Overbilling adds insult to injury

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5029
   Posted 7/12/2010 5:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I had 3 trigger finger surgeries 6 weeks ago and haven't recovered well.  I've had continuing skin sensitivity - really hurts to touch a towel - and the fingers remain very stiff and painful despite doing the exercises I was given.
But the zinger came when the bill arrived: $175 for my part of the bill for a couple of little spring splints and a piece of strapping.  I searched the products, found the springs sell retail for under $17, and the strapping for under $4.  Insurance paid $138.  So total was around $300 for $38 worth of "durable goods."
I'm taking them back and complaining. 
It's a lesson for those who have "durable goods" deductibles: Even silly little things can cost more than they're worth.  (A face mask for oxygen or inhaling medicines can cost $300.  I think I have knee surgery in the future.  I'll dig out the old crutches in the closet!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 197
   Posted 7/12/2010 5:54 PM (GMT -6)   
yes, and we wonder why our insurance is so expensive. Before I had insurance, I was given an RX for vicodin and it cost me $7. Yesterday, getting the same generic medication, my copay was $15. Same medicine, yet it cost me double, and you know my insurance was also charged something as well.

That is quite a mark up on those items!. I'd complain as well, it might not do any good, but worth saying something in any event. I found with my doctor that they often don't know what is charged. I had a 30 second EKG with no insurance and was charged $105. I told my doctor and he was shocked. He knew I didn't have insurance, but he was just doing what he felt needed to be done as a doctor. He had no idea what it cost when he ordered it. It's like a totally separate universe. The doctor does their job, and the business department does theirs. Of course the doctors get blamed for it, but unless they are an independent doctor with their own practice, it really isn't their fault.

With my son's asthma compressor for his nebulizer medication, our insurance was billed $400. I found it on the internet for $90. Same exact compressor.
Fibromyalgia, High BP, Migraines, anxiety
Current medications: Topamax, Maxalt, Lotrel, Wellbutrin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5029
   Posted 7/14/2010 3:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I complained about the price of the dinky "durable goods" finger splints and was told the clinic was not allowed to give a different price unless there was a financial problem. They're not even very "durable," since they are only guaranteed for 3 months!

I'm chalking the $175 out of my pocket up to a learning experience. My insurance says sometimes patients are even charged $300 for a face mask for administering breathing treatments. (medicare supplement $500 deductible on durable goods, but they only tell you about wheel chairs.

When I go in to get my knee worked on I'll get some crutches to take with me.

This is the stuff that should be getting audited! My PCP isn't paid enough! He has to endure those nasty RAC audits where the gov't pays the companies based on how much they can find in a tiny sample of charts and multiplied by the number of patients. Stupid things like he should have checked their bowels when they came in for a sore throat.

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