Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Extremely Easy Housecalls

A guest at Howard Johnson’s wanted my services at 3 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. I had no plans till dinner. Freeway traffic would be no problem. It was a perfect time for a housecall. What a great job….

The desk clerk added that the guest was not in the hotel. He would return at midnight. Could I come then? So I set the alarm that evening and dozed until it went off.
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I regularly complain of how far I drive, but sometimes I hit the jackpot. Last week I saw a patient in my own neighborhood, a mile away. He suffered the most common illness I see, a respiratory infection, so I was there and back in half an hour. As I congratulated myself on my good fortune, the phone rang.

“Did the patient pay the deductible?” asked the dispatcher for the insurance service.

“You didn’t mention a deductible.”

“I forgot. There’s a $75 deductible.”

That was annoying. Cheap travel insurance requires a deductible, and guests never remember to pay. When dispatchers forget to tell me to collect it, I insist the carrier pay the full amount. They always agree but never tell the billing department, so it requires several pestering calls after the check arrives. Since this patient wasn’t far, it was easier to get in my car and make a second trip.

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