Posted - 04/08/11 | 0 Comments

Patients’ patience comes at a price!

Who’s time is more important: their time or your time?

No-one likes to be kept waiting, whether it’s at the bank, shopping checkout or at the dentist. But one woman decided to write a prescription of her own … for her doctors.

According to MedPage Today, the Californian businesses woman invoices doctors if she’s kept waiting too long.  In one instance, she billed an eye doctor about $150 for about a 45-minute wait – deducting the amount from the clinician’s bill.

Of course, she tries to avoid waiting in the first place – by requesting either the first appointment of the day, or the first one after lunch (a very useful tip for us all!).

But if the doctor is going to be late, she insists their staff give her a call – if they want to avoid a bill for her time sat waiting. Apparently, it works! She’s been doing it since 1969!

What’s more, news of this story – and others – has created a wider debate in the USA.

In a YouTube video, Pamela Wible MD takes up the case of a friend who spent 35 minutes in a paper gown before walking out – and billing the doctor. They paid up.

Dr Wible’s own blog suggests some interesting ground rules on the issue. And there’s an idea that patients should synchronise their bill to the doctor’s own hourly rate.

Apparently, a plastic surgeon in New York City gives out Starbucks gift cards if patients wait more than 15 or 20 minutes. Meanwhile, some other US doctors offer wi-fi in their waiting rooms – so patients can exercise more patience.

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