November 2012 Moms

Fees at OB's office, is this normal?

So, I'm a little annoyed with my ob practice. 

The other day, I was afraid that something was up with baby because he was not being very active, and he "failed" a kick count.  So, I figured I'd call the on-call number like they said to do.  Much to my surprise, the message says that non-emergency call-backs are subject to a $35 fee.  Even during normal business hours. I take it this is just a fee for calling you back.

Today, I called them about completing my FMLA paperwork. They told me it will be another $35 fee to complete the paperwork.  (The lady asked me if that was ok when she told me about the fee.  And, I was like, "do I have a choice?" Zing.)

They also have a $50 no-show fee if you just don't show up for an appointment.  This fee I totally get, and it applies to all their patients, not just us pregnants.

Neither of these fees are disclosed in the OB Patient Services Agreement I signed.  That document lists their fees for pre-natal care and a vaginal, c-section, or VBAC delivery.  Shouldn't calling me back and completing some paperwork be included in that?

Does your OB charge you random fees for things like these?

"A new baby is like the beginning of all things--wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities."


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Re: Fees at OB's office, is this normal?

  • My practice does not do this, but that doesn't mean it isn't a valid business choice your OB has made. It's a business and they are trying to make money. Personally, at this point, I'd just move forward, but after the birth of the LO, I'd find a new practice. That's just me though. I always get paperwork filled out, etc. at my appointments. No reason to make a separate call. There is an argument to be made that a failed kick count could potentially count as an "emergency" service. There is ZERO reason why you can't get paperwork handled at a prescheduled appointment. KWIM? 
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    AngelSmitty: This reminds me of something my college Human Sexuality professor used to say in class.  "Sex is between the legs.  Gender is between the ears."
  • I have heard some women say their doctors charge for the emergency line. However, I have never heard of a fee for the FMLA papers. Weird. My doctor hasn't charged me for anything so I am not quite sure what is normal and what's not.
  • I just got an email from my OB showing that I had a $10 invoice... it was for my FMLA paperwork too.  I thought it was kind of weird too, but I just paid it.
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  • My office charges $5 per form filled out so I had to pay $10 total for FMLA and short term disability.  I didn't really think it was weird, just sucks cause we're paying so much already.

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  • I had to pay for my FMLA paper work as well. I thought it was really odd, but I guess it?s somewhat normal. The $35 emergency call back seems really ridiculous! I would think that would prevent some people from calling. That?s a new one for me.

     

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  • I had to pay $25 for my FMLA paperwork.  I don't know if they charge for the on-call doctor to call me back.  I usually just leave a message for my dr.'s nurse and she returns my phone call.

    Random fees suck. :( 


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  • image MandJS:
    My practice does not do this, but that doesn't mean it isn't a valid business choice your OB has made. It's a business and they are trying to make money. Personally, at this point, I'd just move forward, but after the birth of the LO, I'd find a new practice. That's just me though. I always get paperwork filled out, etc. at my appointments. No reason to make a separate call. There is an argument to be made that a failed kick count could potentially count as an "emergency" service. There is ZERO reason why you can't get paperwork handled at a prescheduled appointment. KWIM? 
      I totally hear you. 

    I asked, and the fee is the same if you give it to them at an appointment.  I get the impression this lady I talked to actaully fills it out and just gets a dr to sign it...

    "A new baby is like the beginning of all things--wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities."


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  • While those aren't normal fees at my practice, there is a sign at my Pedi's office that is $5 or $10 (can't remember) for forms to be filled out (I assume things for school, etc.) So I think extra paper work charges are custom, but $35 seems high.

    I would definitely think it should be included in the document that you got listing out all the fees (mine doesn't even do that but maybe it's because my insurance covers 100% after one $20 copay, so I'm not sure). 

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  • I have to pay a $20 fee for my FMLA paperwork to be filled out. I thought that was a little ridiculous but I wouldn't be happy if they charged me for calls too. I had to call in to the doctor a lot in my first rimester because I was so sick and most of the time they had me come in.
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  • So far I haven't encountered anything like that, but I did have to pay a general fee at the beginning of my pregnancy.  It think it was $40 or $50 and they called it a pregnancy paperwork fee or some such thing.  I guess it's my office's catch all fee for all the extra little stuff that goes with a pregnancy.
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  • No fees here...... I just have a co-pay for office visits.  I have the same OB I had with #1 and was never charged to fill out paperwork, return calls, have the on-call OB call me back, etc. 
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  • My doctor laughed when I asked about a fee for my disability paperwork.  She said it would take her 2 minutes and she preferred to do it while I was there so I could fax it and had original copies.

     She also encourages me to call her nurse or email any non urgent questions.  The one time I called the nurse at the end of business day my doctor called me to say she just wanted to ensure all questions were answered prior to leaving for the weekend.

     

    I understand why some facilities have some fees but I truly feel it is to make up the cost of those not paying on their care bills and sadly comes back for us to take care of. 

  • Mine has a 10 fee for completing paperwork. There's also s 25 fee for non emergency calls after hours, but a staff member told me that only applies to those who are not pregnant.
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