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    Intrinsically Disadvantaged

    | Richmond, Virginia, USA |

    (I work in a doctor’s office calling previous patients asking them to rate the quality of their visit. If they rate it “good” or below, I have to ask why and take down the reason. I have just gotten through most of the questions, when I ask the final one.)

    Me: “…and would you rate our billing service as excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor?”

    Patient: “Oh, good, I guess.”

    Me: “Okay, and may I ask why you didn’t rate it excellent or very good?”

    Patient: “It’s a BILL!”

    Me: *laughing* “All right, I will make sure to make a note of that. Thank you very much and have a wonderful day!”

    Noon, Not Too Soon, Part 2

    | Great Neck, NY, USA | Extra Stupid

    (I call patients the day before their appointment to remind them.)

    Me: “Hello, [patient], I am calling to remind you of your appointment with [doctor] tomorrow at noon.”

    Patient: “Okay, what time is my appointment?”

    Me: “Noon.”

    Patient: “But what time is my appointment?”

    Me: “Noon.”

    Patient: “What time is noon?”

    Me: “Um, it’s at twelve o’clock…in the afternoon.”

    Patient: “Oh, great. Thanks! I’ll be in.”

    Related:
    Noon, Not Too Soon

    Misery Demands Company, Part 2

    | Columbus, OH, USA | Family & Kids

    (Our office has stickers for the kids that come in. A patient’s child spots them on the way out.)

    Child: “Can we get stickers?”

    Patient: *sighing* “Can he have a sticker?”

    Me: “Of course!”

    Patient: *rolls eyes heavily* “Okay…well, don’t get your hopes up.”

    Child: “Do they have SpongeBob or superheroes?”

    Me: “Of course we do!”

    (The patient sticks her hand in container, fiddles around, and pulls her hand out empty despite the container being filled with stickers.)

    Patient: “Nope, looks like they don’t. We’re leaving.”

    Related:
    Misery Demands Company

    Health Care(less), Part 2

    | Seattle, WA, USA |

    (A patient comes in for a follow-up. I check their insurance card for charges.)

    Me: “It seems that you have a $25 charge. You can pay that in cash, check, or credit card.”

    Patient: “I don’t have charges anymore.”

    Me: “Oh, did you get a new insurance company?”

    Patient: “No, I just don’t have charges anymore.”

    Me: “Do you have a new card that reflects that change? If not, I’m required to collect your charge. Then, if it turns out you don’t have one, we will refund it to you.”

    Patient: “No, I don’t have a new card. But President Obama says I don’t have to pay.”

    Me: “The president told you that you don’t have to pay?”

    Patient: “Yeah. He says that Americans get healthcare for free now.”

    Me: “Oh, I understand now. However, I think you’ve misunderstood. The Healthcare Bill doesn’t eliminate charges except for preventative, and doesn’t make healthcare free. It just restructures some health insurance policy and such. And it hasn’t gone into effect yet. So, you still have a charge.”

    (She reluctantly pays her charge.)

    Patient: “Expect to hear from President Obama about this. And don’t expect any sympathy either when he gives you the chair.”

    Related:
    Health Care(less)

    The Mother Of All Sicknesses

    | Mesa, AZ, USA | Family & Kids, Health & Body

    Customer: “I need to get an appointment for my son right away!”

    Me: “Okay, has he seen the doctor before?”

    Customer: “No. He had an appointment but he missed it.”

    (I get the patient’s name and check him in the computer. He missed a consult appointment on 8/10 and didn’t call to cancel. He simply didn’t show up. It is now 9/27.)

    Me: “Okay, our next available appointment is October 22nd.”

    Customer: “That’s not soon enough! Don’t you have anything sooner?”

    Me: “That’s our next available routine appointment. If you want to have his primary care physician call and speak with our doctor, we may be able to move it up, but right now I can’t put him in our emergency slots.”

    Customer: “Why not?”

    Me: “It’s our policy not to give out emergency slots to patients who have previously no-showed appointments.”

    Customer: “What if it’s an emergency?”

    Me: “Given that his original appointment that you missed was six weeks ago, I find that unlikely.”

    Customer: “He’s got hormones in his brain!”

    *long awkward silence*

    Me: “He’s a teenage boy, right?”

    Customer: “It’s an emergency!”

    Related:
    The Mother Of All Excuses


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