November 13, 2009, Newsletter Issue #205: Ask Why Procedures Or Tests Are Done

Tip of the Week

It is perfectly fine to be “inquisitive” while you are in the medical facility and it is your right to get an explanation if you do not understand why something is being done. For example, due to the shortage of nurses, many hospitals will place Foley catheters in their elderly patients for the convenience of the staff (i.e. nurses do not have to attend to the patient as much because now, if a patient needs to go to the bathroom, they use the tube instead of calling the nurse for assistance). As a patient, you are charged for the Foley catheter as well as the catheterization (both technical fees). If you are not satisfied with the explanation given by the nurse, be sure to ask a doctor BEFORE it becomes a procedure and equipment charge on your bill.

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