Sunday, May 10, 2015

Tooting My Horn

Would I see a lady at the Airport Hilton with an eye problem?

I asked the dispatcher from Amerilink, a travel insurance agency, for details, but she couldn’t provide them.

It turned out that the lady had no complaints. Apologizing, she explained that she had neglected to pack her glaucoma drops. Would I write a prescription? I was happy to comply. Amerilink would pay my usual fee.

These delightful visits are not rare. Travelers with insurance who forget a medicine often lie because they suspect, correctly, that the carrier will not pay for the truth.

When a hotel calls directly, I always speak to the guest. If he or she has forgotten a legitimate medication, I phone a pharmacy to replace it, gratis. I don’t have the gall to collect a fee for delivering a prescription.

Readers of this blog know what a humble physician I am, but this is one time I will boast. Many competing hotel doctors charge for any service they perform over the phone, including simple advice. If a guest calls the 800 number of one of the half-dozen national housecall services that advertise widely, he or she will have choice of (1) a paying visit, (2) going to an emergency room, or (3) nothing.

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