Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Medical costs rant

Pardon me while I rant for a minute.

Remember that $700 ultrasound I was trying to avoid? Yes. Well, this morning I went to the place that does $150 ultrasounds, and discovered that I had been scheduled for two additional procedures, including a full mammogram. Each of these procedures has a different cost, all progressively higher. I understand that things cost what they cost but what I CAN'T understand is this:

When I asked how much the ultrasound was, I explained that I had a high deductible insurance plan, and anything that was done would be paid out of my pocket. WHY would they not mention the other two procedures, which were noted right there on the appointment? Why not give me the TOTAL COST of my visit, not just the cost of one procedure? I can't possibly know what the doctor has ordered for me, so why wouldn't they mention that?

Lesson learned: always ask if that's the only procedure or cost I can expect from an appointment. I'm even happier now that I didn't go with the more expensive place, which probably would have used up our entire $3,000 deductible in one visit. I won't get the bill for this for a few weeks, but I'm expecting it to be close to the original $700 estimate. At least that puts us about halfway to our deductible for the year. *sigh*

Second mini-rant: my regular doctor's office sent me another bill, which includes a service that I never got. I looked it up, and it's indicated for someone with a condition I don't have, a pre-existing condition I've never had, and is given as an injection, which I never received. I've disputed the charge, but I wonder how likely it is that these types of mistakes slip through all the time when bills are being sent directly to health insurance companies, with no one to verify their accuracy? No wonder medical costs in this country are so high!


  1. You know that you could have chosen not to have the other two procedures done, right? I'm assuming that you felt they were necessary and so went ahead with them, but just mentioning it as an option.

    I'm unclear why you say that "I can't possibly know what the doctor has ordered for me" ? My primary care provider tells me what she's ordered, and if she didn't, I'd ask (and I'm not even paying out of pocket at this point).

  2. My doctor's office won't even give me an estimate of how much anything costs. They just say I'll find out when I get the bill. Yay! That's exactly what I wanted to hear.


Thanks for commenting!