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 email@example.com.