So I got a call from my wife letting me know that my daughter's routine wellness visit to the doctor was going to cost someone $608. I say someone is going to pay it because it won't be just us. Our insurer will be picking up a healthy chunk of the bill, as they should since that's why we pay them ransom premiums every month, but the interesting thing to me is that the only reason we actually know the cost is because the doctor's office still has us in their system as an "out of pocket" patient and they send the bills directly to our house. The reason for this is we used to have an HSA plan so all the bills were paid directly by us, but we've been on our current "regular" insurance plan for over a year so we shouldn't be getting these bills. Can we say inefficiency?
You have to wonder how we've gotten to the point that a simple wellness visit that takes 15 minutes and involves a routine vaccination can cost north of $600. Sheesh.
But wait, there's more. It ends up that the doctor's office billed for something they didn't do. When my wife called they said that the thing they billed for was a standard part of a wellness check, which is why they billed it even though they didn't provide the service. They assured her that it would be removed from the bill that the insurer receives. Riiiight.
Here's my questions: What would have happened if we'd never seen the bill? How often does this kind of thing happen and what is it costing on a state or nationwide basis? When did practice managers start going to the same management school as car dealership repair shop managers?
What a cluster.
Once, about 10 years ago, I went to the doctor and got referred for a test. When I got the bill for the test (thinking now, I don’t know why it came directly to me, as I had one of the ‘gold-plated’ insurance plans then) I noticed two line items for the same test. I could think of no feasible reason why the test would be done twice on the same day (maybe you need to redo the test at a later date, but if they screw it up, it’s their dime). I called, and they changed the bill to just one. I wondered then how many bills have stuff that was never done, just to try to get people to pay. What percentage of people would just pay the higher bill, and is it worth it to have to field the calls for the changes?