Medical Bills – Why Are They Such A Mystery?

by Phil C. Solomon on March 15, 2012

in Medical Bills

I admit; I have spent many hours debating with colleagues and friends about how we can solve our country’s most pressing problems. While it is fun to spar, brainstorm and problem solve with each other, the issues our country faces are just too complex and difficult to figure out for us laypersons in a few hours, days or even years.

The best and brightest minds in our country are continually searching for answers to issues such as healthcare, immigration, taxes, the budget deficit and our energy strategy for the future to name a few. That said, there is one thing we really should be able to get right, and that is educating patients how to project what their medical bills are going to cost and which providers they should anticipate receiving bills from.

That just seems too easy, as a healthcare consumer myself and someone who works in the business side of healthcare, I shouldn’t be taken by surprise when I receive an ancillary bill from a laboratory, a radiologist, or another medical provider when I have a medical procedure, but sometimes I am.

I understand there are technology solutions available in the market for bill estimation. However, many providers haven’t implemented them, and if they did, they don’t always encompass the estimated costs for “all” the medical providers who participate in your healthcare encounter.

The editorial board at TimesUnion.com asks some very simple, yet poignant questions in their article questioning why medical bills are such a mystery? “Why, for that matter, can’t a patient get a fair, itemized estimate, in advance, for medical services, including an idea of how much insurance will pay? One has to wonder, can’t patients be told what services and providers will be involved in their care, which ones will be covered by their insurance, and what their options might be?”

Take a look at the full article at TU.com and let me know what you think.

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