I took my son to his annual dental exam yesterday. His regular dentist left for pastures new, so I had to make him an appointment with a new guy.
We went to his office and were given paperwork to fill out. One of the forms was an agreement that we (the parents) would pay $25 per every 15 minutes of appointment missed that we gave less than 48 hours notice for.
I didn't sign it. I wanted to talk to the receptionist about it. Apparently she was busy, because the dentist himself came out.
"I have a question about this 'agreement'" I said "I have a slight issue with it; I think it unrealistic for me to consistently be able to give you 48 hours notice that my child will not be able to make their appointment...I mean, I can't predict when they're going to be ill"
"In that case, you need a doctor's note excusing them" he said.
"Excuse me? That's even more unrealistic. I'm not going to take them to the doctor every time they've got a virus...even the school doesn't require me to do that. And I'm a little concerned that you want sick kids in here spreading their bacteria and viruses all over the place so that other people get infected."
"If they're not sick enough to go to the doctor, they're not sick enough to miss my appointment"
"Ok, I have a REAL issue with that. I'm in the medical profession and I know a little bit about basic healthcare..."
"Oh, really?" he sneered " and what it is that you do, exactly..?"
"I'm an EMT and a nursing student, in addition to being a mom of three teenagers..."
"...oh...." he seemed a little crestfallen "...well, then you know about false calls. You get called out for people who aren't ill and they still have to pay."
"No, I don't deal with anything like that. I deal with people who receive treatment from me, regardless of whether their illness is 'false' or not...and I am telling you that I can't always give you 48 hours notice, that it's not realistic, and tha..."
"..But that doesn't happen often, now does it? Not very freq..."
"Actually, he almost didn't make it today because he had a doctor's appointment this morning" Urbaner interjected from across the waiting room "Tell you what, just give us the paperwork back and we'll go somewhere else"
He gave us all the forms back EXCEPT the insurance claim form I'd already signed. So, I called the insurance company this morning to warn them what he'd done. There is no reason to keep that claim form unless he intends on submitting a claim for services we DID NOT receive, and I'm not about to let that happen. I also passed on my concerns about his having kids who are ill come into his office and spread their viral wealth, so to speak.
I can understand his reasoning. He's probably been burned in the past and has felt the need to protect himself....but I also need to protect myself, my bank account and my kids, and I did that by refusing to sign his ridiculous agreement.
12 hours notice, absolutely. 24, even. But 48? COME ON. I may be a parent and a EMT, but I'm not psychic.