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Charging to fill out disability forms

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Posted

I'm applying for SSDI. I just got a call from my pdoc's office. They have my records ready to send to social security, but they were also sent a 5-page evaluation form. They called because he would only fill it out if I paid him $50. I think if he fills out the form it will help, so I gave them my credit card number and paid it. It just seems wrong that I should have to pay.

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Posted

I'm sorry that does seem really wrong.

Call social security and ask them about that though. They may reimburse you. I know they reimburse doctors if they charge for examinations.

I don't know about the situation here, because it seems sort of grey. Maybe just ask them what costs are covered in the process and explain to them what the charge was.

Did you ask the doctor's office what the standard fees are for paperwork, etc?

As far as the form goes:

Do you know which form it was? If you can find out, there are a lot of forms online, you may want to go through and write a reaction to some of the questions for his reference. It may help. Was he supposed to do an evalutation along with it and ask you specific questions?

I don't know what else to say but it might just be a standard practice at his office.

...

Though, if he's pulling out of his ass, something really is amiss here.

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Posted

WHAT?!?!?!?!

They intentionally make these forms impossible and then the doctor has the nerve to charge you to fill them out?!?!??!

This is just wrong.

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Posted

Hi,

Unfortunately some doctors charge for EVERYTHING and that includes any type of paperwork - disability, fmla, additional insurance paperwork...anything extra, really.

it puts some people in a hard place...$50 for your doctor to fill out paperwork seems unreasonable. but if thats the office's policy...what are you gonna do but pay?

good luck,

december

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Posted

Some doc. I'd be looking in the Yellow Pages...

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Posted (edited)

I have SSDI and got into this situation

The 5 page form could be a Residual Functional Capacity ( RFC ) questionare. Unfortunately they are able to charge you to fill those out. It takes most doctors 1-2 hours to properly fill it out.

The other medical records have to be sent to the SSA and sometimes they will pay the doc a nominal fee if charged.

Yeah, it's a crappy system and is not fair. I do wish you luck.

Edited by sdjeff

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Posted

i know that it can take pdocs awhile to fill out the forms and that SSA doesn't give them much to cover their time (kinda like how ssa doesn't give us much SSDI- cheap bastards), but i'm more soft-hearted than that. i would think that they know, that because you're applying for SSDI in the first place, that you're probably not in the best place financially and $50 is a lot of money for you. i would offer my services pro bono if i had to, to see my patients get the help they needed. and it isn't like you don't spend enough money on office visits anyway. your status as a client pays for the pdoc to spend a little time with the paperwork i should think.

i'd really consider looking in the yellow pages, like CNS suggested. i've never heard of that. i know they take a lot of time to do it, but as i mentioned, there are so many reasons to not charge you, if for no other than they know you're poor and it would be out of their own goodness. you want a doctor who has a good heart.

maybe i'm just sappy over here, and have no business head. it probably is the case. but i just can't see anyone being charged that much for some paperwork.

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Posted

My last pdoc didn't charge me. He filled out the form soon after I gave it to him and I doubt it takes all that long to fill it out if they know you well. When we pay them $200-$400+ an hour this usually includes phone calls, dealing with some paperwork etc. and hopefully filling out a form for SSDI. Mine was called the Mental Impairment Questionaire.

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Posted

I'm applying for SSDI. I just got a call from my pdoc's office. They have my records ready to send to social security, but they were also sent a 5-page evaluation form. They called because he would only fill it out if I paid him $50. I think if he fills out the form it will help, so I gave them my credit card number and paid it. It just seems wrong that I should have to pay.

go to this website: http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/forms_pdfs/tdi/Code.pdf

go to page 8 , it states No licensed medical practitioner shall charge a fee. Fight it with the Doctor!!

This applies to NJ only. Hope this helps?

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Posted

go to this website: [link=http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/forms_pdfs/tdi/Code.pdf"'>http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/forms_pdfs/tdi/Code.pdf" target="_blank]http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/forms_pdfs/tdi/Code.pdf[/link]

go to page 8 , it states No licensed medical practitioner shall charge a fee. Fight it with the Doctor!!

This applies to NJ only. Hope this helps?

Giggle... I love it when this happens. Ok, the OP is now going to fight the fee they already paid to the doctor now because of something you said two years later.

Sorry, there's just been quite a few "graveyard postings" been dug up lately (one of them mine, yikes!) and it made me laugh.

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Posted

WHAT?!?!?!?!

They intentionally make these forms impossible and then the doctor has the nerve to charge you to fill them out?!?!??!

This is just wrong.

I work for a doctor and am absolutely BOMBARDED with forms. From employers, from insurance companies, from disability companies, etc. These forms take time to fill out. You can't fill them out when you have patients in the office, or when you are in surgery. So most people come in on the weekends, or stay late to fill out these forms. Sacrificing their own free time, lunch time, family time to fill these out. They are of no financial benefit to the doctor. They are strictly for the benefit of the patient. It is not unresonable to be compensated for the time and effort put forth in completing these forms.

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Posted

I know this is an old thread that got bumped but just wanted to add that my pdoc charges for all that kind of paperwork too. I just paid $25 for FMLA paperwork and it's the same charge, I think, for any kind of SSDI paperwork. She, the pdoc, has been complaining to me lately that there's just so much paperwork they have to do with the regular stuff like dealing with insurance companies and all that, that they have to charge for anything extra.

So far, they don't charge me with anything that's directly related to my care. Like getting prior authorization on my meds. And I know that takes time and it's a PIA to them but I can't help it that my insurance wants all this stupid paperwork.

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Posted

WHAT?!?!?!?!

They intentionally make these forms impossible and then the doctor has the nerve to charge you to fill them out?!?!??!

This is just wrong.

I work for a doctor and am absolutely BOMBARDED with forms. From employers, from insurance companies, from disability companies, etc. These forms take time to fill out. You can't fill them out when you have patients in the office, or when you are in surgery. So most people come in on the weekends, or stay late to fill out these forms. Sacrificing their own free time, lunch time, family time to fill these out. They are of no financial benefit to the doctor. They are strictly for the benefit of the patient. It is not unresonable to be compensated for the time and effort put forth in completing these forms.

So what you're basically saying is that if it's 'strictly for the benefit of the patient' you should charge them more?

The doctor benefits from having a patient, it's a mutual relationship, patients aren't cows roaming the fields with dollar signs on them, they're human, usually in bad health and need their doctor to help them.

I'm sorry, it's part of your job.

You get compensated for it by your paycheck being significantly larger than someone who flips burgers or sweeps halls.

It sounds to me like the practice you work for is more concerned with cash flow than the patient.

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Posted

I just paid $25 to have my FMLA paperwork filled out. My previous pdoc did the same thing; it sounds like a standard practice (which doesn't mean it's good).

Tommy

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Posted

WHAT?!?!?!?!

They intentionally make these forms impossible and then the doctor has the nerve to charge you to fill them out?!?!??!

This is just wrong.

I work for a doctor and am absolutely BOMBARDED with forms. From employers, from insurance companies, from disability companies, etc. These forms take time to fill out. You can't fill them out when you have patients in the office, or when you are in surgery. So most people come in on the weekends, or stay late to fill out these forms. Sacrificing their own free time, lunch time, family time to fill these out. They are of no financial benefit to the doctor. They are strictly for the benefit of the patient. It is not unresonable to be compensated for the time and effort put forth in completing these forms.

So what you're basically saying is that if it's 'strictly for the benefit of the patient' you should charge them more?

The doctor benefits from having a patient, it's a mutual relationship, patients aren't cows roaming the fields with dollar signs on them, they're human, usually in bad health and need their doctor to help them.

I'm sorry, it's part of your job.

You get compensated for it by your paycheck being significantly larger than someone who flips burgers or sweeps halls.

It sounds to me like the practice you work for is more concerned with cash flow than the patient.

No, What she is saying is that you are not the only patient who needs a form filled out, time is money, and like it or not, thats the real world. Those doctors you talk about, you know, they arent as money-hungry as you think....

-how many employees do you think he has to pay to fill out all that paperwork for insurance companies, including your own? ..cash flow?..How much do you think that costs?

-And what, your doctor should do double the work for "free" because your ill?

Thats insanity!

You are right, filling out forms is part of a doctors "job",but people get paid for doing their job. If you want care for free - go to the clinic...

Your doctor is not a volunteer!

People that think like you are the primary reason that healthcare got out of control

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Posted

I'm applying for SSDI. I just got a call from my pdoc's office. They have my records ready to send to social security, but they were also sent a 5-page evaluation form. They called because he would only fill it out if I paid him $50. I think if he fills out the form it will help, so I gave them my credit card number and paid it. It just seems wrong that I should have to pay.

I know this post is old, but I felt I had to reply. Doctors are often burdened with huge amounts of paperwork, phone calls and messages. Just today I received 40 messages to call people back for one thing or another. This all takes time. Forms take a huge amount of time,especially if they are just dropped off without any guidance. Sometimes you are left to plow through a patient's chart to find relevant dates and office visits. Why should this time not be reimbursed? Try calling your lawyer or accountant to see if he will get on the phone with you to chat about some professional question and you will get a bill based on a rate of $200-$300 per hour.

If you paid your doctor an annual fee, as is the case with boutique medicine, then you might have a point about getting forms for free.

Generally, doctors do not charge to return a phone call, but maybe they should, because often the advice they give takes the place of an office visit. Filling out forms, which is generally a lot of work, should require a fee in most cases.

Hope you appreciate the other side of the argument.

MTW

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Posted

Try calling your lawyer or accountant to see if he will get on the phone with you to chat about some professional question and you will get a bill based on a rate of $200-$300 per hour.

Actually, my parent's lawyer does take phone calls, and would sit in to visit my parents, for free. Of course, this was a small town and he'd been not only a lawyer, but a friend, of my family for more than 30 years.

I worked 15 years in banking. We always had that sign "$20 per hour for research fee" and not once in those 15 years over a variety of employers did we ever charge that fee. And if you think doctors have a lot of research to do to answer questions, try being a banker. Doctors have nothing on the research bankers do. For free. On top of all their other daily work.

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Posted

I know this post is old, but I felt I had to reply. Doctors are often burdened with huge amounts of paperwork, phone calls and messages. Just today I received 40 messages to call people back for one thing or another. This all takes time. Forms take a huge amount of time,especially if they are just dropped off without any guidance. Sometimes you are left to plow through a patient's chart to find relevant dates and office visits. Why should this time not be reimbursed? Try calling your lawyer or accountant to see if he will get on the phone with you to chat about some professional question and you will get a bill based on a rate of $200-$300 per hour.

If you paid your doctor an annual fee, as is the case with boutique medicine, then you might have a point about getting forms for free.

Generally, doctors do not charge to return a phone call, but maybe they should, because often the advice they give takes the place of an office visit. Filling out forms, which is generally a lot of work, should require a fee in most cases.

Hope you appreciate the other side of the argument.

MTW

Thanks. This is an old post and I do understand that now.

I ended up being awarded SSDI shortly after he returned the paperwork so now I think the money was well spent.

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Posted

I pay a co-pay any time I need a letter or forms filled out by my doc. He used to do it or free but I really require a lot of notes to get the meds I need so it takes a lot of his time.

nf

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Posted

I pay a co-pay any time I need a letter or forms filled out by my doc. He used to do it or free but I really require a lot of notes to get the meds I need so it takes a lot of his time.

nf

While I understand the doctor's need for compensation, I am baffled by the amount of doctors who refuse to fill out any type of disability form. Aren't doctors in the business of helping patients? Yes they are bombarded by forms, but I don't think doctors understand that when they refuse to fill out a form for disability, they may be taking away the prospect of roof over somebody's head or a meal on a table. Yes, doctor's are helping patients become healthy... but what about helping them retain a stable livelihood by being able to afford a home or food? If I was a doctor, I don't know how I'd live with myself if I knew my refusal to fill out a form caused someone to become homeless.

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Posted

I don't know if we read the same thread, but as far as I can tell, no one's doctor was refusing to fill out any required forms. The OP's doctor had already provided the SSDI people with the required records, and wanted to be paid for his time to fill out an additional, optional form. No one was at risk of becoming homeless.

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Posted

Just yesterday I was in my doctor's office, for an emergency visit scheduled only 2 1/2 hours prior. When I walked in, there were two patients inyhe waiting room, which is weird because he's usually on time.

Turns out, he was in the midst of another emergency. A patient needed heart surgery tout suite, so he and his office manager were scrambling to make the necessary arangements. His nurse wasn't in. A prescription faxed to the quickest pharmacy around. Calling for a consult and even scheduling a lucky appointment that afternoon. The phone was ringing off the hook, and the poor office manager barely had time to scribble down a note.

When it was my turn, 45 minutes after my scheduled time, the doctor gave me his usual standard of care. He also mentioned the 14 pages of paperwork I had faxed over two days before (FMLA and ADA accommodation) and promised to complete them before he left for the day. He told me he'd also add a mention of medication sensitivities, since I'd had a bad reaction to a med before and was sitting in front of him for a brand new case of penicillin allergy.

I don't know if it's right or not to charge for paperwork, but I know there's a lot of it to do. Even on days that run long because of things beyond the doc's control.

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Posted

Doctors should charge. Just how lawyers nickle and dime you!

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Posted

I agree! Doctors have the right to charge just like everyone else!

Would you do anything for free? Don't think so!

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Posted

I've never had docs charge me for any paperwork.

One ob office charged me an "office managment" yearly fee but I refused to see them.

It is part of the job, an annoying and sometimes difficult part, but they submit to insurance companies for free, don;t they? I thought so.

Anna

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