"Many of our patients are wanting to wait until after the first of the year to be seen, or to fill their prescriptions, so that these charges can go towards deductible obligations in 2009," he said.
Not all of the December rush, or lull, revolves around money. Doctors also attribute the December boom to patients taking advantage of holiday vacation time to see a doctor without missing work, or college kids holding out for appointments with their family doctors back home.
Dr. Arvind Goyal, chairman of the Family Medicine Department at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Ill., has seen more requests from small business owners and people who work in retail this December.
"People who are in business for themselves, who don't normally have time," said Goyal. But with the shrinking economy, they have less business and more free time.
Yet, Goyal said at least some of the December rush for office visits comes from good intentions.
"I myself have had in my practice more requests for surgery, for colonoscopies, for other types of services," said Goyal
"They say, 'Hey doc, I know you've been wanting me to get this done, I can do it if you schedule me at the end of the year,'" said Goyal, who added patients like to get an early start on healthy New Year's resolutions.
"The end of the year does put some additional (healthy) targets in people's minds," he said.