just lost a bunch of future cash-ola from THIS slightly hypochondriacal gal.

I mean, I'm a sure thing. With ankle and foot sprains and back injuries and so on, I was a gold mine. A gold mine I tell ya!

So what do you think? Am I being stupid? Or am I justifyably upset about this?

Cuz I can guarantee, I will not be going back to Dr. "I would rather bilk my patients for something stupid then to actually keep up a good relationship with them"

So now the important question, anyone know a good doctor?


  1. I had a similar experience with my children's dentist. I was informed that if we missed an appointment she would no longer see us and we would be billed for the missed appointment. Even if I gave notice of any sort.

  2. Send her a bill for not getting a reminder call........maybe $75.00!

  3. Send her a bill for not getting a reminder call.......Maybe $75.00!

  4. I think that mercy is called for in a case like yours. Drop them.

  5. the cancellation policy at dentist, doctor, and other physician type offices should be on a sliding scale. once, twice, maybe even thrice, you get a slide...after that, it's a pattern. we are still fighting for our $25 copay for an appointment that we CANCELLED that they didn't cancel in their books. I'll fight it to the bitter end.

    So hold your ground, sweet stuff, it's YOUR money, not Dr. Greedy Pants'.

  6. I would definitely write a letter directly to your doctor saying you are leaving because of this. As someone who takes appointments (but doesn't charge for missed ones), I can understand the policy. But, the policy should be on a case by case basis (because, heck, what's one 15 minute appointment, really, in their day?). You are obviously not a repeat offender, and should have gotten a less 'canned' response from the receptionist. I agree, not a good way to do business. I would let the doctor know your opinion. Or...just do what Donna says. I like that idea, too! Good luck!

  7. I would totally be pissed and wouldn't be going back but I would make sure the new Dr. called to get my medical records and told them that I was their new patient...... That's bull that they didn't call to remind you and also wouldn't take it off your bill! I understand it for people that ALWAYS miss their appt.

  8. Hi Amy - I just read your intro to the Grocery Shrink group and I popped into your blog to say Hello and I read this post and had to comment. My husband is a medical massage therapist and we have clients that "forget" about their appointments ALL.THE.TIME! Now, our OFFICIAL policy is that they have to pay for a missed appointment, but have I ever charged a good client for a missed appointment - HHEECCK NO! I have too much respect and or love and or understanding for them to do that. So - my advice is, find a new doctor, maybe one that has a better attitude and actually cares about their patients more than their pocket book. Just my two cents....oh, and by the way, welcome to the grocery shrink website...I'll be stalking your blog (tee hee~)Aimee J
    PS I'm LDS too :D (Brunswick,GA)

  9. totally justifiable - it's about recognizing when a policy doesn't apply and keeping your good patients happy - she's providing a service to you that you pay dearly for.


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