Hospital Billing Horrors; Patient Mistakenly Receives $44 Million Overcharge!
We all know that health care costs a lot of money and it is only increasing. But one hospital patient who was treated for pneumonia got the shock of a lifetime. When he opened his bill, it was $44 million! Obviously this was in error, and the billing firm took responsibility for the error. The firm noted that some patients actually receive bills with invoice numbers that are accidently substituted for the amount due, which is what happened here.
So this brings up the great question, how much are we overpaying for the smaller errors? You know, those errors we probably would not notice because they are not so salient. This doesn’t just apply to hospital billing though. I know I have caught mistakes on my credit card statement before with double billing or even some waiter/waitress who felt entitled to add themselves an extra tip. But is this a problem with hospitals as well.
According to the FBI, YES! They report that health care fraud costs Americans $60 billion per year! The US Attorney’s offices agrees that healthcare fraud is an ongoing epidemic as many medical testing labs and home health care agencies are increasingly being nabbed in health care fraud cases; typically amounting to millions and millions in damages or settlements. This has extended to individual physicians as well; a podiatrist in Maryland was sentenced to prison for fraudulently billing Medicare over $1.1 million. In fact, it has extended to even non-physicians; a pastor was sentenced to prison for contributing to a $14 million Medicare fraud scheme.
The bottom line—whether it is hospital billing or your own credit card—ALWAYS check, recheck, and question billing amounts. Make sure you can calculate it yourself, and if you cannot ask the biller how they came to that amount. Essentially, make them prove to YOU that you own them that money; no assumptions!
Do you have any horror stories? But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.