Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Of Paperwork and Doctors

Doctors require a great deal of paperwork. I try to download what I can and fill it out at home before getting to the office just to save time and because there are usually enough pages to give a person a hand-cramp before they are finished.

But, there is always that chance that you walk into a doctor you have seen a several times in the last year, and after they photocopy your insurance card and driver's license again, they hand you a stack of papers to fill out that look incredibly similar to the "new patient forms" you filled out prior to the first visit. Only these forms are to update your record. I think what they don't want to tell you is that someone accidentally spilled their coffee on your file, and they can't read your address in order to send you the bill. So, they have you fill out all three or four pages while you wait and before you are allowed to see the doctor, so they will have your billing address...and a LOT of other stuff.

Is all that information really necessary? I understand needing the social security number and address of the patient and the person responsible for the bill. They need those to file with insurance, and in case you renig on the bill, and they file it on your credit. But, they also want the social security numbers, addresses, cell phone and work phone of every other person in your life. Is that really necessary?

And, they want your driver's license number and every piece of information printed on your insurance card. Didn't they just copy both of those? Maybe, it's like an open book test to check your eye sight.

But I can understand the information from the insurance card. What if the same person spilled coffee on the photocopy of the insurance card? They have a back-up of your handwritten insurance card.

Some questions make sense. It makes sense that they need to know if anyone had certain illnesses in your family. But, is it really necessary to know how many pets you have or what kind they are? And do you need four lines to answer those questions? I suppose if you were going to the vet, but not for a gastroenterologist.

Some questions apply to adults such as workplace and occupation. But, when you are filling it out for a child what do you put?

Workplace: Home
Work Address: See above address listed three times
Occupation: Playing...and chasing the three cats, riding the two dogs, antagonizing the guinea pig, and trashing mom's house faster than she can clean it.

And, how many emergency contacts does one person need? And they want the person's name, address, cell phone, and work phone. For this reason, I am having my husband's name, address, cell phone, and work phone tattooed on my arm where they check my pulse. And, should I have a heart attack, and they are checking the records for my contact info, it will read, "check pulse."
It just saves everyone time.

But, they also want "an emergency contact who does not live in the home and you are not related to." Really?

Well, since this is all about being thorough:

If I trip and break a bone, call my, address, phone number.
If I have an allergic reaction, call my doctor (that's not you), address, phone number.
If I become locked in the bathroom and the door is jammed, call my handyman....
If I am accosted by ghosts, call Jason and Grant of Ghosthunters...
If I am accosted by evil spirits, call a priest, any priest with a REALLY big cross...
If I am robbed at gun point, or at any point for that matter, call the police....

I am nothing, if not thorough.


Brenda said...

Personally if I am accosted by ghosts I would rather they call Steve and Tango they are so funny :). I totally agree about all of the forms, for goodness sake since everything is computerized one would think the only time they would need updated info is if you change insurance, address or the like, not every third visit! Really enjoyed this post.

Cynda Western Felini said...

Brenda, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I'm even happier that you got the reference to Ghost Hunters. My hubby said no one would get it.

And, yes, I would call Steve and Tango, too. They crack me up!