Can I Submit This to My Insurance? - The Life of a Hotel Doctor - By Mike Oppenheim, M.D.
By Mike Oppenheim, MD
back and forth to the bathroom. Urine infections are among my favorite diseases. They're miserable but respond quickly to the antibiotics I carry. Patients are always grateful. This looked like a good visit. I quoted my fee.
"Oh… I didn't realize it would be so much."
This happens now and then. I remember guests at the Beverly Hills Hotel where room rates start at$300 who didn't want to pay half that. In any case, once I mention the fee, I don't like to refuse someone who thinks it's too high. So I reduced it. That was OK.
It was a good visit. I tested her urine, announced she had an infection, and handed over medicine.She was grateful. Before leaving, I gave her my invoice.
"Can I submit this to my insurance?"
"You have travel insurance?"
"I think so. They made us buy something for this trip."
It was too late to ask why, if she had insurance, she had objected to my fee. But this happens evenwith Americans. In every advanced country outside the US except Russia and South Africa, if you need a doctor you don't first decide if you can afford it, so foreign travelers often pay little attention to their insurance.