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SCHEDULING

AM MOBILE

MONDAY & WEDNESDAY           10:00  AM     TO     5:00  PM      TREATMENT SCHEDULE


LUCEDALE

TUESDAY &  THURSDAY            10:00 AM       TO       5:00  PM   TREATMENT SCHEDULE


FRIDAY                                         BY APPOINTMENT  (ONE OFFICE ONLY)


                          RESERVED FOR SOME NEW PATIENTS, LARGE CASH FAMILY, OUT OF AREA PATIENTS, MAKE UP FOR A REGULAR LOSS WORK DAY, HEALTH PATIENT CONSULTATION, AO PATIENTS, OFTEN ANY TIME SLOT REQUIRING MORE THAN 15 MIN ADJUSTMENT SLOT & ZYTO SCANNING


SATURDAY    BY APPOINTMENT, ONLY IF IN THE AREA, VERY OCCASIONALLY 

                            ADD $20 CASH FOR ONE WEEKEND PATIENT ONLY

SCHEDULED DIRECT TREATMENT TIME WITH DOCTOR= LIMITED TO 15 MINUTES


             SCHEDULING

ANY PATIENT CAN BE SEEN ENOUGH TO GET BETTER IF THEY ARE FLEXIBLE WITH THEIR TIME AND PERSISTENT ENOUGH TO ATTRACT OUR ATTENTION.  WE CAN ONLY HELP WHO'S HERE AND HELP PATIENTS WE CAN SCHEDULE..


The most professional scheduling of clients is advanced individualized scheduling where the doctor's contact time is reserved for a specific patient.  Some Specialists schedule this way since their specialty is valued more highly, while a GP may see more patients at less monies on average.  We are attempting to do advanced individualized scheduling no matter what is the compensation or priority.  We increase the doctor's contact time depending on the activity with more time given for coupled patients or new patients( NP) but it would be expected that the amount of time given influences the cost and lowers the opportunity for others to be seen also. Only so much time is productive;  holidays, severe weather, weekends, and required CEU hours for certifications make it difficult.  Most doctors have only 16 work days (4x4=16) in any uninterrupted month.  That's not much for a 30 day month less all of holidays people expect to be "off".

We are an in-network BCBS Preferred Provider.  Meeting the needs of this population dominate our business.  Patients wish to use their BCBS health insurance and we would prefer collecting from this insurer.  We can serve others on a limited basis depending on this schedule.  Atlas Orthogonal patients need to be identified before scheduled, because they require Specialist's time for this technique, and, of course, the costs are greater and are not covered by insurance.  Patients who require these protocols may travel great distances, or seek the rigors of this technique because of very serious complications and should expect to pay more.  We have a restricted number of patients who have a discount status with restrictions allowing for (1) repeated series of follow up treatments, (2) a limited number of senior patients, and (3) occasional patients.  An overflow of discounted patients may have less choices in our schedule, or they could call in that day to see if any late cancellations create an opportunity on a first call/first serve basis.

Many doctors have many direct contact treatment rooms in an attempt to minimize doctor contact time to multiple their efforts aided by an assistant or nurse.  Often, they can overschedule moving patients to another waiting room.  Some chiropractors have large rooms with several treatment tables where all patients are adjusted which definitely increases numbers as they move from one patient to another.  Each of these options can increase efficiency, but the personalization and privacy are sacrificed.  Some have morning, afternoon, or evening hours on a first come-first serve approach.  All of these happen when patients no longer respect their appointment time, or seek more cost effective treatment; eventually, patients learn that they may have to wait.  Doctors are not making you wait because they want to or that they're greedy; reasons may exist behind the scenes.  Today doctors have nearly 70% overhead and only so much productive time; less doctors operate private practices; more are limiting their practice to a select group of patients.

By scheduling in advance we risk their forgetfulness, superficial recovery, and loss of interest that comes with the passage of time.  Also some patients dominate the schedule by scheduling way in advance.  This may be necessary for treatments and very appropriate planning, but only when they remember and show up.  It's always appropriate with new patients and their concentrated initial Plan of Care.  Any scheduling requiring more time slots increases the likelihood of problems if they cancel the activity or the couple/whole family misses on short notice.  We wish to give quality of care to all scheduled patients and we show up each morning knowing who we expect to help, but the doctor shows up everyday to discover less patients are coming than what they expected the evening before, and our front desk is scrambling to fill these last minute vacancies with patients who cannot be reached.

Our staff is managing a problem that we just might share with  other doctors.   Some cancel early, but many cancel the vary day we were prepared to see them.  Some do not come at all and are no shows.  We are always scrambling last minute to fill this highly individualized advance schedule.  Some are trying to get in as a new patient or as a follow up patient but have to wait too long on the advanced schedule, but ironically, they could be seen on short notice.  We give reminder cards, issue texts, leave messages, check our phone messages in the morning and personally call to confirm patients.  Now we are mailing No Show notifications, a blue postcard.  Overall, patients whose visitations are mostly paid by the insurer have somewhat better attendance.

When all is said and done, we rarely see the same amount of patients as we anticipated for any given day.  Overscheduling creates other problems when it's challenging enough to resolve physical issues and promptly move to the next patient.  We never overschedule.  It's not reasonable to expect pain will be resolved during your scheduled treatment; we would hope, but we cannot over adjust this problem and impose upon others waiting to be seen unless more time was scheduled along with its necessary cost.  These things need to be planned and negotiated in advance.  Also, if you keep adjusting something one could make it worse.  Everyday has a list of patients who recently missed an appointment or now want an appointment, but last minute they cannot be reached; however, you should not assume that missing patients will give you more contact time with the doctor.  We always encourage therapeutic non-directed activities that will help you while the the doctor is freed to help the next person.  We encourage patients to call on the day they want to be seen hoping there is a last minute opening.  Always remember, comparatively so, presently we are not scheduling that many patients, but trying to keep at a reasonable number--maximum is only 9 in am and 9 in the pm, 3 patients each with 15 minute sessions per hour except for lunch (most often not used by the doctor).

We schedule in our facility our patients for other businesses but for activities performed by others: such as for therapists, medical testing, x-rays, etc.  We may be even more sensitive to scheduling these patients where it influences other professionals whose income is dependent upon the rigors of a schedule.  They may be driving in specifically to honor this schedule; we need advance notice to coordinate this absence.
Scheduling is the life blood of any doctor's practice; it's their staff's top priority especially when you require a series of follow up appointments along with helping new patients. Some types of small business require a specific skilled person at a specific time: hairdressers, catching the ferry, delivery services, repair services, dentists, flights, medical doctors, weddings, special occasions and events, real estate showings, etc.  Some less professional businesses do not require scheduling such as: Walmart, preparing dinner, going to your bank, fast food, drive in oil change, car wash, cheap haircut, walk-in clinics, the gym, and hospitals where any random clerk, salesperson, or employed staff will get to you when they can.  Most businesses are either open or closed, glad for walk-in traffic, and have cash registers.  Even ER/hospitals have large waiting rooms, make you fill out forms, check financial resources, and triage all walk ins.  They are open at your leisure and anyone there will help evidently; however, professions in their own business provide personalized skills, are very time focused, are generally self-employed, and try to work by appointment only.  

Patients are never just placed on our schedule; either they called us or agreed to this appointment with our front desk.  After you do not call us back for several months or express some interest, the doctor or her assistant may call once only to see how you're doing, but never to make an appointment to avoid seeming like she's trying "to close a sale." She may not call back.  The doctor is only trying to see where she should focus what little time she has.  Everytime you leave our office, we attempt to make a follow up appointment, but otherwise all appointments are initiated by the patient with our front desk.  You may be on a temporary list to call, but this is only because you were recently seen, canceled recently, made a recent appointment, or wanted to be informed of openings. Your willingness and ability to make a follow up appointment shows your intent to organize your priorities and your plan for improvement.  You can well infer what it means if you habitually miss appointments or cannot make one.  We hope you are alright, but we must focus on the scheduled patients.

When making your appointment, reconfirm the time and date.  Reconfirm the name and identify the number of all individuals expected to be seen.  Identify yourself as a recent (less than 2 mos) follow-up BCBS patient or a recent discount patient request ($50) follow up, occasional active BCBS patient ( over 2 mos) with only a coinsurance, or an occasional discount patient ($50 or $75). Some patients need to identify themselves as Health Patients and the activities needed for special scheduling.  Some patients are exclusively AO referrals or are looking for AO help; these patients need special required information.  New Patients should identify themselves as a (1) Blue Cross Blue Shield patients and have their ID # and DOB available, (2) as a non-BCBS patient request or (3) senior Advantage request. 

Go to our website, www.craftonclinic.com to review all important information: such as techniques, the attending doctor, and the financial expectations.  Make sure we have a cell phone text number and a day or work phone number for any personal call.  Leaving a message on a phone does not give us any confidence that you got our message to confirm your appointment until you call back during the work day.  If you do not return the call confirming attendance, no way to leave a message, no active phone, have a history of no shows/cancellations, you will be doubled booked, cancelled, or have to wait till others are serviced.  Many issues can only be resolved when you show up for your appointment, but we want you to know what to expect--no surprises--especially financial.

Rudeness on the phone or in person is never justified.  Often patients are in pain, and they want to get in as soon as possible.  The front desk must always be the gatekeeper to the doctor's schedule, since we do not see "real emergencies" or "walk-ins".  There is almost always a waiting list on the advanced schedule; we need daily to use this call back list.  Newer BCBS plan of care patients must have priority to be scheduled, but once scheduled we try to maintain the order for the day.  Not all patients are called from the lobby to directly see the doctor.  Things happen even in a perfect world; no one is trying to offend you.  Waiting or a perceived skipping over someone can be provoking.  Before or after your appointment, we offer many activities that are good for you and represent an investment in our patient's health; seldom, if ever, will we charge for them.  Try not to schedule yourself too tightly whenever making appointments that might include other offices for the same morning or afternoon.

Everyone pays, so if you do not know what to pay, ask and to save time, if you wish, pay before we provide services. Everything can be corrected, except for rudeness; it burns bridges.  Normally, rudeness is not expressed unless one is overtly expressing a pent up frustration knowing that the doctor-patient relationship can no longer continue.  We expect our front desk person who is an established community member to tell us if someone is rude; eventually, no one wants to work in a stressful environment.  No one will be allowed to be rude to our staff and then turn around and be nice to us.  Know that you may be dismissed whenever you are so stressed that you must become rude; finding a different doctor is perfectly normal and is in everyone's best interests.  We appreciate your past patronage, we are very sorry for any perceived indignity, we are sure that another doctor can meet your needs, and we wish you well.

Life is a series of appointments mixed into random activities controlled only by the length of the day.  Sometimes others will schedule away your resources, freedom, and time if you let them. Even the President has to make appointments with his barber, world leaders, or his cabinet members.  Appointments give us structure, organization, and quality for the things we need.  More established people need to schedule valued activities to gain the talents of someone with whom they wish to exchange trade; less established people are less organized, do not make a schedule, want everything quick, and look for the cheapest.  It's a matter of choices.  It's always difficult to please everyone.

Professionals cannot always offer after work hours, evening, or weekend hours.  Patients who have jobs with group insurance usually seek late PM hours and lunch because they don't want their income hurt, but this is difficult for the doctor too.  Everyone cannot be compressed into these hours; sometimes, one has to sacrifice to fit into the schedule.  It's not realistic that one doctor can handle every working patient in the late afternoon and evening.  Most everyone is hurting when they arrive; for some it's obvious and expressed, while others suffer in silence.

AM patients are often seniors or some are even elderly, most come very early, few are sometimes grumpy, have chronic relentless discomfort, receive occasional/maintenance care rather than a concentrated full plan of care, and have been accepted as a discounted fee patient or the few senior Advantage patients given only restricted chiropractic care by their carrier.  PM patients more than likely have the full chiropractic BCBS insurance coverage and are prescribed a plan of care.  We are primarily set up and established to serve this population with their group plans, because we do receive full and fair compensation by BCBS for all procedures.

Generally, you might have to conform to see the specific person that you need to see with what limited time they have to offer.  Dr. Katherine has to sacrifice her own work time for certain activities, and these activities may be of lesser market value than for her own work time, but they need to get done by someone she trusts in the time they can make available. She trusts them because she knows they are doing their best or else she wouldn't have scheduled them in the first place.


If you cannot show for whatever reason, doctors need a reasonable notice so they can still manage their productive time.  If you keep cancelling, eventually, we can no longer schedule you.  If you cancel the same day or the previous evening, you hurt them financially and eventually they cannot afford to help you.  If you never show up that day, they are worried about you, but if you do call back in the future, they do not know what to feel, had you forgotten them, maybe some scheduling error was made, you just did not respect them, or you just thought they wouldn't care if you missed?

We have many wonderful patients sometimes creating close relationships over time with many people all of whom should feel special.  We are given gifts, cards, and produce;  we go to some weddings, graduations, funerals, hospitals, etc.  We have a small and more intimate professional business with most appreciated, but underpaid, part time employees, so we still must collect the required monies and service all daily scheduled patients with equity of time and skill.  It would be unfortunate that we had to consider scheduling differently.  Please give 24 hour notice considering our 4 day work week in alternating offices, a message to one office is passed to the other, occasional Friday hours are offered, phones take messages continuously but are only answered the next morning by staff, harsh weather notices cause problems, and holidays always shorten available service.  We all need to get timely messages so we can respond appropriately.  We are not talking about occasional problems with real-moment emergencies. Life happens and often you can be rescheduled if you have to cancel.