Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mary's desk

The new patient signs in up front.

Mary: "Hi, can I get a copy of your insurance card?"

Mr. Card: "I don't have it here. But you said on the phone that you take my insurance."

Mary: "I'm sure we do, but we need a copy of your card to bill."

Mr. Card: "Well, I don't have it. It's Medicare, or maybe Blue Cross. Actually, it could be United. Anyway, it's one of those insurance companies."

Mary: "Okay, but without your card there's a chance you'll end up paying cash for today's visit."

Mr. Card: "I can't afford that. Maybe it's down in my car."

(leaves, 10 minutes go by, comes back)

Mary: "Hi, did you find your card?"

Mr. Card: "No, but I have the info here."

He hands Mary a crumpled McDonald's receipt, with grease stains and an order for 2 Big Macs and fries. On the back he'd scribbled "37642AKT047, expires 7."

Mary: "Do you know what insurance company this is with?"

Mr. Card: "No, but it's one of the big ones. Can't you look it up on the internet?"

Mary: "Sir, we can't accept this in place of an insurance card."

Mr. Card: "Doctors just don't care about people any more."

Leaves.

20 comments:

Dr. G said...

This is a perfect example of the ridiculous expectations patients have about doctors.

Anonymous said...

Happens every day in every medical office in the country.

Anonymous said...

Leaves.....and then comes to my pharmacy with same info and insists Dr. Grumpy called in a rx for him.

Packer said...

Why am I suddenly very hungry ?

Li'l Azathoth said...

"But Ronald McDonald and Mayor McCheese are still my friends! THEY care about me even when no one else does!"

Anonymous said...

"Oh, wait, that's my driver's license."

Anonymous said...

So, why did he bother to write the info on the back of a McD receipt? Is he having domestic issues at home and he used the 2 fer price of one McDonald's Jr Whopper (or whatever their small edition of the biggie burger) deal while while waiting for the neighbor kid to get out of gym and arrange with his little sister to climb in the back window of his parents' apartment to look through the top drawer of his dresser without being seen, and just tell him what was on the card, and little sister negotiated a promise for the numbers if .... ? Carpal tunnel was the reason he had to quit the old job (just too much in addition to all the online gaming the other 12 hours of the day when not at the minimum wage data entry work) and now, just look at what emergence of an unexpected obstacle; because he couldn't get the insurance card info to the neurologist, he will have to actually show up for Monday, until he finagles another appointment WITH insurance card in tow. (He is only hoping desperately that the insurance doesn't expire until he can make the appointment. Drats.

Anonymous said...

It's simple, Dr. G. You suck. :)

Liz 2 said...

Oh, God. I've done this before and ended up having to pay cash while weeping with sadness. Of course I'm 18, and it was my first visit to the doctor alone in a new city. But I'm sure these things happen throughout one's lifetime. ;)

Anonymous said...

@Liz2--Yep they do, but it is a good life regardless.

You are 18, I am more than 3X your age. I got 2 pieces of advice that have helped over the years.

Don't cry over anything that can't cry back at you.

If money can solve your problem then you really don't have a problem.

emmy said...

Just how many patients walk out of your office every day?

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Not enough.

Anonymous said...

Repeat this 100 times when you work at a pharmacy!!! Ugh

Anonymous said...

I work at a retail pharmacy and I get people like this every single day. They'll tell me they can't remember which insurance company they have but its a major one. And then proceed to tell me they want me to call each customer service number for every company to find out who they have.

Lemon Collie said...

Dr. Grumpy, you make me laugh, a lot.

Renée said...

This happens every day to me and the doctor changes his "policies" on a whim. Yes to this person, no to that one; They can pay their deductible later; Oh no, they have to pay upfront. I honestly don't know what he wants anymore. Makes it impossible for me to do my job.

MDB said...

If I had a penny for every time this happens at the pharmacy I would be a very rich man. Somedays I just want to start bashing my head against the wall with these people, especially after we get done explaining that their red, white, and blue medicare pt B card is only really good for diabetic testing supplies, it will not cover your blood pressure meds, antibiotics, or viagra.

Also being in massachusettes, Masshealth (which is the state insurance) use to only mean pure medicaid but now it is an umbrella of a bunch of different plans. Half the time we bill the thing and get a message saying need XYZ card which the patient does not have and my staff end up spending another 40 minutes trying to get the right ID #, this is after we play the can you find your insurance card(s) in the first place game with the customer/patient/pain in the rear.

thethingspatientssay said...

I had one get mad at me this week because we couldn't just pull up her medical records from eight states away on the computer.

Ducky said...

what? He didn't ask you to look it up by his social? That's what they do in the pharmacy all the time. boggles my mind.

pharmacy chick said...

oh gawd..Im having flashbacks..

 
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