Patients rush to doctor prior to year’s end

Patients rush to doctor prior to year's end (Image 1)

The end of the year has many Tennesseans rushing to their doctor's offices.

December is the busiest time of the year, according to some physicians.

It's when doctor's offices, eye clinics, dental practices and pharmacies see an uptick in patients trying to make the most of medical plans before the end of the year.

“There are a lot of insurance deductibles that expire at the end of the year so many times people have met their deductibles through various medical expenses,” said Dr. Donald Patterson with TriStar Medical Group.

Some of the other reasons range from economic worries, insurance changes, time off work and last ditch efforts to make good on New Year's promises.

Doctors also anticipate an increase in elective surgeries during the month of December.

“A lot of scheduled elective procedures that we typically don't think of as being urgent but there becomes a rush because people want to squeeze them in for financial reasons,” said Dr. Patterson.

Many patients opt to have such procedures when family members also have time off work and can care for them.

Doctors say things tend to slow down at offices in January when people have to pay for services out of their own pockets.

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