Thursday, December 30, 2010

Reasons to strangle a patient

One of my epilepsy patients called this morning, asking if we could move up her appointment from next week to today. We're full today, and couldn't do it.

So a few minutes later she called back. She told Mary she'd had 3 seizures last night, and urgently needed to see me. So I added her on to the schedule, and crammed her in when I had a minute.


Dr. Grumpy: "So what happened? Mary said you had a bunch of seizures last night?"

Mrs. Abouttobethrottled: "No, I just told her that. I wanted to get in today."

Dr. Grumpy: "You lied to Mary so you could get in a few days early?!!!"

Mrs. Abouttobethrottled: "Well, your office is closed tomorrow, and next week my office visit co-pay goes from $20 to $30."

23 comments:

WarmSocks said...

Went from $20 to $30 December 1. It's puzzling how $20 seems affordable, but $30 seems expensive.

Don't think I'd ever lie to get worked into the schedule, though. The Boy Who Cried Wolf might become a reality.

Tori said...

I don't suppose you can "fire" a patient for this, can you?

Fit said...

Mrs. Abouttobethrottled is soon going to be Mrs.Abouttobedischargedfrommypractice.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Grumpy, M.D. said...

She's never been a problem before.

I chewed her out as a warning, and told her that if she ever did something like this again I'd fire her.

And I made her apologize to Mary.

Anonymous said...

Good grief...and to think I felt guilty because I had to go back to my doc for a second time in 8 days because I developed bronchitis. And I waited for an appointment!

Albinoblackbear said...

I think Mary needs to start a blog as well. ;)

Julie said...

i'm with albinoblackbear :)

Anonymous said...

Hey, ten bucks is a LOT of money to some people.

SkinnyNurseB said...

If I were you I would have required a case of Diet Coke before agreeing to see her again ;-)

pharmacy chick said...

head smack!!!unbelievable.

vicki said...

i was taught that there was a few people you didn't lie to and one was the doctor's office.
your doctor has to be able to trust you as well as you trusting him.
shame on her.

The Mother said...

If you strangle her, isn't it possible that she'd have a real seizure, thereby making the visit legitimate?

Anonymous said...

Patients will do whatever it takes to get what they want, but you and staff will always be the bad guys.

Candice said...

Karma is a bitch. She'll probably have a stroke within the week.

Packer said...

Grumpy, I think your patient has just discovered the ONLY advantage of having a seizure disorder.

I like that people with disabilities rock on in spite of their condition , while the rest of the world whines.

Taylor said...

Are you serious?! It's $10 more! Come on, people are so ridiculous about copays. If you get a latte at Starbucks 5 days a week that's about $20, but people whine about their $20-$30 copay and they don't even go to the doctor every week. Grgghhh, I am not even in the healthcare industry, just a patient, but this is so infuriating.

Don Keefhardt said...

I hope you required a "follow-up visit"...next week.

When faced with raging self-absorbed people, I always try to introduce "Morton's fork" into the discussion (yes...you can google "Morton's fork).

terri c said...

I would have been tempted to whup her upside the head except she might have had a seizure. That behavior is just wrong. I hope she really paid attention.

Frantic Pharmacist said...

That is wrong on so many levels. How bout she joins the ranks of those who pay 100% out of pocket?

Kat's Kats said...

::sigh:: From the other side of the block... I have to say that when our insurance changes with the first of the year we will be seriously strapped for the money. We have already been having to pay upwards of $300 a month in copays for appointments & meds.

So yes, a $10 difference is a big deal for us. No, we don't drink Starbucks, in fact I have to shuffle to get the kids their money for school events (and they're now both in high school). I have to pay for my kids' appointments & meds upfront and then their father pays me back 75% two weeks (if I'm lucky) after I submit the bills to him.

I'm not saying that there aren't gazillion of patients who feel that they're entitled etcetera. Lord only knows I've heard them going off in waiting rooms (and muttered about them to other patients and sympathized to staff). If I were in the same situation, I would have told Mary upfront, "My copay is going up by $10 starting on the 1st and right now we're dead dog broke. Is there any way I can be squeezed in?" I also would have called much earlier and I would have said that on the first call. Because yes, if you can't tell your doctor's office the truth, then you need a new doctor. And they certainly don't need you!!

thegooddrlaura said...

Just wondering: Did you put this in the patient's chart? I would.

"Chief complaint: 3 seizures last night. HPI: Patient hasn't had seizures for months, but lied to get an earlier appointment."

I would be reprimanded for it, but I would do it.

(what did you chart?)

Grumpy, M.D. said...

"Patient has been seizure free, but admits to have intentionally misrepresented herself when calling my office earlier today..."

thegooddrlaura said...

Thanks for the reply. Honest, and professionally stated.

 
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