Thursday, August 25, 2011

Various Way in Which I Didn't Get Paid -- Part 3

Four times I arrived to discover another doctor in the room. The hotel had summoned another doctor. After waiting a few hours, the guest complained, so the hotel summoned me without mentioning the other call.

Eighteen guests gave me a bad check. Almost all were single males, and these occurred before I accepted credit cards. While everyone I managed to contact expressed surprise and promised to correct matters, this was not always a lie. In six other cases, guests sent a second, good check.

I mailed a refund to three guests on Medicare. Early in my career, I simply informed elderly American guests that I was not a Medicare doctor. Most assured me that was no problem, but it turned out many believed I meant only that I didn’t bill Medicare myself. When Medicare rejected their bill, they were outraged. Since then I explain in more detail that they can collect nothing from Medicare or any Medicare supplement insurance. Some agree to a visit; others accept my directions to an urgent care clinic.

I also reimbursed a guest who was unhappy to hear that an antibiotic would not help his flu. He went to an urgent care clinic later that day, received the traditional antibiotic, and felt better as soon as he swallowed the first pill. The hotel manager who passed on his complaint expressed sympathy, but I felt it best to make a refund.

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