Take a Look at a Baby Boomer's Super Bill

Physician's Money Digest, December 2006, Volume 13, Issue 12

We've dreaded it foryears, and now it'sfinally here. Thebaby boomers, perhapsthe most demandinggeneration in history, arereaching their retirement years. Manyare getting health savings accounts sothat they can self-direct their care.They're out to get the maximum servicesfor the minimum price. Are we in forit, or what? For the benefit of said babyboomers, I've developed a proposed feeschedule for the typical basket of servicesthat Constan Medical Corporationprovides now that patients can self-directthat money set aside for theircare. The following is an excerpt fromour services menu:

Services with a Smile

At the Constan Medical Corporation

we understand your needs and wants as

a baby boomer. You may choose from

the following services today:

  • Complete traditional examinationwith prescription.
  • Advice on how to take care ofyour problem using all-natural herbalremedies, because you don't believe inall that scientific stuff corporateAmerica is foisting on you for profit.
  • Pharmacy consultation. We'llmaximize your prescriptions and minimizeyour copays through our patented"creative prescribing" protocols.
  • A review of Web printouts—notwritten by doctors—about your disease.
  • Discuss that drug ad you justheard—and diagnosed yourself from—on television.

In our practice you will be able toreceive services when and where youwish. In addition to a traditional officevisit, the following is a list of prices foryour other options:

  • $2 per mile and $2 per minute fora house call. (This can get expensive if Ihave to wait for you to get off your cell.)
  • $10 per line for an e-mail consult.
  • $7 per minute for a telephone consultduring regular office hours.
  • 50% surcharge for a telephoneconsult after hours.
  • 100% surcharge for a telephoneconsult after 11 PM.
  • $1000 one-time fee to receive mycell phone number, plus $250 each yearfor the first 100 minutes of talk time.

Deals to Be Had

Because baby boomers love discounts,we have developed the followingprograms to help them get a deal;we know that each of our patientswants to feel special:

  • 10% off your next blood pressurefollow-up visit, if you can get yourblood pressure to 120/80 or below.
  • 1% off your visit for each poundyou've lost since the last visit.
  • 25% off a Friday afternoon visit.
  • 50% off a Friday afternoon visit ifit is the beginning of a 3-day weekend.Please note that the office closes at 5 PM.
  • 5% off your visit if you've broughtin all your prescription bottles so I don'thave to figure out what you're referringto when you ask for a refill on that littlegreen pill I prescribed 2 years ago.
  • One free cappuccino as youleave if you don't whine—evenonce—during the visit.

You're Okay, I'm Okay

As a special service, we are willing toprovide sympathy to our patients,because the world is just not fair. Pleasenote the following percentages that willserve as surcharges in addition to theregular service:

  • 10% surcharge if you want tojust talk and have no intention of followingmy advice or changing yourhealth behaviors.
  • 20% surcharge if you want tocomplain about something your otherdoctor did or said.
  • 30% surcharge if you want tocomplain about how terrible your parentstreated you as a child.
  • 50% surcharge if you cry anytimeduring the visit. Crying in frontof a professional is really never fair,and I deserve appropriate combatpay in these circumstances.

Please stop at the desk on the wayout. Complete payment is due at thetime of service.

Louis L. Constan, a family practice physicianin Saginaw, Mich, is the editor of theSaginaw County Medical Society Bulletinand Michigan Family Practice. He welcomesquestions or comments at 3350 ShattuckRoad, Saginaw, MI 48603, 989-792-1899, or louisconstan@hotmail.com.