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09/29/2020    George Jacobson, DPM

No Show Patients

We have had this discussion before, but now
with voluntarily seeing fewer patients per hour
the "No Show" new patients make it harder to
recover from this financial disaster. After
being closed for 4.5 months due to the lockdown
and then open-heart surgery, I began seeing
patients 3 weeks ago. We have many 80 to 100-
year-old at high risk patients, who stayed shut
in since March. We referred others and new
patients to colleagues. I

t's like starting over again, 37 years later,
but we have a small base of patients versus
zero. I don't recall patients being so rude as
to not show up for appointments or not calling
if they couldn't keep the appointment. Our time
means nothing to the "No Show" new patient.
They can't appreciate the 1/2 hour to an hour
blocked off for their visit. They can't
appreciate that we are willing to see them in
this pandemic environment. The patients we see
are very pleased that we are open and all the
care we have given to keep them safe and the
care we provided.

We need to create a new standard in all medical
professions, where we get a deposit reserving
the appointment. It will be refunded or go
towards the visit if they show up or cancel 24
hours in advance. If they don't show up, they
lose the deposit. If we all do this it will
become the norm, what is expected when we make
any medical or dental appointment.

Does anyone have a better idea? If not, how can
we get our colleagues to make this the norm?
It doesn't solve the loss of income from the
missed visit and future visits but it is at
least something to trying to make people be
respectful of our time and I'd even use the
word sacrifice in this pandemic environment. I
hope I don't come across angry or bitter or
blame millennials...I would say I'm just
disappointed.

George Jacobson, DPM, Hollywood, FL

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