TAMPA - After cancer patient Doris Webb waited more than an hour to see her oncologist, she did something many of us have thought about doing, but probably never would.
“They finally put me in a room and I told her when she put me in there, I said ‘I’ll wait ten more minutes because I’ve been here an hour.’ And in ten minutes I still hadn’t seen the oncologist so I went out front and asked for my co-pay back and told them I had waited long enough.”
Unfortunately, those times could get worse. Many health care experts and providers tell Angie’s List they expect wait times to increase. The problem? Not enough doctors to meet the demands of more patients. That seems to be what happened in Webb's case. “There was no apology, but one of their employees had told me that they were triple-booked that day," she said.
Angie's List founder Angie Hicks said a recent poll found that many patients feel rushed when they do see the doctor. "And didn’t ask the questions they probably should have, which just means they are probably not getting the care that they really need.”
Hicks notes that there are steps to take to reduce the time you spend waiting on your doctor. "The key here is to check in with the doctor’s office before you show up," said Hicks. "Find out if they are running on time so that you can adjust your schedule. Ask if there is any additional paperwork that you need to fill out ahead of time. You can do that from home so you’re not spending your time in the waiting room.”
Preventive care plays a major role in staying healthy. Don’t avoid the doctor because of long wait times. Here are some ways to help you and your family stay healthy - and on schedule.
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