Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Fee for Being Late? Really?

   Doctors are starting to impose fees for being late for your appointments and for missed appointments. But what about when your doctor keeps you waiting? Should you be able to collect a fee for him or her being late fifteen minutes?

   Sitting in the waiting room of my doctor’s office the other day I was bored and began reading the different signs they had posted along the walls.

   One sign indicated there would be a twenty-five dollar fee imposed for a missed appointment. Okay, I can understand if you don’t call to cancel your appointment, the doctor should charge you. Someone else could have taken that slot and might have really needed to see the doctor, so that fee seems reasonable.

   The one sign that really caught my eye was the one stating if you were fifteen minutes late you would not be seen and it would be considered a missed appointment. Charge twenty-five dollars. And the doctor would not see you again until this fee was paid in full.

   Okay this may be a bit extreme. How many times have you sat in the waiting room of your doctor’s office waiting for longer than fifteen minutes? Every time a nurse walks out you’re hoping they’re going to call your name, only to be let down. Or better yet you get called into the examining room only to wait even longer.

   I did on this day. In fact I sat for thirty minutes in the waiting room. I showed up on time for my one o’clock appointment, actually I was five minutes early hoping to be taken in quicker! Ha! Was I wrong.

   On my way out of my appointment I asked if I was entitled to the twenty-five dollar fee as he made me wait for half an hour. It wasn’t my fault that a baby decided to come into this world at the same time as my appointment. They didn’t find the humor in my question.

   It all goes back to fair charges. Should doctors be able to charge you for being late when they consistently make us wait?

What’s your opinion?

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