At my endo appointment last week, the good woman reminded me that she hadn't seen my "full-body" test results for a while: my most recent eye exam, mammogram and pap smear. This turned out to be a good reminder, as the former two were last done a full year ago and it was time to reschedule (sigh). What a pain! More appointment-making and driving around and time out of my schedule for unpleasant tests.

But here's the part that just put me over the edge: she asked, perfectly reasonably, that I request that the latest results from my other doctors be faxed over to her office for my file. I called the eye doctor, and that was a snap. But then I called my OB/GYN's office. I was put on hold for a very long time, and when the clerk returned she said I'd have to fill out a Medical Disclosure form for them to share my test results with another doctor's office. Really? I don't remember ever doing that before... but OK, fax it over and I'll fill it out.

After that bit of paperwork, I heard nothing. So a few days later I called to check if the results had been sent and was told, "No, um, we require a $20 processing fee and you haven't paid that yet." WtF?

"Twenty dollars? Are you kidding me?"

"Yes, ma'am. That's the processing fee."

Innovation 2015

"What?! I never heard of that before!"

"Well it's the policy."

"Since when?!"

"I... I don't know. But it's the current policy."

"You have to be kidding me! As if it weren't expensive enough to be chronically ill," I bellowed (losing it a little). "When you have a chronic illness you HAVE to have your physicians share records — it's not some kind of luxury! And now you're telling me that I have to pay an extra twenty bucks to have one doctor send a piece of paper to another?!"

"That's the policy, yes."

"SINCE WHEN?!" I brayed. "What's all this talk about a 'healthcare team'? These people are charging us to share a lousy test result nowadays?"

"I've been told there's a processing fee..."

"Listen, I'll tell you what," I interjected: "I'M THE PATIENT, so that information belongs to me. Why don't you just TELL me the test results and then I'll pass the info on to my doctor myself — and save the twenty bucks!"

"Just a minute, ma'am," she said, still incredibly calm and polite.

Long pause.

"Hello, ma'am? Um yes, we'll just fax that info over to Dr.[X]'s office for you, OK?"

"OK?! Yeah, OK. That's all I was asking for," I said too loudly, and then hung up without saying thank you.

I know, I know: one accomplishes much more with kindness than with rancor. I just couldn't help myself. I was livid.

How about you? Encountered any surprising healthcare fees lately that seem to mysteriously come and go?

Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For more details click here.

Disclaimer

This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.