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Doctor Rechnung - already paid in cash

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Posted

Hi

 

Just wondering if this is typical or the doctor's office has made a mistake...

 

About a month ago, I stopped into a general doctor's office for a basic prescription. I was exceedingly pleased to discover that, even without an appointment, I was able to fill out a few forms, see the doctor, and pay in cash (only 20Euro) - the whole thing took less than 1/2 an hour.

 

However, I just received an invoice in the mail for the same amount payable to some medical billing company (Mediserv). I'm wondering if the amount I paid in cash at the time of the visit (20 Euro) was only a 'partial payment' or something similar. Or is it more likely that the doctor's office made a mistake, and I'm being billed twice.

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Posted

Very curios, jimpix..are you privately insured then? If so, then, yes, you get the bill from an outsourced company rather than from a doc him/herself these days. But you also paid 20 euros cash? Could be a mistake - phone your doctor!

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Posted

Thanks for the reply, John.

 

I have international insurance from the US. Basically I pay for everything on my own with cash, then submit receipts to my insurance company which sends a reimbursement. I am not integrated at all into the German health system. I paid 20€ to the doctor's secretary in cash and submitted my receipt to my insurance company which then paid me back for the 20€. But now I receive another bill from a 3rd party collector for 20€. I fired off an email to the collection firm - we'll see if they respond. If not, I'll head down to the doctor's office and see if I can figure things out.

 

I'm just wondering if it is normal for doctor's office to take cash (which they did), and then send another bill later on. Why not just charge me for the whole amount up front?

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Posted

That doesn´t sound normal, jimpi. Either you pay up front as a so-called Selbstzahler ( especially if you don´t have health insurance ) or they bill you. In the public system you pay 10 euros per quarter at the doc but you never see a bill.

By the way, you have international insurance from the US? Are you a language student or something? If you´re looking for a visa to work, that´s a no-go in most cases. Just saying..

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Posted

Hi There,

 

the doctor has made a mistake, or to put it more specifically, his assistent in charge of billing should have booked your bill out of the computer, so it does not get sent to mediserv. The doctor is probably totally oblivious to this, and so I´m sure he wants to know this to take care of the problem asap. 20 Euros is the amount for a short consultation and prescription, so i am sure it was never supposed to go to Mediserv in the first place.

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Posted

I wouldn't be so sure of that, quite honestly. Paying 20€ for a half-hour visit, including the receptionist's and the doctor's time, even if only for a prescription, sounds very odd in the first place. Unless he was doing a favour, shoving you in and not really losing out on any other time or patients by doing so, it just sounds way too low in the first place. Although certainly following up with a second bill for the same amount also sounds odd. Definitely get it checked out.

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Posted

The whole thing took half an hour.

 

He might have spent 3 minutes talking to the receptionist and 5 minutes to the doctor, and the other 22 minutes filling out forms and sitting in the waiting room...

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Posted

what is the item number on the bill?

can be checked here http://www.e-bis.de/goae/defaultFrame.htm

what was on the cash in hand bill?

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Posted

Probably a mistake, just call the doctor to clear things up.

The same thing happened to me on my last vacation back in Germany. My daughter had a small emergency, we paid 40.--Euro in Cash (We're not in the German system either). Two days later we received a letter from the clinic to the address where we were staying, asking us for the details of our Krankenkasse, otherwise they would have to bill us directly. I called, explained, faxed them the receipt and that was it.

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Posted

I had something similar happen a few years ago. In my case the amounts were exact down to the last cent, so I could prove the bill was a duplicate of the exact same amount I paid in person.

 

The thing which really gets me with doctors/dentists outsourcing their billing to 3rd party billing companies is that these companies are soooo slow (erm, aren't they supposed to speed up the process?) At least in my case, slower than when the practice used to do their own billing in-house.

 

The lead times it takes for the practice to send the 3rd party something, which they then input in their system and eventually send back to you... That's probably 4-5 days postal service extra lead times straight away, unless practice + 3rd party share the same database (not sure they can do that because of data protection though). And several days more if there is a complication/query between practice and 3rd party billing co. All the while you're waiting for the bill.

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Posted

 

The thing which really gets me with doctors/dentists outsourcing their billing to 3rd party billing companies is that these companies are soooo slow (erm, aren't they supposed to speed up the process?) At least in my case, slower than when the practice used to do their own billing in-house.

I don't think the billing companies are supposed to speed up the process although we get our bills promptly. They are hired so the docs don't have to make office space for and hire people for billing. It keeps cost down.

 

Outsourcing.

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Posted

Thanks everyone for the responses. I emailed the billing company, and they directed me to the doctor's office. I sent an email to the doc's office and got a reply (from the doctor himself - wow) apologizing for the mistake. Turns out it was, in fact, an error on their end. Got a letter from the billing company in the post a few days later closing the matter.

 

Like Hazza mentioned above, it was 20 minutes of form filling, 5 minutes with the doc, and 5 minutes to pay. Nonetheless, 20 Euro is still a really good deal. In the US this would have required several hours and probably $150-$200. On the other hand, just got a teeth cleaning - probably $100 in the US, but more like 175 Euro here, and not nearly as thorough.

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Posted

Just had a similar experience due to an invoicing error.. On notifying the Clinch and Doc they were courteous and prompt to Cotrect their mistake

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Posted

jimpix, wow indeed. An actual apology? Not a grudging admission that there was a mistake made, which would not have been made had you clearly dotted an "i" on one of the forms you filled out? An exceptional doctor.

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Posted

Glad it all got sorted out and that they admitted to their mistake.

 

A word of advice though: avoid paying in cash whenever possible. If you pay by EC card / credit card or any other method that involves a bank, then you have solid proof that the payment was indeed made.

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