Local mom says she was charged for use of iPad during doctor visit

A South Jersey woman says she was charged for use of an iPad during a doctor visit for her kids.

FOX 29's Brad Sattin has the story.

11-year-old Mia Ambrosino is getting regular lessons as she learns to play the piano. When it comes to her health, she also gets regular checkups. However, when the bill came following the last wellness check for her and her brother Cole the statement was not music to her mother's ears.

"Mia had one vaccine and Cole. They both had eye exams. So I was like, Okay, well, maybe that's not covered under the wellness visit and if that's the case, that's fine, but I want to know what I'm paying for before I pay the bill," mom, Pam Ambrosino said.

When Pam called, she was told the charge had nothing to do with a vaccine or an eye exam.

"She said, you filled out questions on an iPad when you got there, I said yes. She said that's what the charge is for. And I was like, that is ludicrous," she said.

She says the office told her it was $50 for each child to cover the use of an iPad to answer some questions prior to seeing the doctor.

"It literally took me less than 5 minutes-- less than 5 minutes," the mom explained.

Pam says they were never told of the charge at the time.

Her two children get their checkups at a New Jersey location of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia network.

Her insurance company wouldn't pay the fee, but it was adjusted through a negotiated rate, down to $58.91, which Pam has no intention of paying.

She expressed her shock on Facebook and the reaction there was universal. Comments from "It's outrageous" to "craziness."

Pam says after 10 years with CHOP she loves the people and quality of health care, but says the iPad charge is over the top.

Late today, Children's Hospital of Philadlephia did get back to us, saying in part:

"An optional patient-family questionnaire is a critical part of well-child visits. The charge has nothing to do with the manner in which the information is collected. But rather is a charge for the clinician's time to interpret the results. CHOP is happy to work with families if they have questions."

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