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Waiting Patients Get Paid By Some North Texas Doctors

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CBS DFW (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSDFW.com/ACA

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – How often have you showed up for a doctor or dentist appointment and waited, and waited, and waited? Being put on hold for an appointment, that you arrived on time for, can test your patience and your temper.

Now it seems the tables are turning and some patients are getting paid to wait for their doctors if the physicians don’t stay on schedule.

At Heritage House Clocks in Dallas time is for sale.

“I love the statue clock,” said Heritage House owner Glenda Marchesoni as she pointed. “This is a British clock. It’s handmade.”

Depending on how much you want to spend prices for handmade clocks can go pretty high. But now Heritage House isn’t the only place where time has a price.

“Usually five or 10 minutes.” That’s how long David Quintanilla says he usually waits for a dentist appointment.

But when at the doctor’s office Quintanilla says the wait can be much longer. “They want you to wait for them, but they can’t wait for you.”

In the United States, the average wait time at a doctor’s office is 24 minutes. That’s according to a report released last year by a group that researches health care performance.

Dentist Clint Herzog says he tries to remember what it’s like. ‘I really try to put myself in the patients seat,” he said.

Now when Herzog keeps his patients waiting more than 15 minutes he doesn’t just say sorry he tries to make it right.

“If there is a lot of treatment and you needed help financially that’s one way. We have given people gift certificates to go out and do something on their own,” he said of the ‘compensation’ offered. “We’ve given Nordstrom gift card. Really whatever it takes.”

Herzog has even given patients cash for time spent waiting. “It goes a long way to show them we are in a relationship and we are committed.”

Marchesoni says a person’s time just can’t be measured. “I personally think that my time is as valuable as a doctors. I work hard.”

Have you thought about sending your doctor a bill for your time? Some doctors and dentists who spoke with CBS 11 News said they have heard of people doing that. Whether or not the patient gets a check usually depends on the circumstance.

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