Here is an unfortunate review of an urgent care encounter on one of the popular review sites:
DO NOT GOHERE! This business, not doctor’s office, is out for money. It was obvious within minutes of treatment. The receptionist actually turned a sick patient away because they didn’t have identification. The PA that treated me was worried about filling a non-narcotic prescription that I have been taking for 3 years. Her advice: call the doctor you saw in another state 6 months ago and see if they can give you your blood pressure medication. After $114, I feel more like I was taken advantage of in a business deal instead of actually being treated by a medical professional.
It is normal operating procedures to provide urgent care services for travelers, coming or going, out of town guests or just traveling through and needing care. OK, yes, there are certainly drug seekers who “forgot their wallet”, don’t have id, method of payment, etc.
But BP meds?!
Could this be a noncompliant patient jumping around from doctor to doctor to get BP refills just to avoid having to go for that stress test or ECHO recommended by their primary? Sure. But if this is the first encounter, give the patient the benefit of the doubt. If the story is they’re traveling through, visiting relatives, etc., and ran out of BP meds, isn’t that what we do?
So do an exam, check the BP, make sure they are not having any signs of decompensation. Call the primary if need be and coordinate a follow up plan. Make it clear to the patient you are happy to assist them with their refill, and you are coordinating a follow up visit for their convenience with their treating physician. Give them a copy of the encounter to bring to their physician, or send/fax/e-transmit to their doctor directly.
Create an exceptional patient experience by being as helpful as you can — think how you’d want to be treated if you were in that predicament.
What’s your policy for providing refills for chronic conditions?
Image credit: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/photo_11454644_blood-pressure-measuring-doctor-and-patient.html’>kurhan / 123RF Stock Photo</a>