The night before I went live, I met with my staff and went over the plan. We put our signs up in the waiting room, and signs up in the exam rooms, we had copies of the letter to patients along with the fee schedule, I had my new billing and referral note pads, and everyone was trained on how to use SMYLS.
That night I did not sleep. In my head I kept having imaginary interactions with patients,... and they were all angry. They were calling me greedy, challenging the fee schedules, and threatening to report me to the clinic. I woke up super tired and stressed out. I even thought about taking down all the signs, and waiting a week until I could think it through.
When I walked into the office, the waiting room was full, and my MOA had already handed out the letter and fee schedule to everyone. My heart was racing. I put my head down and scurried straight to my office. The first words out of my first patient, who was holding my letter were, "Thank you. Thank you for all the years you have provided services for free. You have been my doctor for 15 years. I never knew how you were paid.
When I came home, I told my husband about my amazing day. I shared all the supportive comments from every single patient. That I had billed 5 patients for uninsured services, and two signed up for block billing.
The rest of the week was very similar. I did have one patient ask why they had to pay. But even that conversation went well. In total for that first week, I billed a total of $1,525. The halo effect that I did not expect was how supportive my patients were, and the opportunity to educate them on how family doctors are remunerated in BC.