Monday, March 29, 2010


Editor's Note: Because I'm a little under the weather (due to the forceable, only somewhat voluntary removal of 2 so called "wisdom" teeth from my mouth), I'm (most likely unapprovingly) turning the reins over to a guest editor for today. XSK2SP will handle my gripes.

Pardon me if you've heard this complaint in this space before, but why, exactly, am I required to keep appointments, and show up on time for them, when the other party never seems to have any intention on being prompt, tactful, or considerate of MY time?
At the dentist today, we waited for a FULL HOUR before we were even presented with the obligatory paperwork. Why would a dentist make an appointment for 10:45 (a rather specific time for a rather non-routine appointment - this certainly wasn't a cleaning or a filling!), and then a) not have anyone from the office let us know that he was running late - very late - or, even better, call ahead and let us know that he is running late? Is that so hard?
If we, as mere mortals, are running late, and will be unable to make an appointment (on time, or at all), we're expected to call and let the office know, so that the doctor/dentist/optometrist/veterinarian/midwife/Ari Fleisher know that we will be late/not coming, so that they can fill the spot/find another athlete's image to fix. If we don't, we're likely going to be charged, even though we didn't come in.
Well, how exactly can we charge the doctor for OUR time? An hour for two people, each who had to take a vacation day, was wasted listening to soft rock and reading month old magazines. Who pays for that? NO ONE! How is this fair? We call these people "professionals"; this is somewhat bizarre as its amateur hour when it comes to treating their paying customers with respect. Maybe healthcare reform should have turned the spotlight onto the millions of person-hours of production that the economy wastes every year because doctors and dentists make us wait senselessly for our appointments with no prior notification of their delay. -xsk2sp


Andrew said...

I completely agree (with me!). I'm sure COIN will have some sort of reason why the healthcare package was just fine WITHOUT comprehensive wait time reform, but I still think it should have been there. Great idea having a guest editor today!

Meghan said...


The Accidental Blogger said...

Nope, no argument here. There are lots of areas to look into for cost/waste in health care spending around the actual delivery of health care that health care wonks do look at that should be reformed. That being said, you thought the screaming about death panels and doctors retiring was bad with this reform? Just try to impact doctor's organizational/delivery approaches and watch people go ballistic. Not politically feasible by a longshot. The biggest problem is most health care spending is fee for service, not fee for outcome, and there are some test things about that in the reform, but nothing to really impact it because, again, that's the government interfering with you and your doctor and I can only imagine the outrage over that statement were that actually included in a proposal. So you're completely right.