EXPLANATION OF CHARGING FOR MEDICALS & COMPLETION OF : MEDICAL REPORTS, LETTERS & STATEMENTS
We are requested to complete a significant number and vast array of reports/certificates for our 8400 patients. These include reports to enable patients to claim on their Private Health Insurance, or for purposes such as housing, mortgages, employment, travel, fitness to perform, Jury service, membership cancellations etc. We have a contract with the NHS to provide medical services for our patients. This contract does not include the completion of forms or letters in support of the above stated claims. Our doctors undertake a great deal of responsibility in respect of the information they provide in medical certificates and reports. Furthermore, the Practice incurs a cost of over £50k per year on medical indemnity, in this respect. As mentioned above, this is not funded by the NHS and so we, therefore, have no other alternative but to charge patients for the time and responsibility undertaken by our doctors and any administration costs in this respect.
Costs for producing medical reports/letters, which require a physical examination of the patient are much higher than those requiring information from medical records. It is therefore important, in the first instance, to identify whether or not the Authority requesting a medical report/letter requires the doctor to carry out a physical examination of the patient or are happy to receive a report based on medical records of the patient kept by the practice.
We do draw our patients' attention to the fees we charge for Private services. Our fee structure is based on British Medical Association guidelines and local practices' policies on fees for private services. This is displayed on our notice board and is referred to in our practice leaflet. I should also point out that Insurance companies usually state in their forms to their clients that the client's GP can charge for the completion of the respective form.
There may, in the past, have been inconsistencies in our fee structure and in some instances your fees may have been waived. The practice has now decided to adhere strictly to a defined and consistent fee structure and apologises if you have received a different charge in the past for the same report.
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