Friday, March 23, 2007

What is a Meme and Other Questions

Some of this blog jargon is foreign to me. What is a "meme"? There are other words I have seen which I can't remember now. Do I need a blog dictionary?

Pursuant to my last post, the "business with friend" issue has been settled. Not as fairly (by far) as I would have handled it if the shoe were on the other foot. But she has always been a very good friend and I would hate to lose her over this, so I will be the better person and bite the bullet.

Oh! I want to share with you an experience I had today at my dermatologist appointment. I have been going to this doctor for maybe five years. It all started yesterday when I drove an hour to the appointment which turned out to be today! I elected to return today rather than wait another hour for him to fit me into the schedule yesterday. When I signed in, they gave me a form to fill in to provide my credit card information which they said would be kept on file to bill the patient for the visit (following any credit from an insurance company). This just hit me the wrong way. I said I would not give them the information. They refused to allow me to see the doctor. I asked. I insisted. I demanded. My voice rose. They said the doctor would not see anyone who did not provide the information. I demanded again. Yes, I got a little nasty. They absolutely were refusing to even let me speak to the doctor. Finally (after it was obvious that I wasn't leaving), they gave in and I had my visit with him. He patiently explained his policy of not doing any billing in the future and it would all be handled this way. He took a lot of time to explain his theory, experiences, blah, blah, blah. I told him I disagreed with his policy, but respected that it was his office to run as he chose. He apologized for his front desk staff and I will probably return for my next three month appointment, with credit card in hand. Why, when I disagree so strongly on principle? Well, I have a serious and rare type of psoriasis on my fingers and he has been used to treating me for so long now, that I would hate to start over with a new doctor. He is an hour away, but I fired my last dermatologist who had an office close to home because he was a true nut case.

What is it with me and doctors? Has anyone had a doctor who wanted to keep their cc card number on file?


Lynne said...

My dentist does the same thing with credit cards. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, I had gotten my EOB (explanation of benefits) from my dental insurance, showing my portion of the bill to be $14. I immediately sent a check to the dentist, but before they even received the check, they had billed my credit card for the $14.

My dentist also insists on full payment up front. For the crowns I just had done, they wanted 50% of the total bill before she would start the work. I contacted my insurance company and got an estimate from them as to how much my portion would be and that's what I paid the dentist. Then yesterday I got a call from the office. I was scheduled to go back on Monday to have the temp crowns replaced by the permanent ones. But the dentist hadn't received her insurance payment yet, so I was given the option of paying the remainder of the bill (the insurance company portion) and wait to be reimbursed or postpone the appointment. Guess what I did???

I've worked in medical offices and know how insurance plans work. The doctors/dentists join a plan so that they can attract more patients. For this, they agree to accept whatever payment the insurance company judges to be allowable, and agree to write off the difference between their charges and the allowable amount. The patient can NEVER be billed for that portion. But my dentist wants her patients to pay the entire charge up front and then she will take the write-off later and reimburse the patient. I can understand that they want to make sure that they get their payment, but it's so not fair to the patient to have to pay this full amount right away.

These doctors/dentists put you over a barrel. You like them, you trust them, you don't want to change, but their billing practices leave a lot to be desired. And don't get me started on how I feel about some front-office personnel and how they can make or break a practice!

Thanks for letting me rant and rave!

Lynne said...

Oh, for questions about blogs, go to for a lot of information. They'll answer a lot of your questions.

kookiejar said...

I've never had that experience with a doctor, VioletLady, but now that I'm aware that it is becoming more common, I'll be prepared. Glad I don't go that often.

A meme is a list of questions that you are supposed to answer and post on your blog. I guess they are supposed to help your readers learn a little more about you as a person. One meme in particular that is making the rounds is a list of 100 books and you are supposed to indicate whether or not you have read them or are planning to read them. I've only done 2 memes and found them surprisingly enjoyable.

violetlady said...

I guess I will have to give in and go against my principles and give them my credit card number. Really annoying!

Thanks, kookiejar, for the comment about the meme.

kookiejar said...

Vi, I left instructions on how to place that map on your blog over in my blog's comments under yours. I'd be happy to help more if you'd like. It is super easy and so much fun to look at every day.

violetlady said...

Thanks, kookiejar, I think I have it now.

Rhoda said...

Violet, thanks for stopping by for a visit! And, I'm glad you got some inspiration for your bunnies & spring. Please stop by anytime...I'm always up to something & enjoy new friends!

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