Phone call policy question??

  1. I stated this question before today but it ended up under nursing activisim so copied it and will try again, sorry if that is not the way to do it.

    Phone call charge -does your facility do this?

    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.

  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   NurseDennie
    Oh, what WONDERFUL "customer service" that is!

    Not only did he have to have a defective wire replaced (no doubt at HIS or his insurance's expense!) but that's just adding insult to injury to charge for the phone call!! Especially since it sounds like the nurse who called was not terribly cordial.

    At the hospital I used to work for, we did the same thing you mention, Joanne. I know that hospitals are cutting corners tighter and tighter, but I think this would leave such a bad taste in people's mouths that it can't be good.

    I have heard from patients that their doctor's offices are charging for phone calls - and I'll betcha those phone calls aren't even from nurses!

    Hope your dad recuperates fast and is better soon.


  4. by   aimeee
    Now that is an absolute crock! In the first place it is a ridiculous policy, and in the second, there is no way in this day that a one minute phone call costs $9.00. I hope she complains loud and long about that and gets it removed from her bill. If it isn't, a letter to the editor of the paper is called for. Somebody is GOUGING.
  5. by   nightingale
    Oh for heavens sake! CAll the business office on Monday! Shame on them!

    The charge is excessive.

  6. by   prmenrs
    Any charge is excessive! But I agree that if you call the business office and express your shock at this appalling practice, and request to have it taken off your bill, they might. But that doesn't mean they will not continue the practice.

    Consider a phone call or letter (even better) to the CEO.

    Talk about ridiculous!
  7. by   mattsmom81
    I got stung with this once and I'm always careful NOT to call a long distance operator...I couldn't get through once to my brother in an emergency and asked a LD operator for help......she charged me 80 bucks for that phone call!!! Maybe this is what the nurse did too.....unknowingly. And the hospital has to recoup the charge somehow...worth checking out.
  8. by   Reabock
    Thanks to all of you for your replys. Will print them up and give to my mom and she can take it from there. Hopefully will get it resolved to her satisfaction!
  9. by   Zee_RN
    No, my hospital does not do this! Lordy, in this day and age of "Service Excellence," I'm appalled at the very concept.

    Does this hospital utilize the services of Press-Gainey? You know, the survey people who evaulate customer service for hospitals? You ought to ask them specifically and then ASK for a survey form because you'd just LOVE to participate....