Doc office charging me money to switch Docs!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by TeaBisqit, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    My doctor's office is charging me a whopping twenty dollars to give me a copy of my medical records for the new doc. The new doc won't even let me make an appointment without the records. And, the old doc won't even send the records to the new doc's office. They told me that I would have to physically go there and get the records myself. And they said I would have to wait about two weeks until they even have the copies ready for me.

    I think the twenty dollar charge is disgusting, considering they won't even fax or send the records to the new doc.

    This same office charged me an eighteen dollar fee to fill out a tiny bit of info on an insurance form when my mother passed away. It's just disgusting. I am glad I'm getting away from them. They haven't been helping me. And the last time I went, the stupid doctor asked me if my illness could just be panic attacks. And then I was told to exercise. All they care about is money. They don't care if they actually help you or harm you.
  2. sweetbeatlvr

    sweetbeatlvr New Member

    i thought we (patients) were entitled to a free copy of our medical records?

    also, i thought if the new doctor's office was the one requesting them, all you had to do was sign a release and they would be sent the records for free?

    something doesn't seem right here, you should look in to it more.

    sorry you are having trouble.
  3. gasolo

    gasolo New Member

    Hi TeaBisqit,

    I agree with BroadCast comments. Generally a fee of 15 to 20 dollars is the usual fee charged to patients, attorneys and workers compensation adjustors to copy medical records. Some attorneys ( staff) bring their own copy machines and copy the records themselves. No fee is charged.

  4. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Grrr, how annoying! You know how you fill out and sign a bunch of forms when you first see a new doctor? Each office states their policies, and you sign that you agree to them before you first see the doctor? I would check to see if charging you for medical records was in the "fine print" and if you signed that form. If they say they charge for this, and you signed it, unfortunately there's nothing you can do (even though it stinks).

    Now this could be a little challenging, however, after you have gotten all of your anger out at home, I would call them up in a very level-headed, objective tone. If this fee IS NOT in any form you signed, I would get a bit more demanding with them---although still stay level-headed. I think their argument is that they are charging you for their time. I agree the $20 is ridiculously steep!!! I would ask them if you could make a copy of the records and fax the copy to the doctor yourself. IE, it saves them time!

    If this doesn't work, tell them the $18 they charged for the 2 minutes it took them to fill out some info on an insurance form should more then compensate for any time they are providing now. $38 for about 10 to 15 minutes of time is absurd. I would point that out to them. I would simply state, "Do you realize you are charging me $38 for approximately 10 minutes of your time?" Let them respond and see if they back off. *Tell them you understand the $20 charge, but that in this case the fee doesn't make sense. Ask them to waive the fee or reduce it substantially.

    If THAT doesn't work, ask them if THEY as a patient would appreciate being treated this way, and that you would really appreciate the opportunity to be treated as a valued patient. Pause and wait for a response. Never raise your voice with them or get angry. If you get a BS answer or if you feel that you are getting nowhere fast with them, tell them that you were hoping for a positive outcome. However, when people ask you for a recommendation for a good doctor, you will be certain to tell people NOT to go to them and will explain why. This is not healthCARE. Do not give them the satisfaction of your anger or disgust. Just stay business-like detached if at all possible.

    Based on what your doctor said re: if your illness could just be panic attacks, this sounds like a doctors' office that might thrive on using people's emotions as a weakness as well as an excuse to act condescending. I could be wrong, but I've seen it before.

    Good luck!!! Don't give up!!! Let us know how it works out.

    All the best,

  5. stschn

    stschn New Member

    I don't know where you live but I'm in Sonoma County Ca. When I've run into problems like this I call my congressmans office (Mike Thomson) and believe me it's taken care of right away when his office calls them.
  6. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    I think that is standard practice today to charge for copies of your records. They also charge a fee for any forms that need to be filled in.

    I won't transfer my records from one doctors office to another. I would rather a new doctor look at things with fresh eyes, than look over a previous doctors notes and make assumptions based on possibly erroneous opinions. Also, before transferring your records, you want to visit with a new doctor several times to be sure that this is a doctor that you want to stay with. There isn't any point transferring over your records if you never go back again.
  7. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    I didn't want them getting my records for those very reasons, but the new doc's office will not let me make an appointment without first giving them the records. God only knows what's in them. I had one doc where I was explaining my lightheaded symptoms and how bad it was and she was writing and writing, and then I later read what she wrote. Instead of writing down the symptoms I was telling her about, all she wrote was "patient refuses to take antidepressants". There wasn't one thing in the notes about my NMH/POTS and how I was nearly blacking out from it. There was nothing in there about all the physical pain I was in, nor any other symptom. I was stunned. I don't trust any of these doctors. It's scary.

    I don't know if I'm going to like this one. She's new and young. However, I need to go to someone and her practice is one of the very few that I can park at and is still accepting new patients.
  8. justjanelle

    justjanelle New Member

    If you *do* have to pay and then pick up the records yourself, make sure to take them to a copy place and make yourself a copy to keep before you pass them on to the new doctor. That way you have them if you need them again sometime -- without having to pay another ridiculous fee.

    But I've never had to pay a fee for the records to be transferred by one doctor's office to another. And I've switched doctors several times as we've moved through the years.

    Best wishes,
  9. gasolo

    gasolo New Member

    Hi TeaBisqit,

    It seems to me that you have had a run in with a number of "bad Docs". Unfortunately this places all doctors under a suspicious light. Your not giving a new doctor the benefit of previous medical records only limits his or her ability to help. Just my two cents.

  10. dragon06

    dragon06 New Member

    As far as I know charging $20 or $25 for a copy of your medical records if fairly common. I have not been to a docs office yet that didn't charge for that. As far as going there to get them I don't know...I know that before they can send anything to another doctor you have to sign a release form to make it legal. So since you need to go there to sign that document anyways it just seems to make more sense to just give you the files.

    Maybe I am different but I do not mind this small charge for my files as I know it would take a LONG time for someone at the office to copy my records as my file is very thick! I also think my doc's office offers a copy on CD as well for the computer included.

    We need to consider that someone has to take the time to copy our very thick files.
    [This Message was Edited on 04/02/2009]
  11. stschn

    stschn New Member

    And I have changed Doctors many times the last time in 2007. Stanford sends all my lab work to my PCP with no charge.

    LISALOO New Member

    getting charged per page or by a fee is normal.

    After I paid $20 once, I made sure that each time I went to a dr, I got a copy for myself. I never got charged and when I filed for SSD, I had everything.
  13. Beadlady

    Beadlady Member

    make sure they give ME the records AND go someplace and get copies for yourself. It has been my experince that drs office always want the records to go to another dr.--not the patient--so do your best to get them yourself.