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Forms R Us
I think I'll design a T-shirt or bumper sticker that says:
Will Fill Out Forms
I tend to like forensic work, even evaluating workers for risk of violence, at least as much as clinical work, for, among other things, the inherent ability to evade the constant stream of people -- often not the patient, and institutions, who demand that I fill out forms and sign agreements, usually unrelated to my role as physician.
I can hear the conversation in the human resources department now:
"Do we need this form filled out before we can send the retainer check?"
"Gee, I dunno. What kind of supplier is it?"
"I think he's a doctor."
"A doctor? Don't worry about it. Just tell him he has to fill out. Doctors always fill out whatever form you shove under their noses."
Regardless, yesterday a potential forensic client told me I would have to complete, in addition to the usual W-9, an "Approval" form, and a "Supplier Classification Form" before the local employer (my client) would cut a retainer check for me so we could schedule an independent examination of a worker who may pose a threat of violence.
As far as I can tell the only items I know are my address and phone number on this spreadsheet. I guess they're short-handed in the typing pool. Other items include: "Does this supplier have a relative working for [Company]?" and "Does this supplier h" [?]. My favorite: "What is the reason an existing supplier cannot be used?"
Supplier Classification Form
If you have not seen one of these, it consists only of a bunch of check box items where you indicate whether you are a small business, a large business, a "Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business" or any of several others. Since I'm a physician I thought maybe I should check "Small Disadvantaged Business." (I'm not sure which is worse: provider or supplier.)
But this is no joke. If I get it wrong, according to the "PENALTY" section I may face "fine, imprisonment, or both."
So let's look at the whole enchilada. I will be paid a reasonable fee to examine someone who may be dangerous, and who I may make even more dangerous, potentially to me or my family, if he doesn't like my determination. And add to that risk of fine or imprisonment for claiming I'm a small business when in fact a prosecutor might prove that I'm actually a HUBZone Certified Small Business. (I have no idea what that is.)
I think I'll pass.
You might correctly object that it is quite possible that these are well-meaning folk, just trying to make sure they keep out of trouble with all the gumment regulations, and have a physician and his malpractice carrier share the risk if the worker goes postal. That's fine. They -- and the gumment -- can do so to their hearts' content -- without me. Thank you very much.