Medical Billing Complaints

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Medical billing complaints are on the rise and with very good reason. Over 80% of medical bills contain errors, whether from erroneous charges, double billings or, in some cases, abusive charging practices. It’s no wonder that patients are finding it difficult to trust their hospital or physician to charge fairly for their services.


Why Billing Complaints are Increasing

medical-advocacy_108321947Medical billing complaints are increasing for several reasons. Now that physicians and hospitals are using electronic devices, more errors are being made. Some hospitals and physicians are attempting to increase their profitability by using more creative billing code practices. Whatever the reasons for the mistakes on the bills, patients are paying far more than they owe in most cases.

Many errors are made with electronic patient records by checking the wrong box or entering a wrong number.  The billing department uses the electronic patient records to bill the patient and any typos, will be carried along into the patient’s bill. To make matters worse, the patient usually never sees a detailed bill so they have no idea there are mistakes on that bill.

Some hospitals use billing codes that cost the patient far more to increase their bottom line.  For instance, instead of using a billing code that bundles many aspects of a procedure, a facility might use the billing codes for each part of the procedure.  This method, often referred to as “unbundling”, charges a much higher rate for a procedure than using the bundled billing code. Many medical billing complaints have been lodged against hospitals for this practice.

Medical facilities might also use other creative billing practices that generate medical billing complaints.  An emergency facility might charge for a higher severity level than was actually assigned. Treatment for a minor injury would not require the use of life-saving equipment, which can incur high charges. However, you could be charged for the use of a high severity level room without your knowledge.  Without a medical bill audit, a patient will have no idea they have been improperly billed for that emergency room visit.

Numerous medical billing complaints involve procedures and services appearing on a patient’s bill that have not been performed. Patients have been billed for the wrong procedure or for the correct procedure but a much more expensive version of it. They’ve been billed for services or tests they did not receive.  Sometimes the patient is charged for another person’s medical procedure due to confusing patients’ names.


It Pays to Get a Medical Bill Audit

With medical billing complaints on the rise, every patient should get a medical bill audit whenever they receive a medical bill they feel might be incorrect. Over 80% of these medical bills contain errors and can cost the patient many thousands of dollars.  Only with the help of a medical billing expert can the patient find out the detailed charges on their medical bills.

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8 Responses to “Medical Billing Complaints”

  1. I struggle with HENRY FORD HEALTH SYSTEMS constantly. We send them payment via Chase Banks Online payment . This last one was held for a month before applying it to the bill which had become substantial because past attempts to pay thru my HSA were kicked out of their system claiming they didn’t have some piece of data, it varies depending on the event. We spent 45 minutes on hold trying to sort it out , were given the required information to pay the account then they DID IT AGAIN! I’ve never known a hospital system claiming it wants payment kick so many of them back. Then they report YOU to the collection agency.
    Separate issue with United Health. Therapist Associates swear they send bills to UHC 2x a month. My March bill was for $24. April, they bill me $702. UHC goes all the way back to Oct 13 with refused claims, some of them I swear I paid in Dec. Do they double bill clients?

    • Christie Hudson says:

      Thank you for your question! You should request a detailed, itemized statement from Henry Ford Health Systems and United Health. Also request a bank statement for these time periods. Verify whether or not payments were made and when and if there are any discrepancies, send a certified letter to the CFO of the facility and request that corrections be made within ten business days. If this does not resolve the issue, I would send all of this information to my state’s attorney general and ask for their assistance. I hope this helps!

  2. Elizabeth Downs says:

    I recently moved, and contacted a new doctor, he said he had to refer me to someone else, he wasn’t specialized in the area I needed……..received bill for $300.00 for nothing! Then went to the doctor he referred me too, that doctor said he needed my records from where I moved, did nothing! Received Bill from him for $300.00……..this is crazy I have’nt even been helped yet after $600.00 later! Need Help!

    • Pat Palmer Pat Palmer says:

      I would certainly be concerned about charges I had been billed by both providers. In order for a provider to bill you for any charges, they must have detailed documentation of services provided to receive reimbursement. First, order a detailed, itemized statement from the providers, as well as the documentation to support the charges. We would love to help you. Please feel free to contact us again if you need any more help.

  3. Floyd Smith says:

    I took my daughter to the Tennova emergency room in July of 2012. Tennova filed with Bluecross and on 8/1/12 Bluecross said it was out of network and I owed the entire amount just over $1,500. Tennova then sent me a bill on 8/20/12 showing they reduced the bill by just over $1,200 and billed me $340. I had a payment plan for 2 other visits at the time and Tennova rolled the $340 into this plan which I paid off entirely by Apr/May of 2013 according to their schedule.

    Then in Dec of 2013, Tennova (Bluecross says they didn’t do this) resubmitted everything to Bluecross claiming that it was a true emergency and thus should have been treated as in-network. Bluecross agreed and paid Tennova a bit over $500.

    In Feb 2014, I received a bill from Tennova saying I own them an additional $695. I and the benefits group that the company I work for gets our medical policy through have been talking with the Tennova billing department about this and getting nowhere. And to top it off, I now received a letter saying I own them over $1,300 for the service and if it’s not paid in 10 days will go to collections.

    I’m at a loss about how to go about getting this resolved. What should I do?

    • Pat Palmer Pat Palmer says:

      Thanks so much for reaching out about this matter! First, request a detailed, itemized statement of every charge you are being billed for that visit and any adjustments, credits received, and payments from insurance companies. Let them know that until you receive these documents and are able to review these, the bill is to be considered in dispute and is on hold. Having these documents should help you better analyze what you actually owe. When you begin to see the charges and areas on the bill that are not correct, you can notify us and our consumer analysts can assist in getting this corrected for you.

  4. […] costs are likely unjustified, as billing errors have become alarmingly common. According to the Medical Billing Advocates of America, 80% of hospital bills contain at least one […]

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