Wednesday, November 16, 2011

940 A Visit To The Doctor

940 A Visit To The Doctor

White coat syndrome, my foot.  Your blood pressure goes up when you visit the doctor because no doctor keeps appointments on time.  Which is why you should always try to get the first appointment of the day.  It’s hard to be half an hour or 45 minutes late -- to be behind schedule -- when you’re just starting the day.  Hard, but not impossible.

In any event, this “visit” could have been done by telephone.  But the co-payment’s only ten bucks, and the office is right around the corner in a storefront, conveniently located next to a Petco and just down the block from a vacant former Circuit City store.

Cause of the visit?  The meds were getting confused and mixed up and changing in effectiveness, so maybe a face to face sitdown would be better.

Doc bustles into the treatment room, takes the blood pressure reading.  We talk.  We get the meds straightened out.  She’s on her way to the next patient in no time.  Well, not really “no” time.  But under ten minutes.

A week or so latter, comes a letter from Blue Cross.  It’s headlined “Important information about your appeal rights.”   Standard stuff on the back of which is “THIS IS NOT A BILL” followed by a rundown of who paid what for that ten minute chat.

Patient paid $10.  Blue Cross paid $90.60.  That makes the visit worth $100.60.  Ten bucks a minute. $600 an hour.  $636 an hour, if you want to get technical.

But, as they say on the flimsy gizmo TV pitches, “Wait! There’s more!”

Doc’s medical factory --er, practice -- billed Blue Cross for $306.00!

Also on the billing statement is “Note K05.”  Note K05 stipulates “This Participating Provider has agreed not to bill you for the difference between the Total Charge and the Allowable.”  Well, that’s a relief.  (Someone should talk to the billing department about the use of capital letters.)

This is the medical practice version of throw all your mud against the wall and see what sticks.  Bill three hundred bucks, get one hundred back.  Since everyone has to know that stuff like this goes on all the time, why not just skip the nonsense, bill the actual cost and be done with it?



Shrapnel:

--How pure sounding of Log Cabin to put this in big letters on the front of the bottles: “NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP.”  Here’s the ingredient list from the back of the bottle:  “Corn syrup, liquid sugar (Natural sugar, water,) water, salt, natural and artificial flavor (Lactic acid, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, preservatives (sodium benzoate, sorbic acid), caramel color, phosphoric acid.”   Ah, but none of that nasty high fructose corn syrup.

--There is no truth to the rumor. Quaint and historic Sandusky, Ohio is NOT going to change its name.  Known for its dullness, its trees and as the home of the late, lamented Lyman Boat Works, this “city” on Lake Erie says it’s fine with keeping the name, blackened though it has become.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments and fake bills to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2011

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