How Much???

Check this out. What you will see is yet another story that highlights a very bothersome aspect of the cost of healthcare in America. The key word here is uncertainty.  

Usually when we read of the surprise factor in U.S. healthcare, it has to do with huge hospital bills that patients receive, often because of strange factors like the hospital that they used was in their insurance network, but one of the physicians who took care of them wasn’t. Blindsided!

Not this time. This time we see the patients even asking in advance for the price of a test to be administered in a doctor’s office, and the provider not being able to answer the question about the final cost. Translated, that means that physicians can typically tell patients what they will be billing for a test, but NOT what percentage of this charge their insurance will leave them to pay out of pocket. “Cost shifting” to patients is reported in this Forbes article as being apparently increasingly common, and as being especially problematic for patients with high deductibles and copays. 

Bottom Line. I find the number of ways that healthcare costs can bite a patient to be astounding. The same physician who penned this article recently wrote a blog noting that physicians’ offices in the U.S. are spending $30 Billion a year on billing expenses, with much of this sum being attributable to confusion and inefficiency.  

Fascinating set of circumstances. A situation devilishly troublesome for physicians and their patients alike!!!

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