It is a very bad idea in fact.
For example a couple of weeks ago – actually it was Mothering Sunday to make matters worse – a private medical consultant happily sitting at home got up to answer the doorbell.
He was not at all amused to be greeted by one of his patients standing there. The patient had called round to pay the excess off on his private medical insurance policy.
Mrs. Consultant Surgeon was, understandably so, even LESS amused.
The next day my phone rang. I spoke with a very sheepish client. For months I’d been saying he should alter the address held by all the insurance companies with whom he was recognised. It should be changed to MHM’s address for correspondence and/or remittances – no charge in either case. But he was reluctant to do so as he wanted remittances and cheques to go straight to his home.
As a result, his patient knew where to send the payment. His patient also realised this was the Consultant’s home address.
The Consultant was suitably contrite as the very issue I had flagged as potentially happening had actually happened.
A patient had gone to his home address. For all the right reasons you could argue. Nonetheless, the consultant now saw the potential for an issue.
He was seriously unhappy about patients finding out where he lived.
Sadly this is not the first time, I’ve come across this. It’s not the insurance companies fault either.
When applying for recognition by a private medical insurance company it is advisable to quote a different address from your home address. It is standard practice at MHM when we take on a new client to amend the address for correspondence etc to Hilton Hall. It doesn’t cost anything.
If it is, for example, a request for more information from the client, we scan and email the document to them. When we receive a remittance from an insurance company we scan it and send it to the consultant anyway.
More likely we need it more than they for the simple reason it will contain, where applicable, notice of excess or shortfall and we have to action them anyway.
Make sure, however, if you do scan and send the document, it is password protected otherwise there is a risk you could fall foul of the Data Protection Act!
Cheques are received practically every single day at MHM. They are recorded on the client’s sales ledger, we take them to the appropriate bank and pay them straight into the client’s own bank account.
The other advantage of all this is that the client has LESS to deal with. Most MHM clients have more important things to do than process pieces of paper anyway.
It’s not that difficult to amend the correspondence address for a private medical professional. In fact, it took less than one hour to get this particular client’s details changed for ALL insurance companies.
Much better than having a patient ring your doorbell on Mothering Sunday – or any day for that matter.
But at least the private consultant’s Mother-In-Law stuck up for him apparently and that did make me smile.