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Question
Posted by: Susy | 2011/01/25

Psychiatrist charged fee to fill in chronic form

Hi CS!

I just want to know if it''s normal procedure for my psychiatrist to charge me R260 to fill in my chronic illness form? She didn''t tell me upfront &  then before i knew it R260 was paid out of my medical aid! Her accountant said it''s because it ''takes time to fill in the forms &  she has many to fill in" .

I fell pretty peeved about it &  feel she should have told me upfront when I asked her about the form. I probably could have filled most of it in myself in that case! This makes me feel a bit untrusting of her - and, as we all know, trust is the number 1 thing in a shrink-patient relationship.

What should I do? I feel embarassed to call her up and moan about it (plus she''s almost impossible to get hold of as she only works mornings these days (I guess if you charge R260 for a form you can afford to take the afternoon off), but I feel I should say something.
Any suggestions?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

This is not an area I currently work in, so I'm not sure what the norm is. I think it's considered acceptable for a doc to charge for filling in and signing a form - they should be aware of the patient's financial situation, though, and if you do all the filling in ( I suppose they'd need to check the details you supply, as they are professionally and legally responsible if there is misinformation, and the form is expressing their professional opinion ) and they're just signing it, I don't think any high fee is appropriate. I have never in my life charged for such signatures.

On the other hand, I do think a doc should inform you when there is a non-routine charge, so you know what to expect.

Why not calmly disuss it with her on your next visit ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: QQ | 2011/01/26

LOL yes and a signature!!

Reply to QQ
Posted by: Susy | 2011/01/25

Thanks guys - I feel a bit better now that I know it''s mostly the norm. For QQ: It''s almost funny that he charged R304-70. He could really have spared the 70. What is that - one sentence?

Reply to Susy
Posted by: Maria | 2011/01/25

My psychiatrist doesn''t charge. Call the receptionist and ask if you can get a discount.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Kate | 2011/01/25

Also the fact that it is billed to the medical aid I guess she felt that it wouldnt be a big issue. Whereas if you would be paying cash I''m sure she would have informed you before she even filled it out.Perhaps she thought you were aware of this charge too but still I guess she shouldve confirmed this with you.

Reply to Kate
Posted by: QQ | 2011/01/25

Last week my GP charged mr R304-70 to sign the cronic form which I filled in for him !!!!

Reply to QQ
Posted by: Kate | 2011/01/25

All doctors charge a fee for filling out a chronic application form.
They are allowed to charge this.
Yip R260 is alot to fill out a form but it is her time she is using to fill it out... Without her filling it out you wont get your meds approved.

Reply to Kate
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/01/25

This is not an area I currently work in, so I'm not sure what the norm is. I think it's considered acceptable for a doc to charge for filling in and signing a form - they should be aware of the patient's financial situation, though, and if you do all the filling in ( I suppose they'd need to check the details you supply, as they are professionally and legally responsible if there is misinformation, and the form is expressing their professional opinion ) and they're just signing it, I don't think any high fee is appropriate. I have never in my life charged for such signatures.

On the other hand, I do think a doc should inform you when there is a non-routine charge, so you know what to expect.

Why not calmly disuss it with her on your next visit ?

Reply to cybershrink

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