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ManuCH
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Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:26 am

So it appears that I will soon be joining the crowd of people loving frivolous lawsuits.

I recently had to consult a dermatologist. I am a person who believes in treating me by myself whenever possible, but for some prescription medicines you need a doctor. That's how it works. So, after getting my diagnosis (which was in line with what I diagnosed myself) and receiving my prescription, I went ahead and cured myself. I even went to said dermatologist for 2 follow-ups to get more prescription.

At a certain point, I considered myself to be cured (or at least I was satisfied with the outcome). So I called the dermatologist's office to cancel my last follow-up appointment. The lady instantly transferred me to the dermatologist on the phone (as opposed to just canceling my appointment), I didn't even have a choice. The dermatologist said that it's a pity I didn't want to follow up, and to make sure to call her again in case the symptoms should show up again. Great.

And guess what? I received a $16 bill for the phone call. Yes, the fact of having talked to the dermatologist who told me to call her back in case my symptoms return (a matter of 30 seconds), cost me $16. Is she kidding me?

I went to her office (which happens to be 2 floors above my office) to complain. She didn't even come out to talk to me. Instead, her assistant acted as a proxy, and told me the following: "Sir, this is our standard procedure, it's the doctor who decides if someone is cured, the patient can't do this himself. If someone calls to cancel an appointment, we always transfer the call to the doctor, and she will then give the patient further advice". Yeah right - but I pay for a service I didn't request.

This is the key of my issue: I did *not* ask to talk to the doctor. I did *not* sign a contract where it says the doctor can give me her opinions and bill them. I wanted to cancel an appointment (and I was well in advance, not within the timeframe where you are billed for the no-show). I was transferred anyway, and I was billed $16 for a service I didn't request.

My friends are telling me to "be superior" and drop the story. But this is a matter of principle (of course I don't care about the $16 per se). If she does this to every patient, she's making a lot of money in services that were not requested, and maybe not even provided. This increases health care costs, which is one of the leading issues in this country. If I can do something do state an example, I will do it.

My idea is to send her a letter to give her a last chance to refund the $16. If she doesn't, my complaint will escalate to the regional medical supervision authority, and even further if necessary. I reckon that my time will cost more than $16, but that's not the point.

What would you do? Just drop it? Have you experienced similar things before?
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:36 am

I'd contest it too. These people never like bad publicity, if she's got any sense she'll want to avoid having her name appear in legal documents.
 
fridgmus
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:17 pm

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 1):
I'd contest it too. These people never like bad publicity, if she's got any sense she'll want to avoid having her name appear in legal documents.

Manu,

I totally agree with PlymSpotter. As soon as doctors realize that they can't get away with frivolous charges like this, then maybe things like this will stop happening.

I don't mean to single out doctors or any one profession, but these small totally frivolous fees infect many different businesses (I hate ATM fees myself!).
 
PanHAM
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:17 pm

They are worse than lawyers. The old joke when a man asked a lawyer "can I ask you 2 questions" and the answer was yup, what's the other one?

Happened to me 30 years ago when I was billed DM 10,00 for a phone call to a doctor. I've never seen a quack since.
 
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LTU932
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:53 pm

16 Dollars for a phone call? I'd contest that as well, definitely. And yet, doctors here in Germany are complaining about their income, when they already make tons of money, despite the fact that public health insurance companies are making constant losses.

I only go to the doctor when I absolutely have to. I did so in Costa Rica, and I'll do it again here in Germany.
 
MingToo
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:11 pm

Do it. I hate stuff like this. They do it precisely because they know most people can't be bothered to spend the time to complain.

You'll be making the world a better place.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:21 pm

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 4):
16 Dollars for a phone call? I

DM 10,00 in the 70s was moe than US$ 16,00 today. In Germany they can bill that to private insured patients only. The others get freebies, that's why the crowd goes and sees a doctor when they sneezed twice and that again is why the system collapses. Without the private patients, who pay doctors what it costs, the system would have collapsed already..
 
Flighty
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:07 pm

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 1):
I'd contest it too. These people never like bad publicity

And, medical billing is ALWAYS ENTIRELY negotiable. Health insurance often deny payment for medical visits just because they enjoy plying the waters of deceit and negligence. It isn't just ok to contest unfair billings, it is wise.

Or, another option for OP is, send the bill to your insurance. If you are insured, you should not be paying medical bills. See if your insurance claims department wants to pay that $16. If you are insured then it's not your problem. I agree with you, these principles are well worth the effort to explore. Health care is swollen with money, much of it ill-gotten.

[Edited 2010-07-20 07:08:50]
 
Numero4
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:16 pm

Hi,

It seems to me you people are dealing with this just like anything else "goods"-related, such as a car fixup, buying furniture, etc.

The bottom line is that this guy's health is the reason for all of this to be happening. The OP didn't state any details so I don't know, but say there's a similar situation happening with someone else and the skin condition turned out to be a developing melanoma (malignant skin cancer). Say the person does not realize how grave the situation is and calls the secretary to cancel the appointment (for whatever reason). Surely the dermatologist *has* to grab the telephone to the patient and discuss how dangerous this condition can be and this happens for 2 reasons:
- Because that's how medicine should be practiced
- Unfortunately, to protect themselves against lawsuits

Can you imagine a Doctor not even talking to a patient who has a skin cancer and who cancels an appointment and that patient dies of this very condition? It has happened in the past in America (and elsewhere I'm sure): million-dollar lawsuit by the family against the Doctor for not having even *talked* to the patient with skin cancer wanting to cancel his/her appointment. And the basis of the lawsuit would be: unproper practice of medicine.

I think this is one of the reasons why the doctor always has to talk to the patient regardless of the condition when he/she decides the appointments are over.

Now, again, I will state again that I have no idea what the OP's condition is (and I think it is completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand). I am just saying that health care systems, be they private of public, always has to deal with the fear of the lawsuits on top of everything else.

Now back to the case at hand, I say that it does sound a little too much and it *could* have been done as a freebie. But keep in mind that the Dermatologist probably has a $80/hour rent to pay on top of his nurses' and his secretary's salaries. He also has to buy a $200,000 insurance against lawsuits every year. So I think he is entitled to charge you $16 for a call he maybe took the time to have in the middle of another appointment in order to tell you he is the doctor and he knows when to call a condition cured.
 
sw733
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:19 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
for some prescription medicines you need a doctor

You clearly don't know the right people...
 
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ManuCH
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:01 pm

Quoting sw733 (Reply 9):
Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
for some prescription medicines you need a doctor

You clearly don't know the right people...

Point taken   I wanted to go the "correct route". When matters get serious, I do know the right people, and I don't need a prescription. I simply tried the "well behaved citizen" route - and that's what I got. $500, and then $16 for a phone call.

Quoting Numero4 (Reply 8):
The OP didn't state any details so I don't know

It's something completely benign that can never be life threatening.

Quoting Numero4 (Reply 8):
Surely the dermatologist *has* to grab the telephone to the patient and discuss how dangerous this condition can be and this happens for 2 reasons:
- Because that's how medicine should be practiced
- Unfortunately, to protect themselves against lawsuits

I agree. But if the doctor wants to do this, he should do it as a freebie. It's his choice to protect himself against lawsuits. And yes, it's also his choice if he wants to be "a good doctor". I shouldn't pay for this if I didn't ask him. In my job, we also follow up to customers to check if their DSL subscription is working well. If we sent a $16 bill for this follow up, we would be with 0 customers within 10 milliseconds.

Yes, I talk about this dermatologist visit like something "goods"-related. For me, consulting a doctor is just like buying a car - unless I'm dying. But when I elect to visit a doctor because I think it might be a good idea (as opposed to "I'm laying on the floor bleeding or needing a CPR") I am asking for the doctor's service. I hate it when doctors have the "I'm the MD, you're ignorant" attitude. While it's true that I don't have a medical qualification, I am still boss of myself as far as my body is concerned. That's what I mean when I say that I'm asking for a doctor's "service" - just as I would consult a car mechanic. I am the one deciding what I want to be done, and I'm asking for the doctor's advice to decide which is the best route to follow.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 7):
Or, another option for OP is, send the bill to your insurance. If you are insured, you should not be paying medical bills. See if your insurance claims department wants to pay that $16.

I am insured, but I chose a $2500 exemption per year, in order to pay a reduced premium (my full health care insurance worldwide in private hospital rooms costs me about $210/month). This means my insurance never even sees the bill unless I have to go to the hospital (which thankfully never happened to me so far).
My point is that if I didn't have such a high exemption (like most people), I wouldn't even have looked at the bill, and the insurance would have paid (because $16 for a phone call is a standard tariff, if the call actually has a medical content - my objection is about the fact that the call was not requested by me). And that's exactly what causes high health care costs: people don't look at the bills, insurance pays, and at the end we're still the ones paying, in a way or another.
 
Sabena332
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:18 pm

An eye specialist demanded 1.10 German Mark from me many years ago because he had to send a letter with my examination results to the HR department of the hospital where I served my civil service. Needless to say that I laughed in his face before leaving his place. One of his medical secretaries called me a few days later to remind me that I still have to pay 1.10 Mark. I told her that I won't pay it, that her boss is a fucking moron and that she should not call me again. Case closed, I never heard again from this idiot or his helpers!

Patrick
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:42 pm

Well I say go for it... unless all the time and effort to get your $16 back exceeds $16  

[Edited 2010-07-20 08:43:16]
 
sw733
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:46 pm

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 11):
An eye specialist demanded 1.10 German Mark from me many years ago because he had to send a letter with my examination results to the HR department of the hospital where I served my civil service. Needless to say that I laughed in his face before leaving his place. One of his medical secretaries called me a few days later to remind me that I still have to pay 1.10 Mark. I told her that I won't pay it, that her boss is a fucking moron and that she should not call me again. Case closed, I never heard again from this idiot or his helpers!

You should go back now with some old Marks and see if they'll take them as a final "Screw You"
 
N1120A
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:12 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
So it appears that I will soon be joining the crowd of people loving frivolous lawsuits.

I wouldn't sue over this, but writing the local medical board and/or better business bureau (or local equivalent) might be a good idea.
 
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Aeroflot777
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:29 pm

Quoting MingToo (Reply 5):
Do it. I hate stuff like this. They do it precisely because they know most people can't be bothered to spend the time to complain.

Exactly. I say go for it. They screwed you over - and they need to know about it. Most people are so passive nowadays that they just accept charges like this, pay them off, just because they are too lazy to voice their opinions and concerns. I'm the exact opposite. I do not let charges slide by. I'm the controller of my income, and am definitely the one who monitors my incomes distribution for bills as such. I'm not about to be giving anyone free money. Sure, I don't necessarily care about 10$ here or 20$ there if it happens every once in a while - but it's not about that. Companies are trying to wiggle their tails and be so sly just to get an extra cent. Unfortunately people allow them to do so most of the time. Manu, go get em.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 14):
I wouldn't sue over this, but writing the local medical board and/or better business bureau (or local equivalent) might be a good idea.

Or just go straight to the media! jk
 
Numero4
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:42 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 10):
Yes, I talk about this dermatologist visit like something "goods"-related. For me, consulting a doctor is just like buying a car - unless I'm dying. But when I elect to visit a doctor because I think it might be a good idea (as opposed to "I'm laying on the floor bleeding or needing a CPR") I am asking for the doctor's service.

I completely understand this point of view, and it illustrates the difficulty of practicing medicine in the modern capitalistic world. On one hand the health care specialists have to offer a service in line with a human point of view, that is to care for their patients' health. On the other hand, they have to earn their life doing it. You can see there is a line here where the care stops where the money stops coming in, but it doesn't have to always be at the same place depending on the cases.

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 10):
But if the doctor wants to do this, he should do it as a freebie.

While I do not condemn this dermatologist's way of doing business, I personally wouldn't have charged for it. In the pharmacy business we don't charge patients for medical advice even though we could. That way people are satisfied and keep coming back.

In my opinion, the dermatologist was entitled to charge you $16 even though it's a gray area. If you decide to go ahead with legal procedures, maybe in the future the doctor will have to clearly "warn" their patients of everything that will be charged including a phone call to cancel an appointment.

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 10):
It's something completely benign that can never be life threatening.

Again I will state that it is irrelevant in this case. Life-threatening or not, every condition needs to be assessed and treated when a patient comes for a consultation. Loss of quality of life is frequent even with non life-threatening conditions when they are left untreated. Furthermore, lawsuits seeking high amounts of indemnitied have been numerous in the past on the basis of loss of quality of life.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:32 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):

What would you do? Just drop it? Have you experienced similar things before?

In the U.S. each state had a medical board. I'm assuming Switzerland has a similar authority. I'd file the complaint with them.

Quoting Numero4 (Reply 16):

While I do not condemn this dermatologist's way of doing business, I personally wouldn't have charged for it. In the pharmacy business we don't charge patients for medical advice even though we could. That way people are satisfied and keep coming back.

I do bill for phone calls when the patient wants a call back. I do not bill for when I speak to the patient unsolicited. That's like the guy washing your windows at the stop light and then wanting to be paid for it when you didn't want him to do it. It's actually theft to force someone to pay for a service they did not request.
 
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Aesma
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:56 pm

To the OP : you talk of $$ so I guess this happened in the US ?

You were billed 16$, but did you pay ?

Quoting Numero4 (Reply 8):
He also has to buy a $200,000 insurance against lawsuits every year.
Quoting Numero4 (Reply 16):
Furthermore, lawsuits seeking high amounts of indemnities have been numerous in the past on the basis of loss of quality of life.

It seems to me that part of the problem is the lawsuit happiness of the US, so maybe a lawsuit would be the best way to handle things, or maybe it would just help this craziness continuing.

Personally my doctor would be quite happy if I called her, I haven't seen her in years ^^ Sometimes she makes prescriptions for free !
 
Sabena332
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:03 pm

Quoting sw733 (Reply 13):
You should go back now with some old Marks and see if they'll take them as a final "Screw You"

The guy's practice went out of business two years or so ago. The reason: Most of his patients switched to another eye specialist because the guy was way too unfriendly (no joke).

Patrick
 
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fr8mech
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:35 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 14):
I wouldn't sue over this, but writing the local medical board and/or better business bureau (or local equivalent) might be a good idea.

Make sure you copy the doctor and the doctor's partners (if any) in the complaint. I'd hold off on alerting the media until unless it gets really messy.

Quoting Numero4 (Reply 16):
In my opinion, the dermatologist was entitled to charge you $16 even though it's a gray area.

Nope, I don't think so. Though the doctor is entitled to cherge for her time, the patient did not ask to speak to the doctor, nor was told that speaking to the doctor would result in a fee.

You wouldn't accept this in other industries, why in a doctor's office?
 
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ManuCH
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:46 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 18):
To the OP : you talk of $$ so I guess this happened in the US ?

You were billed 16$, but did you pay ?

I just converted it in US$, but I was charged in Swiss Francs. This happened in Switzerland.

I was billed the $16 along with other (legitimate) charges, so I will have to pay the bill. If I don't, there will be a legal procedure against me for lack of payment. A complaint to the medical board doesn't "freeze" the amount due, so I prefer to go ahead and pay, then complain and get the money back. Otherwise it could get nasty real fast, and a lawyer would be needed - which I really wouldn't want to.
 
mdsh00
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:45 am

Manu,

This happened in the US? If so I am pretty surprised because that often time is not usually how it is. Most of the time doctors here will NOT charge if speaking to you over the phone. If it requries

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 21):
I just converted it in US$, but I was charged in Swiss Francs. This happened in Switzerland.

I was billed the $16 along with other (legitimate) charges, so I will have to pay the bill. If I don't, there will be a legal procedure against me for lack of payment. A complaint to the medical board doesn't "freeze" the amount due, so I prefer to go ahead and pay, then complain and get the money back. Otherwise it could get nasty real fast, and a lawyer would be needed - which I really wouldn't want to.

I am actually surprised by this. As a resident I see many of the private attendings that I interact with them and they do not charge if they are called on the phone by a patient with an urgent question, especially if they are the ones making the call to the patient. Many of these attendings are also called in the evening during dinnertime from labs reporting abnormal values (because they don't want to be liable).

That being said, they tell me of some patients who "urgently" page their doctor in the middle of the night for things like "I can't sleep, what should I do?" THAT is not acceptable.
 
Ken777
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:00 am

My first thought was the old saying that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. Smart doctors here stay out of the business of taking medical care of their families and they even (too infrequently) go see a doctor themselves.

So you wanted a doctor to give you a Rx because it's illegal for you to have the medicine without a doctor evaluating your situation? While it appears you were correct in your guess there might have been other issues that you didn't notice, not give the Doc a chance to consider. That's your problem.

As for the DOc, it appears that they have procedures that they follow. You varied from that procedure or protocol - your right. But the Doc has an equal right to then follow a basic protocol to close out your file. Their right. And billing related to that close out protocol is not unusual.

Overall I think you should be happy if your medical problems are limited to "your diagnosis efforts" and consider the total billing form the doctor as the fee for their participating in your efforts for a Rx.

I would also use care in "going after" the doctor as she can then very reasonably let the doctors in the community know that you are a problem patient who insists on diagnosing your own conditions and will call in the lawyers if you're not happy with your protocols.

You's loose more than your $16 down the road.
 
Numero4
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:02 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 18):
It seems to me that part of the problem is the lawsuit happiness of the US

The lawsuit craziness may have started in the US, but nowadays it is common in many other places.

My opinion is that the ultimate source of this kind of practice may paradoxically be the lawsuits. Ironically, it is on the verge of sparking another one.

The fact that the practice of medicine (or pharmacy) has gotten "defensive" is sad.

I thought about this case today and changed my mind a little. I think you are taking the right decision: pay the $16 and file a complaint. She was right in grabbing the phone and talking to you, but she was wrong in charging you for it.
 
Flighty
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:40 am

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 10):
I am insured, but I chose a $2500 exemption per year, in order to pay a reduced premium (my full health care insurance worldwide in private hospital rooms costs me about $210/month). This means my insurance never even sees the bill unless I have to go to the hospital (which thankfully never happened to me so far).
My point is that if I didn't have such a high exemption (like most people), I wouldn't even have looked at the bill, and the insurance would have paid (because $16 for a phone call is a standard tariff, if the call actually has a medical content - my objection is about the fact that the call was not requested by me). And that's exactly what causes high health care costs: people don't look at the bills, insurance pays, and at the end we're still the ones paying, in a way or another.

OK, so you are in the cash market for routine care. Many people are these days. I think it's a little bit horrible, because it discourages routine care. But, the good aspect is that a cash medical environment (with reasonable costs) is being created by and for people like you. This is why your question has a wider interest. A million people have the same confusing problem.
 
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ManuCH
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Wed Jul 21, 2010 5:49 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 25):
OK, so you are in the cash market for routine care. Many people are these days. I think it's a little bit horrible, because it discourages routine care.

Actually, I have a doctor I fully trust for "routine care", and where I don't just go hunting for an RX. Unfortunately said doctor is no dermatology specialist, so I had to go looking for another one, to make sure my idea was right.

And it's funny, because the doctor I trust has my same philosophy: the non-emergency, non-life-threatened patient is actually a client/customer, and asks his doctor for services. The doctor is there to discuss the ideas, and to explain things. But at the end of the day, it's the customer who decides what path to follow to get well. He also says that if more people informed themselves on medical issues and tried to self-cure minor occurrences, it would be much better, and health care costs would drop dramatically. Once he went as far as saying "Half of the people who came seeing me today would have been better off staying at home" (it was flu season). He also encourages self-diagnosis before visiting him, and to tell him what you came up with. "It may bring up interesting arguments that I may not have thought of - I'm not infallible, after all". Kudos to him.

That guy I respect. The dermatologist, not as much. Her attitude was unacceptable in my view. She's the old school "I'm the doc, you're ignorant" lady, as I said before - and no, I didn't come to her office with an attitude myself. I wanted to go the "good patient" route. But when I started feeling treated like an object, I chose to just take whatever is necessary and call it a day (although I even followed up - twice). Again, I want to be on an equal level with the doc (on a verbal basis), and *discuss* things with him. It's all about psychology.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 23):
Overall I think you should be happy if your medical problems are limited to "your diagnosis efforts" and consider the total billing form the doctor as the fee for their participating in your efforts for a Rx.

We have a law dictating standard medical tariffs in Switzerland. If there was a fee called "Closing the account because the patient is canceling" for $16, I'd pay it. But she's just charging for a random phone call that I didn't ask for. It's a matter of principle.
 
idealstandard
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:31 am

Yes it is a matter of principle. Go for it. Set an example.

REply back here with any updates?
 
JJJ
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:32 am

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 21):

I was billed the $16 along with other (legitimate) charges, so I will have to pay the bill. If I don't, there will be a legal procedure against me for lack of payment. A complaint to the medical board doesn't "freeze" the amount due, so I prefer to go ahead and pay, then complain and get the money back. Otherwise it could get nasty real fast, and a lawyer would be needed - which I really wouldn't want to.

Pay the total amount of the bill minus 16$, and send them a letter along with the payment that you don't agree with the 16$ charge for an unsolicited service.

They'll get the message and whatever they do to claim you that amount will cost them more than 16$.
 
Ken777
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:36 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 26):
We have a law dictating standard medical tariffs in Switzerland. If there was a fee called "Closing the account because the patient is canceling" for $16, I'd pay it. But she's just charging for a random phone call that I didn't ask for. It's a matter of principle.

And the Doctor may consider it a part of her protocols. Basically you didn't hang up when the doctor came on the phone. How much of a conversation did you have? Would the Doctor consider her conversation with you a professional discussion?

There are a lot of doctors in this world who provide free care to the poor. If you don't have the money ask her office to forgive the debt. Push hard and the office will probably write your "huge bill" based on them considering you some kind of nut.. Not that bad a situation as you've already decided that you'll not go back to that doc.
 
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Aeroflot777
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:49 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 29):
If you don't have the money ask her office to forgive the debt.

I highly doubt that's the case. $16 dollars isn't a lot in the grand scheme of things. This is more a question of principle... and the ability of offices thinking they can do as they please.
 
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ManuCH
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Wed Jul 21, 2010 5:09 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 29):
Basically you didn't hang up when the doctor came on the phone.

I am polite. I don't hang up the phone without saying "goodbye" first...

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 29):
How much of a conversation did you have? Would the Doctor consider her conversation with you a professional discussion?

Yes, the doctor would consider her conversation a professional discussion, as she gave me the advice to call her back should the symptoms reappear. Fact is, I didn't ask for said conversation to take place. Thus she is not allowed to bill it to me.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 29):
If you don't have the money ask her office to forgive the debt.

That's definitely not the point.
 
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:20 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 31):
That's definitely not the point.

The problem (issue) is your principles -v- the doctors protocols.

Since you obviously will never go back to her, or her close associates, tell them to stuff it.

Personally I believing keeping some of my associates happy. Like my lawyer, my doctor and my banker.

For you? Do what you want. For $16 I think the Doc will let you strut around on your principles. I know I would, but I'd also put the black mark by your name to avoid dealing with you in the future.
 
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ManuCH
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RE: Dermatologist Bills An Unwanted Phone Call

Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:15 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 32):
Personally I believing keeping some of my associates happy. Like my lawyer, my doctor and my banker.

For you? Do what you want. For $16 I think the Doc will let you strut around on your principles. I know I would, but I'd also put the black mark by your name to avoid dealing with you in the future.

I also believe in keeping some of my associates happy. This is absolutely the first time I'm even thinking of doing something like that. She doesn't have any close associates, she's an independent doc. I have talked to friends in town and several of them have had the same problem, and most aren't returning (mainly because of her attitude and because of her random billing). The more I hear of her, the more I'm sure I'm going forward with this.

I'll keep you updated. Thank you for your advice so far!

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