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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My chiropractor is shady, but I win.

Remember when I quit seeing my chiropractor?
No small part of that decision was my concern over building medical bills. My insurance has a $1500 in-network deductible (no one is in network) and a $3000 out of network deductible (every provider is out of network). Because of this, I asked very carefully about charges for each procedure. I knew treatment was going to be expensive, but I wanted to be prepared.

Surprise.

I wasn't prepared. When I got my bill, each treatment I had (Graston, adjustment, ultrasound) was billed as "two units". There was no indication of what constituted a unit. Five minutes? One adjustment? One area of Graston? So basically, the bill was double what I expected (also, they charge $15 to apply ice, which I refused each time but was still charged for).

But I know that healthcare prices mean absolutely nothing. So I called the office. I briefly expressed my concern to the office manager and she immediately said, "We'll write off half your bill." Just like that. So while I think the billing was a little shady, I won that round.

If my insurance had paid, they would have disallowed at least 50% of charges, which is probably whyI was billed like that. I think the office is plenty happy to have half of what they asked for - and I'm happy to pay $500 instead of $1000!

7 comments:

  1. Wow. Glad you won, but still...

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  2. Ouch, that is wild. The whole healthcare billing scene is intimidating. We had twins and our insurance battled with the hospital for months saying they were billed for things twice not putting it together that there were TWO babies. The hospital would call me and my insurance would tell me NOT to pay more. It took forever to get straightened out. So glad you were able to get a bit of it taken care of.

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  3. What a mess!! I am glad you won. We are self pay for everything, and I make darn sure that I know what each thing I am getting charged for is-- if I go in at all. Good for you for sticking up for yourself and also for sharing this.

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  4. Thank you for not booting me out of your reader.

    You would have a much better idea on this than most, but the whole medical care cost thing is way out of control. These hospitals and health care professionals make waaaay too much profit. I mean, I have a fairly healthy Capitalistic view of the world overall, but there has to be a point where there's a cap, or at least where costs are monitored a little more closely.

    My boss's wife is an RN who just took a job with an insurance company to research billing fraud like this. I didn't even know there was such a position, but it seems very necessary.

    Have a great week!

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  5. Soooo ridiculous. I learned the hard way what PT costs. I went 3 x a week for a month for a dislocated SI joint and didn't think twice about payment because I said, "Oh, it's ok, I have insurance." WRONG! It was TERRIBLE! I'm glad you stood up for yourself!!!!! Glad you are back running, too! :)

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  6. Don't you love insurance? My favorite when it seems like there are 2 types of insurance - regular insurance and co-insurance. Sometimes I wonder what the point is of having insurance since they don't seem to pay a lot of the time.

    For glucosamine, I also ran the question by my sports doc, and he said that there is no empirical evidence that glucosamine/chondroitin sulface has any more benefit than placebo.

    Though it seems like it can't hurt, and lots of people seem to swear by it. What brand and how much do you take a day? Just based on internet searches, people suggest to simply buy a supplement brand that you trust, and take it twice a day for a month at least to maybe see some results?

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  7. I find this true for all types of medical professionals. For example, my PT bill came in - $54 for 5 minutes on the stationary bike. $57 for throwing a ball at a trampoline..... And honestly I don't know how throwing a ball at the trampoline helps my low back/hip/glute...

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