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Nothing but the truth!


By Will Power

December 21, 2009 -- If you are like me and get incomprehensible MD billing statements prepared in India by Urdu-speaking clerks who can't read English, get ready for the newest medical fee to come down the pike. It's called a "Facility Fee" and is not covered by insurance, but by the patient (http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-myturn21-2009dec21,0,462899...). The minute you walk through the MD's office door you get nicked, for anywhere from $75 to $250. The Facility Fee is to charge for "wear and tear" you inflict on the office furniture. Stand in the corner on a newspaper and pay anyway!


This fee is over and above any other fees, like the fee for an "office visit". The "Facility Fee" helps pay for the office rent and the seventeen insurance clerks whose job it is to make sure your next bill is late and loaded with junk fees.

I don't know what consumers can do to halt the bloating cost of health care administration. I'm beginning to think I might start driving to Tijuana to see a doctor. Outsourcing medical care to foreign MD's is about our only option. Perhaps foreign doctors could do consultations with webcams.

My MD can't bill me on time for anything. I think they deliberately hold back billing to ensure the deductable isn't paid, thereby ensuring the patient pays more out-of-pocket. It's gotten so slow I am thinking of changing doctors.

But I won't see a doctor who charges a "Facility Fee". It's another unconscionable abuse of the rights of patients to see a doctor.

In fact, if i could avoid doctors, I would avoid them at all costs. They damage your mental, financial ,and physical heath. And they do it to make payments on their yachts. If you have questions about your bill, you will get some clerk in Bangalore who went to 15-minute English phrase school. Good luck with that!

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