281-664-646419500 SH 249 Ste 285,Houston, TX 77070
The office will also be closed Wednesday the 15th through Friday the 17th. We will return to the office Monday the 20th.
Important Office Announcement: Effective 4/15/2012
In response to feedback from our patients, we will be making some administrative changes for the office that I will explain in detail below, but for those of you in a hurry, here are the bullet points.
1. Patients will be offered either a 15 minute or 30 minute appointment, although longer appointments will be available in 15 minute increments if requested.
2.Appointments will also be billed in 15 minute increments at a rate of $50/ 15 minutes (this change only impacts our 30 minute visit, all of our other visits are already billed at $50/ 15 minutes)
Ok…now for the explanations and background:
2011 was a wonderful year for my practice, and I have all of you to thank for that, but as I start 2012, I have been faced with a challenge. As many of you know, our office has been busier lately than we have ever been in the past. Sometimes, when a business grows, there are a few growing pains as a result. The biggest complaints that I have been getting from all of you is that you are waiting too long to get in for appointments, and to have messages and emails returned from us. I fear that this is largely because of the increased volume we have experienced in the past 2 years or so. Currently, it is not uncommon for me to get 40 or 50 patient emails in a day, and Ashley is routinely fielding over 80 phone calls per day.
Starting April 15th, you will be given the choice of either a 15 minute appointment, or a 30 minute appointment when you call to schedule a visit. You will still be able to specifically request a longer appointment if you need it.
** Generally, a 15 minute appointment is for a simple 1 or 2 problem visit. For example, let’s say you have some lower back pain, and you think you might have a sinus infection. That would be a 15 minute appointment. Let’s say you have lower back pain, a possible sinus infection, and your hand starts tingling when you type. That’s probably a 30 minute appointment. You should also expect that most appointments to discuss lab results will be 30 minute appointments. If your appointment runs over your allotted time, you may be charged for a longer appointment. Ashley will help you decide if 15 minutes should be enough time for your issues.
The pricing structure is also being simplified so that we will be billing $50.00 for each 15 minute increment. If you need additional time, and request a 30 minute visit, the new charge will be $100.00. As I mentioned in the “bullet points” above, this change really only applies to the 30 minute visit. Our 15, 45, and 60 minute visits are already billed at the new $50 / 15 min rate. We will also continue our policy of assessing a $20.00 missed appointment fee if you neglect to cancel your appointment with 24 hours notice.
I have already implemented a new policy to curb the “no-show” rate of new patients. While this wasn’t a drastic problem, I found it frustrating to have a new patient no-show for a 1 hr long appointment when I have 5 to 10 patients on a waiting list that would have appreciated part of that time slot. We now require a $50.00 deposit to book a new patient appointment (applied as a credit toward the cost of that appointment when they come in). This has almost completely stopped new patient “no shows” in the first quarter of 2012.
For my part in all of this, you will likely notice increased efficiency throughout your appointment. We have updated our computer system and software to allow for more efficient charting, smoother flow in the office, and better continuity between appointments. I truly enjoy the personal relationships I’ve developed with many of you, and I need to continue fostering those relationships, but out of respect for my patients, I MUST keep the office running as close to “on time” as possible. All of this should help the office run more efficiently, as well as allowing for better patient care.
In basic terms, I had to make a decision to either become a less personal, “high volume” practice, or go back to my roots and run a lower volume, patient care oriented practice. I’ve chosen the latter. Thanks for your trust, and I hope to continue to care for you long into the future.
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