A Pitting for the local Small Town Medical Clinc

So I go there to have a growth on my ear looked at and as I’m going through the admissions process I inquire about the cost. I’m told the office visit would be $200. That doesn’t include anything else that may be done. Just the visit. Wow, thinks I, seems high. I inform her I have no insurance, just started a new job and haven’t worked in a while but as I get my first check Friday I’d be glad to make some sort of payment on that day and pay it off within a few weeks as I will get paid every Friday. Fine she says. She’ll put me on a payment plan. However, if I can pay it all that day it will only be $75.

I’m sorry, huh?? $75? Whaddafuk?? “So”, says I, “the poorer I am and least able I am to pay the more it costs? That’s quite a racket you got going on here”. She seemed a little offended that I would say such a thing. She states “Well I guess I can see why you might think that, but really if you will just pay today we will give you a discount”. Yeah, sure. That’s a real good explanation (sarcasm intended).

First the lady that gave me the paperwork to fill out was a rude bitch that acted like I was speaking a foreign language when I dared enter your fine establishment and ask to make an appointment to see a doctor. Then you tell me I could get a $125 discount if i paid that day. Pawn shops, hell even payday loan operations aren’t able to have that high of a mark up.

Quite honestly I didn’t expect to even be seen that day seeing as how I showed up at 3pm and was prepared to just make an appointment. My first check was 2 days away and I would have waited until then but then after I told her this she just grunted and said “Here just fill this out and we’ll get you in.” M’kay, fine.

So, a hardy FUCK YOU! Kiss my white ass and meanwhile stick the doctor bill in your rather large white ass because now I may not even pay you anything. My credit? HA! Already fucked by my ex-wife. You could not possibly make it any worse with your bill. I would pay the $75 but to what purpose when you will still say I owe you $125 +. So really, fuck you.

As the duck said, PUT IT ON MY BILL!!

“Doctor, there’s a big ugly growth on my ear!”

“That’s your FACE! baZING!”

Wait I am confused, the office visit is $200 but they let you pay it off in installments. However if you pay $75 in cash right then the office visit only costs $75?
Or was she saying that it would be $275 including interest?

NM So why did she tell you an office visit was $200 if it is really $75?

The office visit is $200. You get a $125 discount if you pay today (which just goes to show you how much they’re overcharging for the office visit, to pay for all the people who don’t pay them). They’d rather have $75 today than have you sign up for the payment plan, pay $25 for your first payment, and then disappear and ignore the debt (thus giving them incentive to raise the rate even higher on the next guy).

Not really that hard to figure out.

Seriously, whenever you go to a clinic or hospital without insurance, ask them what the “cash rate” is. It’s almost always less than the posted rate. The posted rate is what they initially bill insurance companies, knowing they’re going to see less than half of it due to the contracts they have with those companies. If they billed what they expect to get, they’d only get half of that.

It’s a stupid, stupid system, but I’m 99.9% sure the poor girl behind the counter didn’t invent it.

I think I would have looked at you sideways, too, if I worked there. For the reasons **WhyNot **gives, and because if you would have $75 cash next week for a non-urgent issue, why get all indignant today when you weren’t even expecting to be seen? Just make the appointment for next week, pay $75 cash then, and hey! No payment plan, no $200.

The other people working there and I would be looking at each other with that look. You know the one.
Is it a full moon?

Count yourself very lucky they have a payment plan at all. NONE of the doctors I’ve called here do - it’s cash at the door unless you have insurance. One of the doc-in-the-box places makes you pay $100 before you’re even seen; then “refunds” the balance. If there is one. Ha.

Even the reduced cost clinic I go to is cash on the nail.

So around here unless you have cash or are sick enough for the emergency room, tough luck. Of course that is assuming you have the sense not to use the emergency room as a walk-in clinic, but that’s another rant.

Yep. I think the OP is mistaken. He is getting a discount for paying up front, as opposed to saying he’ll pay later, and then they have to chase him down forever for the money.

Well, it was pretty difficult for me to figure out.

However, if I have this right it is:

  1. Pay on the day it is $75
  2. Pay on a plan it is $200.

I guess here (Australia) a visit tot he GP is generally about $80 of which you get about $40 back from medicare. Unless you go to a doctor who bulk bills Medicare, where there is no charge at all. There are a few around but generally long waiting times.

Yup. Sorry, OP - they were trying to cut you a break and you were flipping out on them. If you don’t have insurance, they don’t have a guarantee of getting payment out of you, so they were willing to settle for $75 on the spot rather than take the chance that some uninsured patient would decide to skip out on the remainder of their bill.

See, clinics and hospitals don’t have much recourse if you refuse to pay. Your utilities can cut off your service, your landlord could evict you, your bank could foreclose on your home or repossess your car. But a doctor bill? They’re stuck with calling and nagging/offering to set up a payment plan for the remainder, then eventually sending you to a collection agency and hoping they can get something.

No good deed goes unpunished. I’m glad I’m no longer in private sector medicine. I much prefer straight salary, and skip the bending over backwards trying to figure out payment plans for people who don’t have the money, or claim they don’t have the money (both kinds are prevalent.)

“I’m really too poor to afford your prices, but I can pay in installments.”

“Oh, if price is an issue, we can offer you a substantial discount to make your life easier.”


I hate to threadshit, but…

I much prefer the system where I walk in, show them my provincial health card, see the doctor and leave.

Guh… you have to have a health card, way too much effort.

Walk in, see doctor, go.

Which is apparently a significant risk because the OP outright said that he wouldn’t pay the bill and doesn’t care about his credit. Presumably he’s not the first, and that’s why the rate is so high in the first place. It seems a bit hypocritical to be angry about increased costs caused by people partaking of exactly the same behaviour you yourself plan on doing.

You usually only have to show your health card the first time you go to a new doctor. Out of curiosity, where are you that you don’t have to provide ID to a new doctor? How do they deal with people who aren’t citizens?

it makes lots of sense to tell you the full cost that you might incur and tell you what discounts might apply. discounts are more acceptable then additional charges. since likely most people who use that clinic pay all or part later then you should be told that price.

I intend on offering them the $75 on Monday July 2, providing they accept that as “payment in full” for the office visit. If the “liquid nitrogen” treatment the doctor applied actually works I’ll even pay whatever the treatment cost is. Although if it doesn’t work it’s really hard for me to justify paying them anything. I asked the doctor to just cut the damn thing off and his response was “If this doesn’t work we will do that”. I even explained to him that I had already tried freezing it off with a freezing kit I had purchased at the drug store. He told me it wasn’t as good as what he was going to use. Okay, fine, you’re the doctor. It appears it hasn’t worked any better then what I did, but I’m willing to give it a few more days before I can be sure. Now that I know what it is, “actinic keratosis”, I see no sense in going back to have him cut it off and incur another office visit charge when I can easily do it myself. That’s right, I said I’d do it myself. It’s not brain surgery so spare me your warnings. It’s easy to sterilize a razor and my ear and lop it off myself. After I saw how a doctor removed skin tags I used to have I just did it myself after that. No big deal. And guess what I even give my dogs their yearly shots! GASP! And I even use Ivermectin to treat them for heart worms. The medical community must be suffering so much from my home health care (sarcasm intended).

Here’s a thought, maybe if they didn’t charge so fucking much in the first place people would actually pay them. I’ve seen the ridiculous prices hospitals and such charge for things like aspirin. So fuck you all for being not only offended at my post but for trying to excuse our healthcare providers for their exorbitant prices. Explain to me exactly how over charging people they think aren’t going to pay helps them? I missed that day in class.

BTW- I work crazy hours and get called in on my days off, such as was the case Friday, so when they offered to see me that day, seeing as how for now I am walking until I get my car repaired, I went ahead and did it. I’m glad to have the hours at work so I’m not going to turn down the work. And while it may not seem like an emergency to you it is something that has been a problem for several months and caused me a lot of distress thinking I may have some kind of cancer spreading through me. And if that offends a you as well so be it, and fuck you too. I’ve put off the diagnosis for far to long (because I couldn’t afford a doctor. go figure) and just wanted to know what the hell it was. Applying the home freezing treatment seemed like a very stupid idea too but I took the chance anyway in order to AVOID incurring costs I couldn’t afford.

So screw you all that say I’m a deadbeat. Walk in my shoes asshole. I told the lady the moment I sat down I had no cash at the time and would get paid Friday. So I’m guessing she either assumed I was lying or that I could miraculously shit $20’s.

Fuck it. Fuck them. And fuck any of you that don’t like it.

You can lead a horse to water…

She was offering you a deal! Maybe she figured you could borrow a quick $20 here or there from a friend and pay them back so you wouldn’t have to go through paying the doctor’s office in installments? Or just maybe she was suggesting you might wanna come back after Friday instead?

Dude, everything costs more because a) people skip out on their bills, and b) it’s not just paying for an aspirin. We can’t bill you directly as line items for office space rent and electric bills and the salaries of the techs that helped you and the cleaning staff that come in and vacuum and so on. Complaining that aspirins cost more in a hospital is like complaining you can buy lettuce and a tomato and a couple tablespoons of salad dressing for a buck or two, so why do restaurants charge $7 for a salad.

Listen, I know it sucks to be poor. I’ve been there myself, where I had to scrounge up change for gas money to get to work, sell stuff I owned, and put off all kinds of important things. But when you snort about how you’d rather stiff a doctor’s office because fuck your credit rating anyway, people tend to not have a whole lot of sympathy for you in essence admitting you’d be “stealing” services.

I, too, just absolutely hate to threadshit, but . . .

I much prefer the system where we don’t have high permanent unemployment rates, burdensome taxes, and an anchor on the economy all because some people can’t think of the big picture and just want to be able to go to the doctor and show a card without paying.

Canadian life expectancy: 80.7
U.S. life expectancy: 78.37
Rover, you’re a moron.