MINNETONKA, Minn. (WCCO) – Susan Krantz has a medical and business background; but when she got her latest medical bill from a recent visit, the Minnetonka woman was perplexed.
“Even as a registered nurse, I can’t figure out what this is,” she said.
Krantz was upset when she opened a recent bill. Along with the list of procedures was the itemized charge of $50.06 for something she couldn’t make out. When she questioned Park Nicollet, the response puzzled her.
“You can be charged an extra office visit if you ask too many questions,” she said. “I said I don’t understand that, because isn’t that what this visit is for?”
Medical services are carefully coded for insurance purposes. As Park Nicollet explained to us, the billing has to accurately reflect the medical services provided. If the doctors feel their work goes beyond the scope of the visit, they must code that on the bill. That’s to assure that coverage for a “wellness” visit doesn’t fraudulently cover care given to an “acute care” matter.
She added: “As always the doctor’s visit started out with her asking what questions do you have? And I had a little list. This one and this one and this one. And she said, OK.”
Park Nicollet says it’s an insurance issue. In a written statement, the medical provider said that “the insurance company may require that patients pay or make a co-pay for services beyond the ‘preventive’ part of the appointment.”
The statement goes on to say that the total amount billed to the insurance provider is the same as if it were one appointment, only it’s “broken out separately on the invoice.”
Krantz is now spreading the word among her friends. “I’d have never known had I not taken the time to call,” she said.
(End of story, my comments follow.)
I don't think this can be blamed on Obamacare. It sounds like an insurance problem. But it DOES illustrate what happens when the beancounters are in charge of things. Anyone whoever dealt with the military's version (Champus, now TriCare) knows what I'm talking about. FWIW, the people within the system whom I or the wife have dealt with have uniformly been accommodating, decent folks with both feet solidly on planet Earth. But the idiots in charge, the ones who are kept away from the general public probably for their own safety, will happily pinch pennies whenever possible.
Here's a personal example; Back during my second marriage we had a boy born with poly cystic kidneys. That was a death sentence and sure enough he passed away 30 hours after birth. The wife had to spend a few days in the civilian hospital recuperating so she was placed in a private room. CHAMPUS refused to pay, saying she was only allowed a semiprivate room (do they even have those these days? I haven't seen one lately.) Fortunately we were able to have the hospital (Yale/New Haven, not exactly a dinky backwoods facility, go to bat for us and the idiocy was rescinded.
But like the story pasted above, it's proof of what happens when the idiots have charge of the purse strings. While it definitely CANNOT be blamed on Obamacare it illustrates whats going to happen as the government gets more involved with paying healthcare costs. Contrary to popular opinion, the Feds don't have an endless supply of money, so the health care WILL eventually reach a rationing point. This will require some schmoes sitting at a table and deciding who gets treated and who doesn't.
Can you say "death panels"? Sure you can!
And if you're not thoroughly disgusted right now and can stand to be outraged a bit further, this is dedicated to arrogant pennypinching chairpolishing cube apes everywhere: http://youtu.be/sFacWGBJ_cs