By Medical Bill & Claim Resolution (MBCR) | Submitted On June 03, 2012
We've previously reported on many different kinds of situations where the average American patient can receive hugely inflated medical bills in the mail. Some of the most egregious examples are related to simple screening procedures that can easily get out of hand in terms of the total cost to the patient. Some of these have been covered extensively by nationally known senior advocate organizations and other groups that look out for the financial well-being of America's older consumers. Others affect all ages of patients equally. All of them are creating enormous pressure on the average family, as medical costs continue to represent one of the biggest financial challenges, and one of the most present threats of bankruptcy, for the majority of American households.
Routine Colonoscopy and Anesthesia One prime example of this hidden cost is a colonoscopy procedure that helps screen for colon cancer. Many Americans agree to undergo this procedure as they age, in order to protect themselves from a disease that can often go unrecognized. However, one of the problems with the colonoscopy procedure is the way that sedation care typically works.
In a clinical sense, there's nothing wrong with the system. Doctors allow patients to elect the type of anesthesia that they want for this procedure, including twilight sedation or full general anesthesia. The problem comes in, as it usually does, when outside anesthesiologists show up on the scene.
Typically, an anesthesiologist has a contracting agreement with a hospital or doctor's office. This doesn't mean that the patient's insurance will cover this provider. It's rare that a patient takes the time to ask about these financial relationships while he or she is receiving care.
However, very few providers will volunteer this information up front. That leads to a flood of out-of-network bills for anesthesia procedures that get sent out to American homes each year.
Vigilance in Health Care Costs These kinds of problems are endemic in the American healthcare system. Essentially, there's no one looking out for the average consumer, and there doesn't seem to be much of a consolidated, national political will to really put procedures in place to guard against surprise medical bills. Until the nation as a whole comes to its senses about how to approach private healthcare insurance and its role in the "medical market," third-party medical consumer advocates will continue to play a larger role in helping American families, not just to deal with huge medical bills, but to avoid these kinds of financial heartaches in the first place. Minimize your risk by asking questions and getting the details of your procedure before receiving treatment.
MBCR understands the challenges in receiving a medical bill and successfully resolving a health insurance claim issue. Learn more at www.medicalbillandclaimresolution.com.