Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Dr Appointment that wasn't ...

I was so looking forward to today. Finally getting in to see the doctor and have the thyroid tests to find out whether there are issues that might be affecting my weight loss efforts. The appointment was supposed to be the 29th January, but they called and pushed it back to 3rd February. They did warn me ahead of time I would have to pay $250 up front, but I could get $100 back from Medicare. In fact in both calls, they reminded me of this.

I got there and it wasn't particularly easy to find a park, so I had to walk a ways. Waited in line for a while, and when I got to the front told them who I was there to see. They took all my personal details, scanned my Medicare card, and said they needed the $250 now. Up front? OK fine, and there won't be any additional costs for the tests? 'Oh no this is just the first time consultation fee for the doctor, everything else will be bulk billed.' OK, wow. American Express or Visa?  'Um ... cash.'  Cash? You don't take credit cards? 'We don't have a facility for that.' Gee, you might have told me that on the phone, I could have been prepared! 'Well there are ATMs across the road.' I said look, I don't have that much in my account right now to make a withdrawal, and I'm certainly not taking a cash advance on my credit card as that will incur fees. 'Well I'll see what I can do,' she says, and then I can hear her and another woman talking in a small room to the side.

'No, we can't give a receipt from that account, so she wouldn't be able to claim any back from Medicare. Well no it's a different account, the cash goes straight to the doctor, if the clinic accepted some other form of payment I wouldn't be able to give her a receipt that Medicare would accept.' This went on for a minute or two and I walked past and said you know what, thanks but I'll find another doctor. You really might want to let people know up-front that they're expected to pay in cash! I left really pissed off, as I'd taken time off from work and turned up, given them all my details and let them swipe my Medicare card, then had to leave. I wonder if they'll still bulk bill Medicare for this as if there had been an appointment? Since they did swipe my card, hubby thinks I should call Medicare and let them know there was no appointment.

I guess I can go back to my regular doctor and see if she'll do the tests, but I'm just really frustrated by this! What a waste of my time. Wish I had something to report, but I'm just not a happy camper right now.

10 comments:

  1. aww, that's so sad! It sounds really, really weird for 2016, too. :(

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    1. I know, right? Who still takes cash only? It would seem the doctor must line his pockets with cash immediately!

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  2. I would expect the exact opposite as I suspect if I showed up with cash, they would be horrified that they had to write me a receipt. Very strange. I hope you get an appointment soon. :)

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    1. Does seem a little last millennium doesn't it?!

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  3. I cannot imagine paying for a medical procedure of any kind in cash. That is the oddest thing every and feels almost sketchy. As annoying as it is to not move forward, I would have totally walked away.

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    1. It totally felt sketchy! Why does a doctor need cash to line his pockets the first time he sees someone? We have national healthcare here, most places bulk bill Medicare so usually the patient pays nothing. Some doctors charge more than Medicare will cover so I have occasionally had to pay something, but never that much and certainly never cash only!

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  4. I wish I had your confidence. I would have sat for hours waiting to see what they could have done and then probably ended up driving to a bank to get the cash for them! I'm such a softy no-confrontation person. Wish I had enough spunk to do stuff like that.

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    1. The only time I have confidence is when I get piss-poor customer service. Maybe because I'm not likely to see them ever again I can stand up for myself. In other situations like at work where I care if people like me, I have way less confidence and am much more likely to seethe in silence.

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  5. Oh Anna - I'm just catching up on reading and was so sorry to read your post.
    So unusual cash only!

    It is of course up to you, but I do think it may be worth going back to your own Doctor and see if she may consider these tests.

    Thinking of you and sending positive thoughts.

    All the best Jan

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    1. I will, I just have to take more time off work and it's a very busy time right now. Thanks Jan, always nice to hear from you,

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