I have to find out how we get our state representatives to propose legislation. I have a bit of an issue with doctors and medical insurance. Actually, I have lots of issues with doctors and medical insurance but those are more personal. This is one that affects everyone and I think we need a law.
When I go to any of my doctors, I pay before I even see the doctor. There are a couple who still have you pay on the way out, but more and more, you pay on the way in. They are not going to take the chance of being stiffed. And I don’t blame them for that. But when I hand over my Blue Cross card, the receptionist says I owe a $10 co-pay for an office visit. So I either hand over my $10 or debit card or write a check. So imagine my surprise when I got a bill for $95.00 for a doctor I saw recently. It was a referral by my general practitioner and the first time I had seen this doctor – and the last. It was the usual procedure, I checked in, I filled out paperwork, when I turned in my paperwork and my Blue Cross card, the receptionist asked for my $10.00 co-pay.
So why the $95.00 bill? Because this doctor charges $105.00 more than Blue Cross pays for an initial consult. So instead of $10.00, I now owe an additional $95.00. Now, I was not the first patient to see this doctor. He knows his fees are far in excess of the Blue Cross reimbursement to doctors. So why was I not told this up front? He figures I will pay it out of fear of ruining my credit. HA! That ship has sailed. Given the current economy, you would not think he would take that risk. Or perhaps the number who will be intimidated and pay it make it worth his while. If I had known in advance, I would not have seen him. I would have turned around and left.
I don’t know what type of fancy wording goes into a piece of legislation, but I want something that forces a doctor to disclose UP FRONT that his fees exceed the Blue Cross (or other carrier) reimbursement to physicians and you will have to pay more than the $10.00 co-pay indicated on your card. Seems fair to me. How about you? Why would any doctor object? Unless of course he figures there are enough suckers who will pay rather than ruin their credit, like the scum bag doctor I went to.