Dec 20, 2009

How Will They Get Around It?

Oh, Congress and their precious regulations, which are made for companies to find holes. Big gaping holes.

Possibly coming soon to a doctor's office near you: a little something extra on your bill, not covered by insurance -- a nifty number known as a "facility fee." What is it exactly? Here's a fun experiment: Ask five medical professionals. Most likely, you will get a variety of explanations, all guaranteed to make you respond, "Huh?"

"Healthcare billing is complex enough without throwing another factor into the mix," writes the website FierceHealthFinance. "Increasingly, however, it seems that consumers are being caught off guard by a new bill -- a 'facility fee' for visiting doctors based in a hospital-owned building -- which these days they're usually expected to pay on their own."

I definitely was caught off guard when I checked in to see a specialist in a Cedars-Sinai Medical Center building in Los Angeles and was told to pay a $75 facility fee. When I asked what that meant, the receptionist explained that this was a fee being levied to cover the wear-and-tear I would inflict on the office.


Eric said...

Geeze. If I find that fee I'm heading back in to get my 'wear and tear' fee. If they protest I tell them tuff I already paid it, as I head in with my hooker to make use of that examination table finally.

Jezcabelle said...

I worked for a major hospital system until recently. Last spring they switched the billing system over to charge a facility fee for anything done on the premises it was just as shady and unclear as described - basically breaking down to charging more money to everyone but only expecting to get it from insurance companies. which of course means that the insurances will charge more & their death panels (by that I mean those that approve procedures) will kill more people in order to increase the profits.