Recently, I had a biopsy, possible cancer. When the procedure was finished, they scheduled me for a follow up appointment. I asked them, if I'm clear, why do I have to come back--can't they tell me over the phone? They said no, it's part of the procedure. I went back today. A nurse practitioner saw me, and went over the results-no cancer. I asked again, why did I have to drive 40 miles round trip to see a dr.to tell me, I have no cancer(or any other problem). Then she explained that although they took 16 different tissue samples, it is possible they missed something. So I asked: "am I cancer free, or is it I'm cancer free-more or less? At that point I got up and walked out of the office, and she followed me out, even through the waiting room, asking me if I had more questions. When I got home, there was a message from the Dr. himself, explaining to me exactly the same stuff the nurse did. What happened to the "we can't tell you over the phone" crap? Do you folks think I should pay the bill, or tell them to stick it up their asses? I thought the biopsy was to find out if I had cancer. It looks like the biopsy is to tell the Dr., and the extra hundred bucks(office call)is for him to tell me the results. Go figure
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I can't tell you what to do regarding your bill, but I can tell you that when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my doctor gave me the news over the phone. She had attempted to call me at home the day before and left a message for me to call her back, which I did the following day.
However, I can also see why some doctors might not want to risk violating HIPAA. In my case, I think it was a matter of my doctor wanting me to hear the news from her, rather than from a radiologist I didn't know.
Did you actually receive a bill? Or are you just assuming that you will?
A biopsy is classified as a surgical procedure. Generally, surgical procedures are paid based on a case rate, and the reimbursement for the surgery includes the follow-up visit.
I can't tell you for 100% certain without knowing what type of insurance you have. (There's a miniscule chance that your company doesn't pay surgeries on a case rate, even though that's not the "norm.")
However, in general, surgical follow-up visits actually cost the doctor money. Since they don't get paid anything additional on top of the case rate, but still have the expense of seeing you. Making you come in isn't a ploy for the doctor's office to get extra money.
They told me I was getting billed. My insurance pays NO office calls, but is real good with procedures. So this is costing me money, not the Dr. I can see if there was trouble, not wanting to hear about it from a technician--but if a homeless person told me I didn't have cancer it would be fine with me. Does anyone know if you have a biopsy, and it shows cancer(or any other potentially fatal disease), isn't the Dr. obligated to tell you, even if you can't afford the price of an office call to hear the news?
I can see if you test positive, them wanting to have you come in, but not if there is no problem. IMO, that's fraud.
Its not considered an office call. Its considered a follow-up visit to surgery.
Yes, it happens to be in the office, but its not the same thing as an "office visit."
And 99.9999999% of people would not owe anything for the follow-up visit after the surgery, because the doctor's reimbursement is included in the case rate for the surgery.
Sounds like you need to find a new doctor, pronto...just for your own comfort level.
My blood pressure would be through the roof waiting for the results of a biopsy--then to feel like you were misled during this stressful time must suck.
My doctor (or his head nurse) has always given me test results via phone. Can't speak for everyone else's. Granted my tests are just the run of the mill cholesterol and blood work stuff, not biopsies.
The visit was not a follow up to surgery because the biopsy was done by a radiologist not the ordering physician. I'm not going to go into if it was right or wrong to go to office to review biopsy findings, but I can tell you that most people have no concept of the liability issues involved with running a physician practice. Finding out over the phone or in person is really doctor discretion, and how well they know that patient.
I had fine-needle aspiration a few years ago and they just called me to let me know I was all clear. I don't understand why they would have made you come in.
Trixanne already hit on what I was going to say, which was that I've never had a follow-up visit after a biopsy.
Now, I have had a follow-up visit after surgery and I was not charged for that visit.
Also, my surgeon did not require me to come into the office to discuss my lymph node biopsy results, which was done during my surgery. She called me at home and went over the results with me and then mailed me a copy of the report for my records. I was not billed for that either.
I think they are taking the HIPAA thing a little too far. If they have your permission to leave a message on your answering machine, or with someone else in your family, that's good enuff to cover them, they just need to document it. As mom2 said, the follow-up is usually included in the original surgery bill (global), so it sounds like they didn't know whether they would have to give you bad news or not and wanted to do it in person, if necessary. If they bill you and you don't want to pay it, don't pay it, it's your choice and you deal with the consequences...they may just write it off or they may send it to collection, every office is different. Glad it wasn't cancer, man, melanoma is one of the worst news to have to give someone.
When I got home, there was a message from the Dr. himself...
Which pretty much sinks the HIPAA violations theory. This is about billing. Medical billing is part logic and part voodoo. If all the steps in certain procedures aren't followed, the sawbones doesn't get his simoleons. If that happens often enough, your croaker will start missing car payments and his mistress will become unhappy. Then he'll be thinking about cute little Brandy and what he's going to have to spend to keep her hot and happy when he should be thinking about the patient on the go to Jesus cart, and maybe lose a patient and get sued, and his malpractice insurance premiums will skyrocket right into orbit. Brandy will get pissed off and call the blood sucking wife, who'll divorce him and become the blood sucking ex-wife and will get a nice, fat alimony settlement along with child support that would easily support a normal family of five. For each child.
You see all the misery your complaints are causing?
It's about the payoff, Wolf. Believe it. You can contest it or refuse to pay it and not much will happen, especially if you raise hell about not needing to see the doctor. Worse case is that you mention the 'M' word (malpractice) and threaten to turn the whole thing over to your insurance company.
And, by the way, the reason it's costing you a Franklin to see this pill pusher is because your health insurance is paying for it. Trust me, if not for health insurance medical costs would be a lot lower.
Even though I don't like you, I'm glad you don't have cancer. A good friend of mine survived leukemia and the cure was almost as bad as the disease. He's in remission and been there for years, but the clock is ticking. I wouldn't wish cancer on anyone.
I had a similar situation, my other half had an MRI for his knee, and the nurse set up a follow up appt. At the time of the appoiment i called the office and told then we couldn't make it,and to talk to me over the phone. she tried to tell me that she couldn't talk to me but only my husband when i finally explained to her my husband signed a document that said i could be told anything. Finally the PA came on the line. he was very nice and read me the results with no problems.
Madjack, I don't like you, eye-thir. But, in this one particular instance, I do agree with what you said. In this case, my primary dr. called me, to tell me I needed to see a specialist, because of a bad test result. I didn't have to see her in person to get the results. I should have known I might be in for a ride when I met the specialist--who was wearing silk pants, and shoes that probably cost more than a new PC. Don't get me wrong-I hope the guy makes all the bucks he can, he worked hard enough earning his degree. But, this, IMO, is going too far.
Here's what happened. BC/BS told me I'm liable for $87 dollars out of the $150.00 the doctor charged me--to tell me the results(no cancer in this case) of my biopsy. So, I'm not going to pay him anything. He damn well could have called me, as I requested twice after the procedure.The next time I have any sort of biopsy, I'm not going make a follow up appointment, unless the provider calls me with the results, first.
Most doctors will not give results over the phone. I have 10 different doctors and all of them have a sign on the wall saying this. The reason is so they are sure you understand what the results are and what the implications are.
Most doctors will not give results over the phone.
Then I've never been to a 'most' doctor. I've never had results that were not given to me over the phone, including the test results for my latest blood work. My detractors will be saddened to learn that I'm disgustingly healthy.
Wulf went to a proctologist and didn't find out until he got the bill.