Frustations with medical billing
October 28, 2022
Have you ever had the experience of a company overcharging you, but not listening to your reasons for their incorrect charging? Kaiser Health News published a story about one doctor being overcharged and his wife's subsequent experience in getting the charge corrected.
Although the outcome was positive (with the couple saving over $2,000), it's notable that the patient himself is a doctor and that his wife oversees billing at the patient's practice. Even still, the couple had challenges getting their charges rectified. Perhaps not surprisingly, the hospital stated that its charge for a specific procedure was reasonable, despite being nearly double the out-of-network price estimated for that hospital's ZIP code. What is surprising, though, is the insurer's unwillingness to engage with the dispute -- despite the possibility of saving thousands of dollars. The final resolution was that the hospital admitted to charging for a procedure that was not actually performed. Unfortunately, the discrepancy is not one that was easily determined by the patient or his wife, let alone the average patient. The entire account raises the larger question of how frequently this type of mistake happens, and whether the system could be set up differently to better protect against these mistakes.