And We Wonder Why Medical Costs Are So High…
Surprise! Another medical bill arrived in the mail yesterday.
So far one injury has produced 6 separate bills to date: one from the urgent care, one from the emergency room, one from the emergency room physician, one from the radiologist, one from the family doctor we saw as a followup, and one from the lab.
With luck that will be the last of the bills, but I don’t know how folks with ongoing medical expenses handle the flurry of paperwork and keep track of it all.
It’s confusing, to say the least. Each bill contains the original amount, the date of service, a description of the service, the amount of the discount for having insurance, the amount the insurance paid (or didn’t pay, as the case may be), and the balance owed.
The amounts of the charges don’t seem to have any rhyme or reason to them either, although presumably there is a method to the madness.
Just for fun, I called up the hospital to see if I could get a discount if I paid the bill in full immediately. Many retailers will give you 10% off just for asking, so I thought maybe a hospital would be similar.
In order to potentially get a discount, I’d have to apply for AHCCCS (Arizona’s Medicaid program) and be rejected. Then after rejection, they would see if I qualified for a sliding scale. Oh well, it was a thought.
I did come across an interesting site though when searching to see if there were other ways to get discounts. It’s called the American Hospital Directory, and they provide free hospital information.
I looked up the (non-profit) hospital that we went to, and discovered that their revenue is over one billion per year. Their net is about $31 million. I wonder how much the for-profit hospitals are making…