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Old 06.06.2020, 11:44
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Ridiculous doctor's bill

We received a doctors bill for 642 francs for 2 appointments from my husband's GP. When I asked for a breakdown of the bill I noticed he was charging us for treatment that my husband never received - psychotherapy - my husband went there for a stomach problem - and also 2x 45 minutes to read his files. The doctor had no files since he refused to accept my husband's reports from India and he also performed frivolous blood tests, unless it is common practice a man for chlamydia when he has a flu. In all, the breakdown was 4 pages long. Is there any way to contest the bill?
We have changed GP and since then it has transpired that the rotten GP never checked my husband's blood pressure or actually did anything useful in 2 appointments since the doctor missed the fact he is hypertensive and a diabetic. I know you cannot sue doctors for malpractice here but I honestly don't want this guy to get away with overcharging us and being grossly negligent to boot.
Is there anything we can do?
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Old 06.06.2020, 12:06
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Re: Ridiculous doctor's bill

Did you talk to the doctors office? Did they give you the wrong bill if it's blatantly incorrect as you say?

Otherwise let the insurance deal with it, tell the insurance the treatment was not provided as billed.
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Old 06.06.2020, 12:24
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Re: Ridiculous doctor's bill

It is the right bill as I got the breakdown from the insurance when I questioned the amount. The insurance only told us to keep them in the loop if we do anything. But what are the possibilities of doing anything?
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Old 06.06.2020, 12:28
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Re: Ridiculous doctor's bill

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When I asked for a breakdown of the bill I noticed he was charging us for treatment that my husband never received - psychotherapy
Is there any chance you misread the breakdown? I don't think a GP can bill psychotherapy at all. Could it be something like phytotherapie (i.e. some herbal medication), for instance?
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Old 06.06.2020, 12:34
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Re: Ridiculous doctor's bill

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It is the right bill as I got the breakdown from the insurance when I questioned the amount. The insurance only told us to keep them in the loop if we do anything. But what are the possibilities of doing anything?
Have you spoken to the actual doctor to ask him to explain? It's liekly that he was trying to squeeze money out of you, especially if he thought you were an easy target. Remember: not every doctor is ethical and we have heard many siilar stories of them inflating/padding out appointment costs.
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Old 06.06.2020, 12:38
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Re: Ridiculous doctor's bill

It definitely says psychotherapy. I speak and read German. I was attended both appointments with my husband as he does not speak German and I helped translate. Can certainly say there was no phyto or psycho therapy, in fact, no therapy at all. I really get the feeling the guy was fleecing us. And he probably was annoyed that after the non- treatment I convinced my husband to change GP.
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Old 06.06.2020, 12:39
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Re: Ridiculous doctor's bill

Was it a first appointment (new patient?) and was any medication given ?



If so, then assuming blood tests were also included, it's not particularly high.



But yes, if you are not happy, find a new doctor...
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Old 06.06.2020, 12:42
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Re: Ridiculous doctor's bill

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It definitely says psychotherapy. I speak and read German.
Hey, don't get me wrong, I didn't imply you didn't read German. I meant (literally) what I said: "misread", as in two very similar words, that anyone could easily mis-read. I didn't mean to offend.
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Old 06.06.2020, 12:50
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Re: Ridiculous doctor's bill

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Was it a first appointment (new patient?) and was any medication given ?



If so, then assuming blood tests were also included, it's not particularly high.



But yes, if you are not happy, find a new doctor...
Yes, it is high for a routine apointment with flu-like symptoms. You should not be taking blood tests unlessyou really need to, and part of the problem here is that the OP's husband simply went along with whatever tests the doctor suggested without being critical, asking questions or doing any sense-checking. Nothing in Switzerland related to testing is cheap, in fact many laborotory costs are simply outrageous., even basic STD tests are 3x almost all other EU countries.

If my doctor suggests anything I ask them specifically why ad how much it will cost and then they explain and justify it... to which I then agree (my doctor is awesome). I am no 'medical expert', but I do have a good general knowedge and feel able to challenge such things, at least on a high level.
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Old 06.06.2020, 13:01
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Re: Ridiculous doctor's bill

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We have changed GP and since then it has transpired that the rotten GP never checked my husband's blood pressure or actually did anything useful in 2 appointments since the doctor missed the fact he is hypertensive and a diabetic. I know you cannot sue doctors for malpractice here but I honestly don't want this guy to get away with overcharging us and being grossly negligent to boot.
Is there anything we can do?

Grossly negligent is a bit strong! Were you given a new patient form to complete where you (on behalf of your husband) had to list all known ailments and illnesses such as diabetes?

When a doctor sees a new patient for the first time and is focused on diagnosing what is causing the current medical issue, it cannot be easy to diagnose every other underlying ailment when the patient doesn't speak up and tell the doctor themselves.

Ask the insurance to find out exactly what psychotherapy treatment was given?
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Old 06.06.2020, 15:43
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Re: Ridiculous doctor's bill

Doctors are only allowed to bill for 5 minutes of consultation. If they need more time to speak with a patient (or rather if they want to bill the patient for the extra time they take talking with the patient) they bill this under Psychotherapie.
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Old 06.06.2020, 15:55
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Re: Ridiculous doctor's bill

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Doctors are only allowed to bill for 5 minutes of consultation. If they need more time to speak with a patient (or rather if they want to bill the patient for the extra time they take talking with the patient) they bill this under Psychotherapie.
Thats nonsense.
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Old 06.06.2020, 15:59
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Re: Ridiculous doctor's bill

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Doctors are only allowed to bill for 5 minutes of consultation. If they need more time to speak with a patient (or rather if they want to bill the patient for the extra time they take talking with the patient) they bill this under Psychotherapie.
Where did you get this from? They simply continue billing under consultation, but have different fields like "first 5 mins etc'

Psychotherapy is covered rather different by insurance and a GP will not be a recognized Psychotherapist unless they are indeed that too.
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Old 06.06.2020, 16:05
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Re: Ridiculous doctor's bill

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Nothing in Switzerland related to testing is cheap, in fact many laborotory costs are simply outrageous., even basic STD tests are 3x almost all other EU countries.
How did those go, by the way?
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Old 06.06.2020, 16:27
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Re: Ridiculous doctor's bill

I know it's too late now, but things like this are the reason I took out legal insurance.
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Old 06.06.2020, 17:07
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Re: Ridiculous doctor's bill

My first GP experience in Switzerland was also something like this. I complained health insurance about it, they cancelled the bill and informed the doctor. Then doctor sent me the bill directly. Doctor asked me which item do you think is not correct, I did not know any German but with google I could find there were some tests which requires urine or stool however I gave them only blood sample. I am sure there were more items which were inserted incorrectly. I gave up and paid the remaining bill and changed my GP.
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Old 06.06.2020, 17:29
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Re: Ridiculous doctor's bill

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....You should not be taking blood tests unlessyou really need to, ...
If my doctor suggests anything I ask them specifically why ad how much it will cost and then they explain and justify it... to which I then agree (my doctor is awesome). I am no 'medical expert', but I do have a good general knowedge and feel able to challenge such things, at least on a high level.
This, exactly. After all, it's about my health. It's my arm, my blood, and my bill (and then my insurance).

Other than in an emergency admission (when the patient can't speak or assess what's going on), having any test done, be it blood, urine or stool, or any other test such as an x-ray, scan, etc., and even a physical examination of any sort at all should be a mutual decision taken by patient and doctor.

Even any patient who does not have much knowledge about his/her medical state, has the responsibility to inform the doctor of pre-existing, (as in: already diagnosed) conditions, as they may be necessary in a doctor's thinking.

On the other hand, the doctor has the responsibility to explain to the patient what ought, in his/her opinion, to be tested, and why.
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Old 06.06.2020, 17:33
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Re: Ridiculous doctor's bill

The test results belong to the patient.

If the test is immediate, I never leave the practice without the results (on paper).

If the results will come later, I ask for them to be sent to me, ideally by mail, otherwise on paper. If the results don't arrive, I phone and ask for them, reminding the medical practice assistant that they were promised to me, and tell them that I want to pay their bill, and will do so only once I've received the results. Never fails.

If I need to see another doctor within a year or so, I take along the print-out.

Being disciplined about this has saved my arm some needle-work, and saved me (and my medical insurance) quite some Francs, over the years.
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Old 06.06.2020, 19:43
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Re: Ridiculous doctor's bill

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We received a doctors bill for 642 francs for 2 appointments from my husband's GP.
When I asked for a breakdown of the bill ...
Well done for being one of the people who actually reads the bills, and wants to know what they're about. Many people don't bother, and just forward them to the medical insurance.
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The doctor ... refused to accept my husband's reports from India...
Why did the doctor refuse? Or perhaps more to the point, why, having experienced the doctor's refusal, did your husband go through with the appointment? I might have done that only if I were desperately ill, and perhaps your husband was, in the first appointment. But otherwise, I wouldn't stay, and most especially not appear for a second appointment with any doctor who had not been willing to read medical documents that I had brought along.
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my husband went there for a stomach problem - and
... performed frivolous blood tests, unless it is common practice a man for chlamydia when he has a flu.
With regard to the decisions about which tests are to be performed, please see Chuff's and my posts above. I'm not a doctor. I can't see any connection between flu and chlamydia, but there is at least some connection between chlamydia and abdominal pain, in both males and females.
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... since then it has transpired that the rotten GP never checked my husband's blood pressure or actually did anything useful in 2 appointments since the doctor missed the fact he is hypertensive and a diabetic.
This surprises me. How can that such a matter transpire subsequently? Measuring blood pressure is such a specific procedure that one whould know whether or not it was being done.
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....also 2x 45 minutes to read his files.
Doctors are allowed to charge a new patient fee, for opening the file, registering the patient in their system, etc. As I understand it, the fee for reading the files is also permitted if the doctor was reading up on current medical science and procedures for this patient so as to decide, based on what he'd seen the first time, about possible courses of action when the patient comes to the follow-up consultation.
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In all, the breakdown was 4 pages long.
Four pages of an itemised bill seems to mean that either the doctor really did a lot of billable things, perhaps without your having realised it, or that he is lying rather a lot. Charging for psychotherapy, when there was none, is unacceptable. Charging for blood tests which were actually performed is, however, completely fine.
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Is there any way to contest the bill?
.... I honestly don't want this guy to get away with overcharging us and being grossly negligent to boot.
Is there anything we can do?
I suggest your husband first studies the four pages, to identify any items which he believes were not done, at all. Next, that he writes to the doctor to ask
  1. for all the test results.
    If any of the tests itemised on the bill were not actually ever done, then the doctor will be unable to supply the results, and will soon remove those items from the bill. For all the tests that were done, at least your husband will have those results for a next doctor, and that'll save money.
  2. that the psychotherapy (and any other items he believes were not done) be removed from the bill, because it did not take place.

Good that your husband has moved to another doctor. If your husband would prefer to find doctors who speak language he commands, this link might help: https://www.doctorfmh.ch/index.cfm?e...g&locale=en_US
From now in, it's a good idea for your husband to make sure that he understands, from each doctor he sees, which tests the doctor wants to have done and why, whether they are covered by the medical insurance, approximately what they will cost, and how he will get the results, in writing.
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Old 06.06.2020, 20:38
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Re: Ridiculous doctor's bill

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We received a doctors bill for 642 francs for 2 appointments from my husband's GP. When I asked for a breakdown of the bill I noticed he was charging us for treatment that my husband never received - psychotherapy - my husband went there for a stomach problem - and also 2x 45 minutes to read his files. The doctor had no files since he refused to accept my husband's reports from India and he also performed frivolous blood tests, unless it is common practice a man for chlamydia when he has a flu. In all, the breakdown was 4 pages long. Is there any way to contest the bill?
We have changed GP and since then it has transpired that the rotten GP never checked my husband's blood pressure or actually did anything useful in 2 appointments since the doctor missed the fact he is hypertensive and a diabetic. I know you cannot sue doctors for malpractice here but I honestly don't want this guy to get away with overcharging us and being grossly negligent to boot.
Is there anything we can do?
If the bill is for two appointments, blood test costs and reading results it is not actually astronomical. The first appointment was probably longer due to having to take a history.
That’s not to say that he is ripping you off but maybe not. The only way to find out for sure is to contact the doctor himself and ask him to justify the charges.

The chlamydia test was probably looking for the lung infection type and not the sexually transmitted type of chlamydia. That would not be unusual.

https://www.cdc.gov/pneumonia/atypic...iae/index.html

If you were at the consultations with your husband you must know if the doctor measured his blood pressure or not, it would have been pretty obvious if he did and you would have seen it.

Doctors bill for consultations in 5 minute blocks. Since 2017 (I think) the basic insurance is only obliged to pay for a 20 minute consultation, anything more than that is up to the patient to pay.
I think, although I’m not 100% sure, that doctors can bill part of the GP consultation as psychological exam or something similar if they are assessing the mental well-being as part of the consultation.

As I said the best course of action would be to contact the doctor and ask them directly.
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