During a coffee break at a conference one day last week, I was chatting to a surgeon about surgical fees.
His view was they were too low and a certain insurance company were, in his view, trying to reduce the number of consultants they recognised by keeping fees low. He went on to explain that since he had been recognised, his fees had always been decreased and never increased.
Curiously he was the second person to make this point in the same week although the second person had heard a rumor surgical fees had gone up.
So when I got back to the office I picked the telephone up and called the insurance company concerned.
The insurance company knows me well. They should do. As they are one of the major players in the industry and as all my clients are consultant surgeons for whom I raise electronic invoices and send to numerous insurance companies it’s almost certain I’m going to speak with them every single week.
I asked them to confirm the fees for both consultants.
In the case of the first surgeon, he was factually incorrect. His fees had increased in 2014 and he was charging the correct 2014 fee. The argument that the new 2014 higher fee was still not enough is different from the fact his fees had in fact INCREASED as he and I discussed after I called him back.
But I did urge him to check his surgical fees were correct as at October 2015.
The situation with the second surgeon, however, was more disturbing. Not only had his fees increased in July 2015, but he was also blissfully unaware they had been increased. Instead, he had carried on charging a lower amount both for initial and follow up consultations.
He was most unamused to realise he had – between July 1st and October 1st, undercharged by just over £1,000.
I wasn’t being cruel therefore in suggesting both consultants went out and checked if their surgical fees had altered too.
Funnily enough, both having gone on to read my recent blogs on this issue, they emailed me this week asking if I could add them to my list of private subscribers! Both also asked if I would be good enough to check their fees every single month.
Check your fees or get somebody to check them every single month!