Is paying the "Global fee" upfront common practice in Georgia? — The Bump
Atlanta Babies

Is paying the "Global fee" upfront common practice in Georgia?

Hello, I'm new to the board and still pretty new to the state of Georgia and the way they do things down here.  I went for my first prenatal visit last week, and I'm supposed to go back to the doctor next week.  The doctor's office called me yesterday, stating that I would have to pay this global fee upfront, but when I spoke with the insurance company I was told they aren't billed until after I deliver the baby.  I have never heard of having to pay that type of money upfront, as I'm from New Jersey.  Is this a common practice in the state of Georgia?  Or should I just find another doctor?  I just want to make sure I'm not being taken advantage of.  (I wanted to deliver at Northside so my OB is at Atlanta Women's Specialists)

Re: Is paying the "Global fee" upfront common practice in Georgia?

  • So much of it depends on the practice and the insurance.  With my previous 2 pregnancies, I didn't have to pay anything up front but that was b/c of my insurance which was apparently much better than what we have now under DH's company.  I will be switching back to mine in January but even so, my Dr expects me to pay her portion of the delivery charges up front 3 mos before delivery.  Since I will actually have new insurance at the time of delivery and will have 100% coverage, this is irritating but I know I will get a refund after the birth so I'm just going with it.

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  • I do not have to pay a global fee. I have my deductible and paper work fee but that is it. I have BCBS of Ga for insurance. Not sure if that matters for not.
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  • Depends on the practice. Mine does not charge a fee up front, only the copay and paperwork fee.  Then they give us an estimate of charges for the delivery, but that isn't billed until it happens.

     
    EDD 1/8/10 - our sweet sunshine DD born 12/30/09
    EDD 2/15/14 - Stillbirth at 21 wks 10/02/13
    EDD 8/12/15 - MMC 1/12/15
    EDD 12/24/15

      
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  • I had the same experience as slwprincess with my last delivery. 
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  • I haven't even paid a copay this time around. Last time I paid a copay once and then my deductible after delivery. I would guess it has to do with the doctor and the insurance you have.
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  • I paid upfront but it wasn't until I was about 7 months pregnant.
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  • Thanks for your replies ladies.  Per my conversation with Blue Cross Blue Shield, I shouldn't be charged anything.  I guess I'll have to find a new doctor.
  • Northside Hospital makes you pay them prior to baby coming based on the estimated cost of the delivery.  If it ends up being less (based on then submitting to insurance after baby comes), you get $$ back.  Of course this depends on your deductible and insurance.  I don't know what a "global fee" is and I never paid my actual doctor until LO was born, but I did have to pay the hospital prior (and then the $$ I ended up getting reimbursed covered the anesthesiologist since I ended up having an unplanned c-section).

    If you do decide to change, look into OB/GYN of Atlanta.  They are right next to Northside and I've been really happy with them (I switched to them just before my 3rd trimester).
  • I haven't even paid a copay this time around. Last time I paid a copay once and then my deductible after delivery. I would guess it has to do with the doctor and the insurance you have.
    Weird, I just realized I didn't this time, either.  Yay?

     
    EDD 1/8/10 - our sweet sunshine DD born 12/30/09
    EDD 2/15/14 - Stillbirth at 21 wks 10/02/13
    EDD 8/12/15 - MMC 1/12/15
    EDD 12/24/15

      
    Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers 
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

     
  • My OB practice switched to this sometime between this and my last pregnancy. I confronted her about it because the office did a horrible job of handling/explaining it. She said they were having so many problems with insurance and/or patients not paying their bills that they had to switch to the upfront payment process. It sucks and they say you may get a refund depending on wha services you actually incur. They said that it is cheaper to bill the insurance company for the whole pregnancy and delivery rather than each visit, but they can't do that until after the delivery, so they take payment up front and then reimburse you after insurance pays them.
    I hate the insurance industry with a hot passion, so I'm sick of all of it. Ridiculous.
  • I go to AWS as do a lot of other women who have been on this board through the years. This didn't used to be their policy when I had my two children with them before. Mine are 5 and 1 now. They have always been good about insurance stuff with me. Before I only paid my first co-pay and then all other normal pregnancy treatment was covered. I did have some extra ultrasounds and tests that I had to pay extra co-pays for but that wasn't until those were actually performed. I would suggest calling and asking their billing department about it and see if you can work it out before finding a new practice. I have been very happy there for over 10 years and two births. I can assure you they are not scammers. It's worth a phone call if you have been happy with your care otherwise, IMO.
    Northside does want you to pay a portion of delivery 2-3 months before the birth, but i didn't because I knew I wasn't going to be charged anything for mine. It was covered 100% including my co-pay. It all worked out fine and they didn't give me a hard time about it. We also had great births at Northside with excellent post partum care from the nurses and staff.
    I hope this helps. Good luck with your baby!
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  • I had to pay estimated deductible to my dr's office upfront. And then got a bill for my estimated cost deductible from northside forsyth with my daughter. I paid the dr her fee upfront but didnt pay northside. They just sent me a bill after the baby was born.

    Same with this baby
  • what a coincidence! I go to the same OB and yes this is normal this will be my second delivery with them. My global fee consists of my $250 deductible and my $288 10% co-insurance totaling $538 I will have to pay next week but after that you will not have to pay anything else until after the baby is born. I'm from Jersey too by the way : )
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