I’m a doctor. I have an MBA from a prestigious business school. I understand medical billing. Here’s a story for you that sums it all up.
After many years as an independent, my OBGYN recently joined a large physician group affiliated with a nationally known academic medical center.
(I’ll keep the name of the institution out of this since I like my OBGYN and several of my friends work at the medical center.)
Late last year I had a minor procedure at the academic medical center. My OBGYN handled the surgery. Everything went smoothly.
When the bill came I was charged a reasonable $600. This year I had to have a repeat of the same procedure. My OBGYN again performed the procedure. Same outcome. Same nurses. Same specialist. Same room. When my bill came in the mail I got the shock of my life. The total was four times as much as it had been a year earlier!!!! I had no idea.
My OBGYN’s office told me there is nothing they can do. Prices are set by the new academic medical center supergroup. As far as I can tell, the only thing that has changed is the sign over my doctor’s door.
What recourse do I have? What consumer protections does the ACA contain designed to prevent this kind of behavior?
I’m a doctor. I understand the issues involved. If I’m confused, how is the average consumer supposed to deal with this? This is extremely bad.
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