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$221.25

Kristin gets five unsatisfactory minutes with her doctor and a bill.

Bored Doctor

My father is a doctor. My mom is a nurse.

I was raised around doctors, hospitals, doctor’s offices.

And this was before I became a professional patient. I have worked an inordinate amount of time in medical facilities. I clearly have a fascination and comfort level with these places.

That is, until I have to step into them for my own care.

When it comes to my medical appointments, I avoid, procrastinate and find all reasons to stay out of the doctor’s office. My ability to avoid has become all the more consuming as I try to build my new healthcare team.

When I ventured out on my first medical appointment, I was excited and optimistic. I found the office! Ka-ching! The front desk staff was nice! Double ka-ching! The resident actually did a very thorough, sensitive healthcare intake!

But then the doctor walked in. She gave me five minutes. Sound familiar? She never asked for my history. She never laid a hand on me.

She was a pain management specialist and never laid a hand on me.

She ordered me to stop a vital pain medication without instructing me how to taper the medication.

She told me my significant number of trigger points -- which cover my upper and lower body and cause all who touch me to grimace in horror -- were not so significant.

The doctor walked in. She gave me five minutes. Sound familiar? She never asked for my history. She never laid a hand on me.

Every time I spoke up, she cut me off. I left that appointment in despair, frustration and eventually, anger. I paid a $40.00 co-pay for those five minutes.

This week, I received a bill from the facility for $221.25. Puzzled, I looked it over and pulled up my EOB. Still puzzled, I called my health insurance company.

"Yes, the facility also charged you for your appointment and the insurance doesn’t cover this charge."

$221.25 for those five minutes. And I wonder why I avoid the doctor’s office.

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