Yep, that's what our clinic said.
"It is not a discount, nor a kickback, it is a service fee."
Their explanation is that their administrator and C One has an arrangement. Since C One pays so timely and the funds are EFT into the clinic's account, the clinic's administrator has made this agreement that C One keeps 5% off the top. It is a "service fee" for their timely and immediate EFT payment.
No patient advocate. DH called yesterday and spoke to the financial person first. Then, he says, let me put my wife on the phone so you can explain it to her. I was probably the rudest person I have ever been in my life (I am sure it did not help that I was PMS-ing and AF arrived this morning). And she gave me that lame explanation.
It really is not about the money because we knew what the IVF package price was and agreed to pay it. It is the fact that they are doing this without disclosing this practice to their customers. It is TOTALLY wrong and unethical, IMO.
I told her, "I cannot believe you have not been sued over this!"
She said, "Really? Why? I guess I don't understand what you mean?"
I said, "We signed documents saying that C One would pay XXXXXX to Dr. XXXXX. We agreed to make payments to them for this amount. And now, we find out that you did not actually receive that amount from C One? What isn't clear here?"
She kept going back to "it's an arrangement that our administrator and C One has made". She assured me, "that this arrangement is so that the patient is not burdened with making sure the payment is to us and you still receive your treatment."
So.....I do not know if we are going to pursue anything else. Maybe, a letter to our RE just expressing our concern about this practice. It just does not leave a good impression of their so-called patient-friendly care when you find out after the fact that they have an "under-the-counter deal" with the financing company, you know?
18 hours ago