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Old 13.05.2012, 10:50
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mysterious Dr.'s charge

I went to my doctor's for a follow up visit regarding my chronic nose allergies. Her prescribed treatment of saline solution and nose spray for 3 months didn't work and since I am now pregnant, we agreed that treating this chronic problem is not a priority. Therefore, we are putting further treatment on hold for now.

She did say that I should tell ask my gyno to submit a request for two specific allergy tests the next time I get a blood test. (She figured it'd get covered by the pregnancy part of my insurance.) She would email me the results when she gets it.

The problem is this: I just received my doctor's bill and she'd billed me 37chf for "instruction du patient par le specialiste pour lui apprendre a effectuer lui-meme des mesures ou des soines, par periode de 5 min."

Why would she bill me for this if we had agreed to suspend treatment and she'd made no further prescriptions? Have I missed something in the translation? (She's not returning my emails).

Thank you for any advice!
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Old 13.05.2012, 11:06
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Re: mysterious Dr.'s charge

You are charged for everything your doctor does - be aware that any conversation or communication will have a price.

Some doctors just roll it all under the general heading of a consultation fee, some break out the particulars. But either way, you pay.

Look at it this way: you profited from your doctor's knowledge - even it if was the knowledge that someone else should deal with the problem.
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Old 13.05.2012, 11:35
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Re: mysterious Dr.'s charge

consider it a breakdown of the time that you are being charged for. The invoice could have probably just said "x minutes" of consultation.

Also, it may be that your insurance company demands specific wording in the breakdown of the time, before accepting the account.
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Old 13.05.2012, 15:27
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Re: mysterious Dr.'s charge

you are lucky she charged you only for 37 chf.
I went to my GP to ask her to recommended me to immunologist (My Obgyn said for my pregnancy,i need to visit immunology and my insurance required me to to ask my GP first before seeing specialist). And i ended up paying her 112 chf for all of this.
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Old 13.05.2012, 17:30
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Re: mysterious Dr.'s charge

It's part of the TARMED tarif structures.
All of the doctors are obliged to detail what they do.
Even if she has a telephone conversation with your gy-ob, without you being present, it will appear on the invoice with a similar wording.

It is standard practice, nothing to worry about or even really question, as all doctors are obliged to invoice according to the TARMED rules and regulations.
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Old 13.05.2012, 18:05
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Re: mysterious Dr.'s charge

Drs will charge for medical advice, even if the final advice is to do nothing.

Of course you have set up compulsory medical insurance as per the law, haven't you? What 'franchise' have you chosen? It shouldn't really be 'gazillions'?

Last edited by Odile; 15.05.2012 at 19:34.
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Old 13.05.2012, 18:36
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Drs will charge for medical advice, even if the final advice is to do nothing.
Well at least the Dr is saving you money, so it's good value advice!
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Old 13.05.2012, 18:47
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Re: mysterious Dr.'s charge

"Thing I wish I'd known before I came here Part 332"

I used to chit-chat with the Doctor when I first got here: life in England, the weather, football blabla etc.

I soon stopped being so sociable when the first bills arrived.
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Old 13.05.2012, 18:52
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Re: mysterious Dr.'s charge

The Doc would regularly visit my mum at home as she was in poor health when she got to 90+. He would always ask my dad, as they were having a little port for apéritif, how he was. So he would say 'not bad, but I've got an ache here, or there' and then he would be billed for a visit too. Used to drive him insane - and he would say 'and to think I've even served him some port' - but would get caught every month all over again
Yep, the NHS it aint't, with all the + and the - attached
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Old 15.05.2012, 18:12
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Re: mysterious Dr.'s charge

Argh! That makes me sick just thinking about it! My doctor emailed back, confirming what you all have said, adding that she is displeased, *shocked* that I would doubt her integrity. I don't think I'm her favorite patient at the moment. Whoops.

If only I haven't already paid a gazillion francs to start up a dossier with her!

Sigh...while I love the idea of supporting the local industry, am I crazy to want to hop on the boat to Evian the next time I want to see a doctor or get a quick prescription?
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Old 15.05.2012, 18:49
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Re: mysterious Dr.'s charge

The Australian Doctors union is one of the most militant unions in the whole country. I would'nt know if it compares on equal terms with those in SUI who defend their Doctors but I would not be surprised if their philosophies are similar.

Our family Doctor is a Karate Black belt (my son's sensei), very nice to talk to and charges like a bull! hehe
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Old 15.05.2012, 18:52
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Re: mysterious Dr.'s charge

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Argh! That makes me sick just thinking about it! My doctor emailed back, confirming what you all have said, adding that she is displeased, *shocked* that I would doubt her integrity. I don't think I'm her favorite patient at the moment. Whoops.

If only I haven't already paid a gazillion francs to start up a dossier with her!

Sigh...while I love the idea of supporting the local industry, am I crazy to want to hop on the boat to Evian the next time I want to see a doctor or get a quick prescription?
I guess it depends what you wrote. Maybe just write a back and say you don't doubt her integrity you just didn't understand the system.
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Old 16.05.2012, 12:52
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Re: mysterious Dr.'s charge

We were surprised at first with a couple of doctor's bills, but a Swiss friend explained it to us, and that's just how it works here - you pay for *everything*, but *everything* is itemised so you are not getting ripped off.

I agree with miniMia - drop your doc a line just saying that you didn't yet know the system.

I am shocked at Odile's family doctor though! Did your dad send him a bill for the port?
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Old 16.05.2012, 13:35
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Re: mysterious Dr.'s charge

Nope - he just moaned about it - and served him another the next time- and got stung again. He is actually our family doctor now, and a very nice guy he is.
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Old 16.05.2012, 13:53
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Re: mysterious Dr.'s charge

Geee!
That'll be the last time I ask a shop assistant where to find the coffee...
or the bus driver if this bus goes to Zug......
Perhaps that why the Swiss don't talk to each other on the bus or train....
pose a question 'n u get slapped with an invoice!

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We were surprised at first with a couple of doctor's bills, but a Swiss friend explained it to us, and that's just how it works here - you pay for *everything*, but *everything* is itemised so you are not getting ripped off.

I agree with miniMia - drop your doc a line just saying that you didn't yet know the system.

I am shocked at Odile's family doctor though! Did your dad send him a bill for the port?
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Old 16.05.2012, 13:57
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Re: mysterious Dr.'s charge

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par periode de 5 min
Does it bother anyone else the amount the doctor charges for 5 minutes of his/her time????

37chf per 5 mins...
= 444chf per hour
= 3552chf per day (assume 8 hours)
= 17,760chf per week (assume 5 day week)
= 71,040chf per month (assume 4 week month)
and a grand total of 852,480chf per year??
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Old 16.05.2012, 14:01
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Re: mysterious Dr.'s charge

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Does it bother anyone else the amount the doctor charges for 5 minutes of his/her time????

37chf per 5 mins...
= 444chf per hour
= 3552chf per day (assume 8 hours)
= 17,760chf per week (assume 5 day week)
= 71,040chf per month (assume 4 week month)
and a grand total of 852,480chf per year??
I would have said no, but then I looked at a recent bill from my doctor and it looks like he charged only 7.28 CHF for 5 minutes. Of course, it was for 4 of us at the same time (we were getting tick vaccination) so he did end up getting 4 x 7.28 for the same 5 minutes . Plus, for the kiddos under 6 years old, 10.75 CHF charge extra...

Upon closer inspection, i got charged 15 CHF for first 5 min., another 15CHF for specific info (5 min) and another 15 CHF for a 3rd 5 minutes. I think it is highway robbery. Got charged 80 CHF for the kids for the immunization and 120 CHF for me as my vaccine was more and there was some extra charge for something, can't be bothered to figure it out just now. Although it is cheaper than getting sick!
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Old 16.05.2012, 14:09
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Does it bother anyone else the amount the doctor charges for 5 minutes of his/her time????

37chf per 5 mins...
= 444chf per hour
= 3552chf per day (assume 8 hours)
= 17,760chf per week (assume 5 day week)
= 71,040chf per month (assume 4 week month)
and a grand total of 852,480chf per year??
Except that when I've looked at my bills from the doctor, the first five minutes are charged differently than the next 15 or whatever. The first 5 or 15 are usually the most expensive in my experience, and may depend on the service provided. Not all minutes cost the same per minute.
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Old 16.05.2012, 14:15
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Re: mysterious Dr.'s charge

444CHF per hour sounds like a steal in Switzerland for a Dr. I thought cashiers at Migros made that much



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Does it bother anyone else the amount the doctor charges for 5 minutes of his/her time????

37chf per 5 mins...
= 444chf per hour
= 3552chf per day (assume 8 hours)
= 17,760chf per week (assume 5 day week)
= 71,040chf per month (assume 4 week month)
and a grand total of 852,480chf per year??
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Old 16.05.2012, 14:41
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Re: mysterious Dr.'s charge

I did email back my doctor, crawling on my knees basically.....I don't doubt your integrity, etc. etc., I am new to the system, misunderstood...thank you for explaining...

But since she had misinterpreted my initial inquiry email as an attack on her personal integrity, I wouldn't be surprised if my response falls on deaf ears.

Apparently, there are Swiss doctors who don't agree with the system. It makes sense. They are treated like a machine, not encouraged to make friendly conversation or have port with patients ;-)

Makes me think back fondly to those years when I lived in France without health insurance. Each drop-in visit was 20 euros. I had a benign tumor removed for 40 euros. Ahh...the good old days.
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