As if medical costs weren't rising enough, many people are finding their longtime doctors adding new fees this year.
If it happens, the question is: Should you pay, fight, or change doctors?
$50 Just to Walk in the Door
Michael Anderson has seen the same doctor for more than 10 years.
"The letter states that with this $50 come some additional benefits, including some same-day appointments, email access, web portal, non-emergency questions," Anderson explained.
New Fees at Many Offices
More and more practices have the same rule.
Among the fees some offices now charge:
-Annual office fees
-Paperwork fees for completing school or sports forms
-Fax fees for faxing info to a pharmacy or other doctor
-Fees for chatting with a nurse on the phone.
Anderson said he was given no option. "I called and they said, you're either in or you're out," he said. "Either pay $50 at my next appointment or I might have to find another doctor."
Anderson told us he wasn't sure what he's going to do because he likes his doctor, but he's concerned that if he pays up now, what's to stop practices from upping the charge?
"What's to stop them from raising this in subsequent years," he wondered. "$50 could next year be $75 or $100, and if I do find another doctor, what's to say that other health networks are not going to be charging the same thing."
We want to point out that this new fee involves only one UC Health office and no other UC physicians in the Cincinnati area at this time.
What You Can Do
If you receive a letter like this, you may want to try to negotiate. If the office staff won't help, speak with your doctor directly next time you have an appointment.
A spokesperson from UC Health told us some doctors are willing to waive the fee if you really can't afford it.
That way you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Click on the region names in the map below to see news from that region.
Things To Do
RIGHT NOW: Top Stories
The weather forecast is looking nice and cool as we start the work week. Warmer afternoon highs on the way by Wednesday.
The Peoria Police Department is using volunteers to help cut back on holiday crime by handing out report cards in busy parking lots.
So much for that sore right elbow. Carson Palmer didn't throw a pass in practice all last week, then completed practically every one he tried Sunday.
The Newlyweds are accused of luring the man through a "companionship" ad on Craigslist, and stabbing and strangling him to death.
Dozens of entries with hundreds of thousands of lights brightened the streets of Phoenix Saturday when the APS Fiesta of Light Electric Light Parade returned for the 27th straight year.