Time is money, so what does a trip to the doctor really cost ?
You usually spend a few bucks out of pocket, depending on your insurance, when visiting the doctor — but a recently-published report finds that visit is actually costing you much more.
The report, published in the American Journal of Managed Care, suggests a visit to the doctor’s office costs about $43 in lost productivity.
Essentially, you could be getting other things done, such as work, but instead the time is spent traveling to and from the appointment, filling out paperwork and, of course, waiting to be seen.
The report found the average visit has a total time of 121 minutes, including travel, and more than an hour of that time is spent in the waiting room.
Responding to the report, Mishael Azam with the Medical Society of New Jersey said there is a lot of bureaucracy that goes along with the doctor-patient encounter.
“If it were up to physicians, they would spend all their time with their patients,” Azam said. “But unfortunately, there are several laws they have to comply with before, during and after the visit that takes them away.”
From checking a patient’s records before entering the room, or recording notes after a patient leaves, Azam said physicians are forced to follow rules that cut down on quality time with patients.
The report cited 37 minutes of total travel time for a doctor’s appointment. Azam said this can be attributed to patients who struggle to find a local office that accepts their insurance plan.