Billing at hospitals

As I mentioned in this post, I had to consult the hepatologist at Asian Institute of Gastroenterology a few days back. His OP room (the room where he saw his patients) was on the mezzanine floor of the hospital where the lift did not go. So, you basically had to take the stairs to go there. Or so I was told by the staff at the hospital.

By the time I had figured that he was indeed in the hospital and seeing patients at that time, I had already made one trip up and down by stairs. Though I am not sick enough to not be able to do that at all, I am not well enough to do that without becoming short of breath. Anyway, I gave my file to the hep's secretary and it was put under the files of patients who reached there before me. Suddenly, the secretary asked me for the bill for the consultation fee. I asked him where I could pay. He said I would have to go to the main reception and pay.

Crap! I would have to climb down to the Ground Floor, pay and then climb the stairs again!

I have never understood why most hospitals have billing centralized at the main reception. Yes, it is convenient for the hospital management. But it can be a nightmare for patients. Only when you become a regular do you realize this and pay on your way up. For the hapless newcomer, it is always at least a few visits before this is figured out. Even if there is a lift, hospital lifts are almost always busy and you waste a lot of time making the unnecessary trips.

Some hospitals have billing at the respective counters. This is so much better. You simply need to add this to the job responsibilities of the secretary. It is so important for hospitals to think about these little things from the point of view of the patient.


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I have noticed some diagnosis centers where the billing is located in the same floor for the services offered in that floor. This model will also help in these cases.