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Is This Normal SOP?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if this is the correct forum to post this in, so if it isn't, please feel free to move it to the appropriate one.

Several months ago, I had a 'run-in' with my current vet & his wife (which I posted a thread about), and b/c of it, I no longer feel comfortable with him treating my cats. I decided to find another vet, so I called the current one to ask for my cats' records. The receptionist called back and informed me that I would have to pay a fee to obtain the records. Is that normal SOP?

~KK~
post #2 of 29
IMO, that's a load of bull.
post #3 of 29
Thats not true, there should be no fee, I had it done for nothing, they just faxed over all records to the new Vet.
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
IMO, that's a load of bull.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aswient View Post
Thats not true, there should be no fee, I had it done for nothing, they just faxed over all records to the new Vet.
That's what I thought. I'm thinking he's just p-o'd b/c of the run-in, and is trying to get "revenge" or something..

I need those records badly - mainly b/c of Winchester & Geronimo's FIP history, and am willing to pay the fee if I really have to. I may not like it, but it's worth it if I have to sacrifice a few bucks for my cats' health.

Thanks for responding so quickly, peeps.

~KK~
post #5 of 29
Do not pay that fee - fight it. That is ridiculous, call back & tell them you're getting a lawyer if they insist you pay the fee.
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Do not pay that fee - fight it. That is ridiculous, call back & tell them you're getting a lawyer if they insist you pay the fee.
I agree it's lousy, but I would be careful. My sister switched vets & her vets office "Lost" her dogs records. I would pay for them & once I had them make sure they knew, I was well aware of what they were doing.

And I believe it is normal practice for Dr.s & such to charge people for copies of their records. I know the mental health clinic I'm interning at does.
post #7 of 29
Call the Bbb. I got my Cats records when we switched Vets and they did not charge.
post #8 of 29
I wouldn't necessarily think it's an abnormal cost - all medical offices that I know will charge for copies of their records, so I don't see why a vet's office will not charge for copies. After all, it actually does cost something in supplies and labor to copy a file - truly, it does; I work in an office and we charge clients for such administrative tasks. Now, it shouldn't be a huge amount - anything much over $1.00 per page does seem a bit much.

Are you actually asking for the records, or having them faxed directly to another vet? There may be a cost differential there. Good luck, but the important thing is to have the records transmitted correctly and entirely.
post #9 of 29
My former Vet didn't charge anything to FAX over my pets records to the new Vet.

Around here, it is common practice for the human medical community to charge for supplying records to a new office.....but not in the animal medical community.

Sounds like the 'old' Vet is using bullying tactics.....but you might be at his mercy in case he, too, 'loses' the records. Very immature behaviour, btw. That office is certainly not thinking of your pets best interests!! Who would want a Vet like that.....spread the word (but after you get your records)
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Do not pay that fee - fight it. That is ridiculous, call back & tell them you're getting a lawyer if they insist you pay the fee.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rang_27 View Post
I agree it's lousy, but I would be careful. My sister switched vets & her vets office "Lost" her dogs records. I would pay for them & once I had them make sure they knew, I was well aware of what they were doing.
I thought about fighting it, but I don't want to start a ruckus at this point b/c I really need those records. And b/c of the incident, I'm worried that the vet may "mysteriously lose" the records or something as Rang mentioned. I'll post a link to the aforementioned thread so y'all will get a better understanding as to why I'm hesitant about making a fuss at this point...

~KK~
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by darlili View Post

Are you actually asking for the records, or having them faxed directly to another vet? There may be a cost differential there. Good luck, but the important thing is to have the records transmitted correctly and entirely.
I'm just gonna go and pick them up. And I agree: the important thing is obtaining the records right now. I can deal with the rest of it later..

~KK~
post #13 of 29
HOW large is the file?? the only time I have heard of a vet charging was for a HUGE file like 60 plus pages and that was only a 10 cent a page to help cover paper and ink costs
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxiecat03 View Post

Sounds like the 'old' Vet is using bullying tactics.....but you might be at his mercy in case he, too, 'loses' the records. Very immature behaviour, btw. That office is certainly not thinking of your pets best interests!! Who would want a Vet like that.....spread the word (but after you get your records)

I think he's using "bully tactics" too, b/c he figures I'm at his mercy mainly due to Winchester & Geronimo's FIP treatments. I don't know: anything is possible. I do know that I no longer trust him as my vet, which is why I found another one. I not only no longer trust him b/c of the previous incident, but also b/c I've heard several rumors about other things, and that he's an alchoholic who treats his 'patients' while intoxicated. I never noticed him being drunk during the times I took my cats in to see him, but there were times he seemed to be really moody & grumpy. So who knows??

I really don't want to go around and say nasty things about him, but if it were me, I'd want to be informed - especially when it comes to my cats' health & welfare. I used to put in a good word about him to everyone I knew, but I will no longer recommend him to anyone. I wanted to talk to him personally about the situation, but he wouldn't even get on the phone. That would indicate to me that he's feeling "guilty" over the incident. He's always returned my phone calls before...

Sorry for venting. This whole situation has me pretty upset..

~KK~
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
HOW large is the file?? the only time I have heard of a vet charging was for a HUGE file like 60 plus pages and that was only a 10 cent a page to help cover paper and ink costs
I really don't know how large it is. But I'm presuming that it's fairly large - mainly b/c of Winchester & Geronimo and how many times we had to run them in to see the vet b/c of the FIP and all the tests/treatments.

~KK~
post #16 of 29
Some doctor's offices (vets and human doctors) do charge for records. It's just up to the individual office's policy.

By the way, going to the office in person won't necessarily mean you don't have to pay a fee. The vet will still have to make copies of the records for you; you can't just take the originals, because the vet must retain them.
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittKatt View Post
I think he's using "bully tactics" too, b/c he figures I'm at his mercy mainly due to Winchester & Geronimo's FIP treatments. I don't know: anything is possible. I do know that I no longer trust him as my vet, which is why I found another one. I not only no longer trust him b/c of the previous incident, but also b/c I've heard several rumors about other things, and that he's an alchoholic who treats his 'patients' while intoxicated. I never noticed him being drunk during the times I took my cats in to see him, but there were times he seemed to be really moody & grumpy. So who knows??

I really don't want to go around and say nasty things about him, but if it were me, I'd want to be informed - especially when it comes to my cats' health & welfare. I used to put in a good word about him to everyone I knew, but I will no longer recommend him to anyone. I wanted to talk to him personally about the situation, but he wouldn't even get on the phone. That would indicate to me that he's feeling "guilty" over the incident. He's always returned my phone calls before...

Sorry for venting. This whole situation has me pretty upset..

~KK~
It's okay to vent...this sounds like a very disturbing situation. I didn't mean to say that you should say bad things about him...but to simply not recommend him due to his treatment of the situation. It's not good to risk 'libeling' someone, but you can certainly say that he lied to you...and now won't return your phone calls in order to explain his actions.

I hope you get your records. And in time, you can just forget about him and the situation.....time heals alot of hurt feelings. I've certainly 'been there' with a dentist one time...but I switched dentists and it didn't take long where the situation just became another story to tell when talking about strange dealings with so-called professionals.

Good Luck....I hope your kitties get their treatments...that's the most important focus.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by darlili View Post
I wouldn't necessarily think it's an abnormal cost - all medical offices that I know will charge for copies of their records, so I don't see why a vet's office will not charge for copies. After all, it actually does cost something in supplies and labor to copy a file - truly, it does; I work in an office and we charge clients for such administrative tasks. Now, it shouldn't be a huge amount - anything much over $1.00 per page does seem a bit much.
i agree - altho i think $1 is too high. we're talking paper + toner costs... shouldn't be any more than a public copy place charges to copy by the page. that amount varies from place to place - but i've never seen it more than 25¢ a page anywhere at one of those.

btw - i had a suggestion for determining if it was a 'usual & customary' charge if you know anyone else that used that vet & also got copies. won't really work if you don't... you can try it, but it can backfire on you if there's not someone.

anyway, simply say [either on the phone or when you pick up the records] that you had an acquaintance who made the same request, but was supplied the record copies w/o a fee. if you say acquaintance, & they ask who, you can say you forgot the name... that's why it would work better if you actually knew someone whose name you could supply.

but that's me, being tacky. irritates me if i feel i'm being taken advantage of!
post #19 of 29
I guessed at a dollar on the high end, because that's what local governmental offices charge for Freedom of Information Act copies - and, don't forget labor costs, as well as paper, toner, and possibly figuring the amortized cost of the copier as well. The labor would be the expensive part of the whole deal - and it's got to be illegal to let the patient/client make their own copies.

In any event, I hope the next vet works out much better and that your kitty feels better very soon.
post #20 of 29
I would check with your state veterinary board (assuming you are in the United States--if not, the equivalent governing body) and find out what their rules are. I think most, if not all, states have rules that only allow the vet to charge a small copy fee.
post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'm even angrier now over this incident than I was before!

We went to pick up the records on Thursday so I could bring them to the new vet yesterday, and that jerk had the audacity to charge me TEN dollars PER cat!! When we got there, I wrote out the check for $10, b/c that's what the office girl told me it would cost when I talked to her on the phone. But when I handed her the check, she said it was $50! I'm like "WHAT?! You told me on the phone it was $10 for ALL the records!!" So I told her I wanted to talk to the vet. He comes up front, and tells me it's $10 per cat. I argued about it with him, but it did no good. I also told him just why I was going to a different vet, since I had my chance. He didn't seem to care one way or another. As much as it p-o'd me off, I ended up paying the price, b/c I really had no choice: I needed those records. But I only paid for Winchester & Geronimo's records, b/c they are my two FIP cats and I needed those the most. All their medical info is in those records, and I thought it would be beneficial for the new vets to have them....

It looks as if that whole office is shady. Even the receptionist lies..

I'm gonna do some checking into this. I don't think it's right that I should have to pay that price just for a few sheets of paper.. Even the new vet's office thought that it was ridiculous when I told them I had to pay for the records...

~KK~
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post

anyway, simply say [either on the phone or when you pick up the records] that you had an acquaintance who made the same request, but was supplied the record copies w/o a fee. if you say acquaintance, & they ask who, you can say you forgot the name... that's why it would work better if you actually knew someone whose name you could supply.
I'm gonna try to contact the receptionist who used to work there (the girl who I mentioned from the other thread who got fired) and ask her. She would know if anyone does...

Quote:
but that's me, being tacky. irritates me if i feel i'm being taken advantage of!
It irritates me too, as you may have surmised..

~KK~
post #23 of 29
Have the new vet call the old vet and request the records instead of you doing it.
post #24 of 29
I have run into people having to pay for vet records when surrendering their pets to the shelter so it is not that uncommon, it depends on the vet I guess.

The problem with most vets is they don't exactly have a price list in reception to prove costs.

Really their staff are doing work for what is essentially not a client anymore so I can understand them charging because they have to keep copies for 7 years (or whatever the licensing in that area states) so someone has to copy them.
post #25 of 29
How long does it usually take to get those files? Also, can one just ask forthem just to have, or does it mean right off the bat that I am looking for a new vet. I just wanted to show some of the results on this forum tosee if anhone might have an idea of additional action for one of my kittens. I actually like my vet alot and she is very good.
post #26 of 29
I just went through the same thing with my vet. They closed up shop and didn't notify anyone. I left a note on the door and emailed them but of course I got no answer. I was furious. When I called the state of mn, they said they would notify the vet and the vet HAD to give me the files within 30 days or something like that and they could charge a reasonable fee for the copies. When I asked what reasonable ment, the state said .25 a page was reasonable. I had an email and my records delivered to my front door within a couple days. It was amazing. They didn 't charge me a penny. They didn't copy the files they gave me the originals. they would have went into storage anyway.

My point to this long story...get the records first then call that state and see what they say. If they think $10 is unreasonable, they can write a letter or make a phone call.
post #27 of 29
How funny that this thread got bumped up! Holland has an appointment tomorrow with a new vet (we moved several months ago), and I just happened to read here. Just to see what would happen (I have copies of all her records anyway), I called Holland's previous vet, told them that we had moved and asked if they could fax or e-mail her records to me. I was told that they would be faxed within the hour (no charge) and if I didn't get them in an hour to call back.

Maybe it depends on the vet as to what the SOP are, but IMO, you should be able to get free, unlimited access to your pet's medical records, just like you would be able to get your own or your child's records.

tkaner - if you're worried that your vet will think you're shopping for a new vet, just be honest and let them know you'd like to keep copies of the records just in case. I don't think it's an odd request.
post #28 of 29
I wouldn't see a vet getting upset over a request for records, if you are uncomfortable just say you'd like to have a copy of them just in case of an emergency after hours or you're traveling and they need to see a vet(especially if they have a medical history that isn't normal- surgeries, illnesses, etc.) Nuts' records would just have his shot record, him being neutered and 2 visits for minor issues(excessive meowing and foamy urine both times he checked out ok), so I don't need them, his only 'issue' is being FeLV+ but he's perfectly healthy, he's the polar opposite of Attitude when it comes to health. I know when I went to Canada(I lived in Dallas,TX at the time) when I was 28 weeks pregnant my OB gave me a copy of my records in case I had to seek medical care while I was there. I didn't need them, but it was good to have them just in case(I was obviously having a normal 'textbook' pregnancy.)

My vet's office had to fax Attitude's records to a different vet when Paul wanted a second opinion on Attitude(they told him the same thing I did- my vet was doing everything right and nothing could be done for her that they weren't already doing. I wasn't going to change vets anyways, I just never told Paul that.) I went back to my vet(Paul was honest that he wanted a second opinion the next time Attitude had an appointment) and my vet was the one who put Attitude to sleep(they even called me after her death to reassure me there was nothing that could have been done, her fungal test was negative), they still see Nuts and I need to make an appointment for Dexter. Of course in my situation I had a cat with FeLV that was going downhill fast so they knew the situation(the other vet even commented on how big Attitude's file was especially for a 1 year old cat(he said that the size of her file as typical for the average dog or cat who lived a normal lifespan.) I wouldn't have been upset to be charged for records, but I also knew going in that Attitude was going to have a rather large file(my vet didn't charge anything.)

Taryn
post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hey y'all. I thought I should point out the fact that this is an old thread, which someone noticed and bumped up. FWIW, I no longer have the vet to whom which I was referring to in this thread, and there is no problem obtaining records from the two vets that I use now. But I sure appreciate everyone's advice & input as always.
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