Health & Wellness

Doctor is now charging an annual fee. Is this acceptable?

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  • Apr 6th, 2016 11:03 pm
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[OP]
Deal Guru
Jun 11, 2005
13160 posts
1985 upvotes
Toronto

Doctor is now charging an annual fee. Is this acceptable?

My soon to be in laws just recieved a mail from their doctor's office. In the letter it states that there will now be an annual fee of $95 per person or $180 per family (but does not state how many persons in each family which is odd)

The cost is to help with administrative costs and access to prescription renewals. If they dont pay it, it will be $25 per prescription renewal.

The wierd thing is that the we are all under OHIP and I dont remember ever having to pay for prescription renewals at several doctors offices and clinics.

The website in question to remit these payments is:

Doctorsservices.ca

It looks quite shady.
27 replies
Deal Guru
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Jan 11, 2004
10020 posts
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Toronto
just another cash grab for your OHIP cash strapped / over worked DOCTORS who don't get paided enought.
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Dec 26, 2005
16947 posts
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Thornhill
Sounds weird - contact the Ontario College of Physicians to see if they're allowed to do that, otherwise report him/her.

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Newbie
Nov 20, 2015
30 posts
17 upvotes
Surrey, BC
Perhaps regulations are different in Ontario, but here in BC more and more doctors are charging for prescription refills or the annual fee. I'd say in my local area, it's about 50/50 with some doctors giving leeway for really old patients or something that was just missed at recent appointment.

On a related note, in Ontario (as well as BC and some other provinces) depending on the disease, medication and your pharmacist's willingness, they have the authority to extend a doctor's prescription. This is mainly for that cholesterol pill or blood pressure pill you've been on for years, and will be for many more and it never changes, not that antibiotic for some infection that you think you need another course.
Deal Addict
Jul 11, 2010
1189 posts
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Toronto
With our doctor we have the choice to pay the $100 per person annually or not. If we don't pay we would be charged $15 to have her call in or fax in a prescription renewal. However when I visit the office and see her in person there is no charge.
t3359-yes it is legal and there is certainly no reason to report the doctor.
Newbie
Apr 18, 2010
55 posts
4 upvotes
Mississauga
This is not new or illegal in Ontario, it's been happening for years.
If you go to your Doctor for your yearly check up and your health condition is stable then s/he should give a prescription for a years supply...until you are due for your next years check up.
Deal Guru
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Jul 27, 2006
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Scarborough
akito925 wrote: just another cash grab for your OHIP cash strapped / over worked DOCTORS who don't get paided enought.
Doctors get paid quite well. There are some whom are over worked and some whom are not. At the end of the day, they chose their lifestyle and are paid well for it.
Deal Expert
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Aug 2, 2010
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Here 'n There
I've been getting a letter like this from my doctor for years. I've never subscribed nor can I remember him charging me for a prescription the last time I had one which was years ago. Maybe that's why he doesn't send the letter to me anymore.

The OP is best not paying the annual fee unless it would cost more to pay the prescriptions a la carte.
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Aug 23, 2009
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thechampion116 wrote: Doctors get paid quite well. There are some whom are over worked and some whom are not. At the end of the day, they chose their lifestyle and are paid well for it.
This varies from specialty to specialty.
Member
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Jul 12, 2006
413 posts
27 upvotes
I too would like to know if this is allowed. Aside from that, my sympathies to GP's who are getting shafted by the province. Generalists have less of a chance of fleeing, having invested in their practices and lives here, plus many just can't uproot their lives. Hence, the long screw of big government.
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Dec 19, 2001
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Fernando Poo
Thanks for the idea OP. I'll see if my wife will do the same.
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Jan 28, 2014
3543 posts
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Toronto
OP - This is very common - we have been paying the fees for years.

Family refers to how many in the family are seeing the physician sending the lender (administered by Doctors Services).

My husband and I see different GPs - so we pay 2 fees based on Single. The single fee we pay is more in the range of $125.00.

My doctor is a fabulous sole practitioner who I have been seeing for over 25 years. I have yet to need to avail myself of any of the services covered by the fee, but immediately pay it on receipt of the annual letter.

My husband's GP is part of a group - he, like me, has yet to use the covered services, but also pays immediately.

It is very hard to find a good doctor in Ontario and we are grateful we each have one.

The practice is allowable - therefore nothing to report.

GPs used to be able to perform many services. Now they are not allowed to and must refer patients to specialists.

I do hate that the government of Ontario interfering with my health care. I do not need to be reminded to book a mammogram etc. nor do I need to be reminded if one is due. I prefer not to live in a nanny state.
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Jan 27, 2007
5079 posts
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Peterborough
They can charge it. There was a similar thread in the parenting forum about pediatricians charging a fee.

The Province has capped the amount Drs can invoice.

This is a way that is "legal" to recoup some lost fees.

Going after Drs is not the way to curb healthcare costs in Ontario, but it is the easiest. Liberal laziness.

Call your MPP, thats the way to deal with this.
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Deal Addict
Jan 3, 2009
1469 posts
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Blanche123 wrote: OP - This is very common - we have been paying the fees for years.

Family refers to how many in the family are seeing the physician sending the lender (administered by Doctors Services).

My husband and I see different GPs - so we pay 2 fees based on Single. The single fee we pay is more in the range of $125.00.

My doctor is a fabulous sole practitioner who I have been seeing for over 25 years. I have yet to need to avail myself of any of the services covered by the fee, but immediately pay it on receipt of the annual letter.

My husband's GP is part of a group - he, like me, has yet to use the covered services, but also pays immediately.

It is very hard to find a good doctor in Ontario and we are grateful we each have one.

The practice is allowable - therefore nothing to report.

GPs used to be able to perform many services. Now they are not allowed to and must refer patients to specialists.

I do hate that the government of Ontario interfering with my health care. I do not need to be reminded to book a mammogram etc. nor do I need to be reminded if one is due. I prefer not to live in a nanny state.
Family doctors are allowed to provide any care within their own comfort of practice. This issue now is its harder to maintain a lucrative practice that outweighs the cost/upkeep/expenses - thus, those more time sensitive tasks are deferred to ensure patient through put.
Deal Addict
Jan 3, 2009
1469 posts
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thechampion116 wrote: Doctors get paid quite well. There are some whom are over worked and some whom are not. At the end of the day, they chose their lifestyle and are paid well for it.

Unless you are a physician, you're not qualified to make that assessment.
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Aug 20, 2012
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Pacific Ocean
Yep, I've seen this same shizz at my dermo's office. It's for those that want auto-renewals via phone/fax. If you go in person you wont get charged. It's basically used to make up for downfall in OHIP coverage. My dermo was honest and told me the truth. Basically if you dont wanna get charged book an appointment to get the script. That way OHIP pays the doc for the appt and you wont get charged. Simple.

Some docs only give you 3-4 mos scripts at a time. So forces you to come in anyway so he can get compensated by OHIP. If you dont wanna book an appt then you pay for the cost of the renewal over phone/fax. Basically the charge is the same as if you came in for the script anyway. By giving you 1 yrs script he only charges OHIP once. He doesnt make any money. By giving you shorter scripts he makes more via renewals. That's how docs make a continual stream of income and appts. Point blank.
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Aug 20, 2012
13360 posts
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Pacific Ocean
trixstar wrote: My soon to be in laws just recieved a mail from their doctor's office. In the letter it states that there will now be an annual fee of $95 per person or $180 per family (but does not state how many persons in each family which is odd)

The cost is to help with administrative costs and access to prescription renewals. If they dont pay it, it will be $25 per prescription renewal.
Post the letter in full. I believe you/they didnt read carefully. The charge is for auto-renewals via fone/fax. Yes, docs are now charging for that to make income because of cuts via OHIP. Yes, they can charge for services NOT covered by OHIP just like dentists, chiro's, physio's, etc. So the easy way around this is book an appt whenever you need a script renewal. OHIP pays for the cost of the appt and he writes the script for free. If you dont want to then you get charged the fees. Just some peeps (like the physically disabled and seniors) cant get to the docs office each time they need a script renewal so they offer this pay service. Yes, it used to be free but now they charge...
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Jun 17, 2006
3522 posts
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Halton
I wold tell him to go ......... I wouldn't pay anything
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