If you have started adding on small charges for such things as travel forms, shot records and the like, you’re not alone. An article in today’s Los Angeles Times highlights how this trend is taking hold as cost rise and revenue is flat.
The article leads with a psychiatrist who charges $25 – compared to $100 for a short office visit – to refill medication. That, I would argue, is gouging and wrong. Only the psychiatrist can write the scrip, AND, in for some meds may – by law – be lmited to writing 30 day scrips at a time. Refills, I would argue, is part of the service, and a guaranteed way to annoy patients. It’s quite another story, however, when it comes to shot records (somehwhat annoying, but patients can “get it”). There is a move underway where insurers will allow – and pay for – email and phone consults. Accoriding to Medem, the American Medical Association subsidiary that offers websites and secure email consultation services. Blue Cross of Florida has started to allow and pay for email consults, and Cigna plans to start doing so next year, says the LA Times article.
Take a look at the Medem site (www.medem.com) and try it out. And no, I have no financial or other relationship with that company.