healthcare and customer service in the same sentence. psyyyyyych.

I’m fuming right now, so what better time to write a blog post about something that has been irking me for a long time?  I’ve been particularly irked since I got pregnant in 2009 and began the prenatal care routine, which included about a million doctor visits.

Is it just me, or is the healthcare industry the only one in which it is okay:

1.  For your client to wait for hours with no explanation as to what is taking so damn long (apparently our time is not as valuable as the doctor’s)….and then when you finally do see them, they spend about 3 minutes with you

2.  For your service provider to be a total jerk and say rude things to make you feel stupid or silly

3.  For your service provider to make you feel like a jerk if you hint about getting a second opinion (not that you could do that anyway, because insurance sure wouldn’t pay for it)

4. To send you complicated statements with secret magical codes stating you must pay an astronomical amount of money for something you don’t even understand (and p.s…. do it in the next 3 days or the next statement will have lots of stuff in red)

5. To charge your client for insurance, but then make them pay all but $4 on a $108 prescription (what a value! Thanks!)

6. For hospitals to charge 4x the retail cost for EVERYTHING (example:  Theo’s Soothie pacifier was $8.75 on  the detailed bill…they are 2 for $4 at Babies R Us.)

7.  To insist that you have a procedure, product, etc. that isn’t really necessary and have no clue how much it will cost

Where’s the customer service?  Really…what other industry can get away with this?  And we just take it because, well, we have to.

I’m not ragging on doctors or nurses.  You can find jerks anywhere you go.  Some mechanics are jerks.  Some waitresses are jerks.  The difference, though, is that if your car still doesn’t run right or your food takes too long, you get an explanation… a discount… an apology… and then they make it right.  To be fair, I think a good part of the problem is out of any individual doctor’s hands. The industry is just not set up for customer service.

That doesn’t make it any less frustrating.