Today I went to see a new doctor, a specialist. His receptionist sits behind a sign that reads "Co-payment must be made at the time of service. Failure to pay the co-payment will result in an additional charge of $10." I took a seat to wait and to fill out various forms -- and to be apprised of a "policy change": "A patient who misses an appointment without canceling 24 hours in advance will be charged $45." I read a little further: "Extended telephone conversations will be subject to a charge of $15."
I know that doctors have to make a living and I don't begrudge them a decent wage. But goodness gracious, must they transform themselves into shameless nickel-and-dimers?
I want to have confidence in my doctor. I want to think that he's the heir to Aesculapius, Hippocrates, and Jean Hersholt. I don't want to think that he's a money-hungry "provider" whose primary aim, transcending all others (especially healing), is to squeeze me for a buck here and a buck there.
Which is in fact what I did think. Not a good first impression, Dr. Provider!