I’ve been wearing an oral appliance at night to prevent sleep apnea. To prove that the device is working, I had to undergo a home sleep study. In order to accomplish this, it was necessary to pick up a compilation of recording equipment from my doctor’s office.
Upon my arrival, I told the staff the reason for my visit. The nurse said she would retrieve the equipment and I could be on my way. She thought I already knew how to use it. At the same time, the receptionist politely said I owed a $40 copay. Flabbergasted, I paid, all the while thinking that they thought I was simply coming to pick up the equipment. It seemed excessive but I paid anyway.
When I asked the nurse if she was going to instruct me, she said “didn’t you do a home study last time?” referring to my initial participation that diagnosed the apnea. I told her “no” to which she replied: “You did an in-lab study? Why did you do that?” Thinking maybe I was being punked and there was a camera somewhere in the office, I answered her question with a question: “Because you told me to?” With no further discussion and no one rushing out to say the joke was on me, the nurse went to another room to set up a video that would show me what to do. After watching the 3-minute video and talking to the nurse for another 2 minutes, I was on my way. I wanted to stay longer to get my $40 worth, but it was too awkward.
I thought about that co-pay over the weekend and wondered if they would charge me to return everything. I was bound and determined not to pay again so I laid out my plan. I would open their front door, keep it open with my foot (in case they locked me in until I paid), throw the bag at the nurse and run out. Well, there was no co-pay for the return but I have to see the doctor to get the results. Another $40 please!
May the farce be with you!