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Touchy Subject... No Shows!

Let’s talk no shows. A touchy subject for patients and doctors alike. For patients, because sometimes you just can’t make your doctor’s appointment, and you don’t want to be penalized for it. For doctors, because your living depend on patients coming to their appointments.

I’ve heard a lot of talk about “greedy, money-hungry doctors.” Doctors who only care about the bottom line. Doctors whose patients can be on their death bed, and the doctor still will send them a bill!

I feel offended when I hear these comparisons. Doctors, in general, are some of the most selfless individuals. In regard to their patients, they truly only want to help them. Sure, there are exceptions, as there are in any walk of life, but in general, doctors did NOT go to medical school to get rich. They did not sacrifice years of their lives and the quality of their relationships to get rich. They did not go into hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt to get rich. And they certainly did not delay starting a family or building their nest egg just so that they can get rich. I can personally attest to these things. Doctors go into medicine to help people. And they truly try to help.

So, back to the topic at hand – no shows – and, in particular, no show FEES. Are they necessary? Well, simple math.. If you have been in the service industry before, you know that you can only schedule so many people in so many appointment slots. And you can only pay your bills with the money you get from people that show up. So, if half of patients are going to no-show their appointments or reschedule/cancel within 24 hours (because by then, it’s near impossible to fill it with another patient), in order to cover their expenses, the doctor would have to OVERBOOK their patients by TWICE the amount of patients he or she actually expects to see. And you know what happens if and when more than the expected number of patients decide to show up one day? Everyone’s appointments are cut in half. This is exactly why you end up waiting in your doctor’s waiting room for hours on end sometimes, only to come in and get just a few minutes with the doctor. Because your doctor is just trying to cover their expenses by overbooking patients.

At Ideal Neurology, I am proud to say I plan to never overbook my patients. Your time is your time. I hope to never impinge on your appointment time slot with other patients’ appointments. That’s just not how I roll. And you will always have relaxed, unrushed visits, so that all your questions can be answered at your appointment. And to maintain this level of service without overbooking patients, I rely on my patients coming to their appointments or paying a $50 no-show fee when they don’t – which, by the way, does not begin to cover the expense of that missed appointment slot! This fee serves as a reminder that there are other patients who may be waiting to be seen, and no one wants to be kept waiting. So, please do yourself and your fellow patients the favor of calling us more than 24 hours in advance to cancel or reschedule your appointments. You’ll be glad you did!

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