Thursday, October 30, 2008

Charging for Paperwork

My husband is planning to take 3 weeks off from work to stay at home and help when the baby is born. Thanks to our friendly Family Medical Leave Act, he can take up to 12 weeks off -- all unpaid, of course. His employer will allow him to use up to 6 weeks of sick leave to get paid while he is off. One of the forms required for FMLA leave has to be filled out by our doctor. If it is not filled out, no FMLA leave is granted. The doctor's office charged us a fee to fill out a two-sided form that took about 10 minutes. Basically we either paid the fee or he doesn't get leave from his job. Nothing like not having any options.

I was more than irritated to be charged for paperwork. On the one hand, we used the doctor's employees to fill out the form and employees cost money. On the other hand, given that this is an OB's office, they should probably expect most patients will need an FMLA form filled out. If we had needed copies of my file or had a 5 page form to fill out that would take significant time, I could understand a fee for the time. Probably the better option for a doctor is to just add the fee to your delivery fee (without publishing it as such) and look like the good guy.

We live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but as you can see from this chart**, we are way behind in the world in parental leave.

** I tend to take info on Wikipedia with a grain of salt, but from other reading I've done, this is probably pretty accurate.

1 Thoughts From Others:

ErinOrtlund said...

Grr. That is annoying!

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