A letter from Patient:
I am intrigued by your new membership plans and policy changes. I am upset that I didn’t receive proper notification in three different forms by multiple people and I still refuse to pay for your email consult.
I received your well organized packet in my office today. I value your time in providing me this important feedback and I will speak with my staff regarding their unpleasant approach to you. I suppose I share the same sentiment of being sad to have lost you as a patient, especially since we hit it off so well. Sadly enough, however, I share the same sentiment that my integrity as a medical provider was devalued when I received notice of your strong objection for the email correspondence charge. I know you’re off to find another doctor and I respect your decision. Here is my response to your letter:
Whether you were told or informed appropriately by my office about charges, and when the details of the notice were sent to you is not the main issue at hand. It is the patient’s responsibility to look through the new policy and agree to the charges before sending emails or asking for phone consults. Just like any other form of business, we post the charges on our website and when services are rendered we inform the patient—that is our only legal and ethical responsibility. As a courtesy and to step above the minimum required notification, we sent out letters and reminders and email notices to ensure to the best of our abilities that patients are notified. But ultimately, you are responsible for the charges whether your were aware or not. For example, when you see a dentist and she finds a cavity in your tooth, the dentists fixes and then charges for the service, and you just pay for the services after they are rendered. When you have your accountant do your taxes, do you not wait for your invoice after complete preparation of the taxes, then pay for services rendered? For some reason, people feel that doctors are not allowed to charge for their services like other professionals, because for so many years, we hadn’t been. I don’t blame you at all for not understanding this and feeling surprised to receive a bill for my medical advice, because it has been the norm for so long not to charge. There is no other better solution that I could come up with other than the notifications that we so diligently worked to perfect in the last 6 months. I don’t claim we were perfect in getting everyone notified.
My main question to you is, do you feel that the care you received by me and my staff was valuable or not? That the information I provided you on numerous other correspondences was worth the $55 or not? Would you pay for those services even if you had no idea what the cost would be or that there would be a cost? If your question is still no, then I will be happy to send you a refund.
There will be no charge for this email correspondence.