Phone call charge -does your facility do this?

  1. My mother told me yesterday that the last time my dad was in the hospital ( to have wires replaced in a 2 week old non pacing pacer!) that they were charged over $9.00 for a phone call generated by the nurse, stating tersely "your husband is being discharged tomorrow". Is this standard practice to charge a family for a call from the nurse or medical professional? In our facilitity, we frequently call a family from the nurses station and then transfer it to the pt's room if they need to get hold of someone and have no calling card or do not wish to call collect. Keep in mind this is a very rural area and it is always a judgement call by the individual nurse to do it this way. By the way, my dad was in a large teaching, medical facility about 70 miles away. Maybe they do things differently there, but >$9.00 for a <1 minute call seems excessive.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Agnus
    totally out of line and inappropriate. This is exploitation. If a long distance call must be made to notify family of Change of Condition, discharge or any other pertinate information That is the cost of doing business.
    We charge for every little toothpick this but this way out of line, and an excessive charge. $9.00!
    It is also inapppropriate because the family member was not forewarned of the charge and did not agree to it.

    I pay for phone calls with my attorney (related to a family business) I am paying for my attorney's time, as I would for an office visit with him. I am not paying his phone bill. An attorney is giving professional legal advice. I pay the same rate whether I sit in his office or discuss a case on the phone.

    What the hospital is doing is entirely different. Do they charge if the family member is visiting the hospital when the nurse tells them the pt. will be discharged tomorrow. I think not.
  4. by   NRSKarenRN
    OUTRAGEOUS!

    Tell them to call the patient representative or business office, (ask for supervisor) and explain call. Demand charge be removed. Follow-up with letter.
  5. by   traumaRUs
    Unbelievably cheap!!! I sure hope they pay the nurses wonderful salaries!!!
  6. by   P_RN
    I believe I'd "call" them on that.

    Write the guest relations department and tell them this is an inappropriate charge and you wish it refunded. What with all the advertising out there to be the most "beloved hospital" they might just do it.

    And NO I have NEVER heard of such a thing.
  7. by   AlabamAlum
    I wonder if that hopsital has a 900 number for Dial-a-Nurse.
  8. by   MitziK
    That's ridiculous!

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