My local orthopedic surgeon sent me a bill for $71.00. This was for 4
visits over a month.
The $71 was my copayment after Medicare paid the bills at the Medicare rate.
Here's the kicker. I didn't see a doctor on the first visit. I had an
appointment but sat in the reception room for an hour after my
appointment time before I got up and rescheduled my appointment. The
receptionist apologized and said they were short handed that day. They
billed Medicare who paid them $156 for me sitting in their reception
room for an hour.
The second and 3rd visits were OK I saw the doctor both times, the
second time I scheduled an operation for my elbow.
Way before my scheduled operation, I called them by phone and cancelled
They billed Medicade for an office visit on the scheduled operation
date, even though I had cancelled it by phone, and was paid another $156..
You know I'm not paying this $71 copayment bill, not even the amount for
the two dates when I actually saw the doctor. Medicade paid them over 4
times the $71 they wanted from me, and for nothing.
The next time I'm in the area, I will stop in and dispute the bill with
them. If no satisfaction, I'll ask them if I should call Medicare and
dispute the bill.
I don't want to call them. I want to see their faces when I dispute it.
Say the magic words.. Office of Inspector General. Mcaid and FBI drool
over this kind of stuff. Especially getting billed for the cancelled
appointment (providing it was cancelled 24 hours before.. otherwise they
can bill you legally). If it is an ongoing thing you might be in line
for a cut of the take.
I get off on '57 Chevys
I get off on screamin' guitars
This, unfortunately, is where the words "Medicare Fraud" come from.
Too loose in the office management, by my standards. I would worry
that if they are this careless in billing, they may be careless in
their healthcare, also.
Sorry to hear of this situation.
Linda H., M.D.
The larger medical centers/hospitals are typically three months behind
billing. Pay the bill, or at least part of it, and they will leave
you alone for awhile. Or, you can always send the bill to your
I had an appointment yesterday and found that they no longer do
billing in-house. In the past bills like this were just written off
because it cost more to collect than they were worth. The cost of
processing your account can be a significant portion of your bill.
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