Summary: A patient was sent by her doctor for two "procedures" (for lack of better word) that turned out to be completely unnecessary. The reason the patient was sent was due to a lack of research or a simple verification of information on the part of the doctor (a.k.a. failing to ask the patient one question or to give the patient a thorough explanation of the procedures). In the end, there was no physical damage because of these two mistakes (as far as modern medical science is able to prove at this point), but financially it cost the patient about $500 from her own pocket. Naturally, the patient is frustrated with the incompetence of the doctor (and for other reasons as well), and wonders if there is any type of compensation available. Is there anything at all that can be done other than give poor recommendations for this doctor and never return?
Procedure 1 was a total of $1,129 with the Insurance Contract Adjustment leaving the charges at $790.30. Insurance paid $715.42 while the patient paid $74.88. One of the charges on this bill was for a consultation that consisted of the doctor asking why the patient was there because it was totally unnecessary. Apparently that's worth $345. Thank goodness the Insurance decided to cover most of that one!
Procedure 2 was a total of $1,161.85 with the Insurance Adjustment leaving the charges at $606.47. Insurance paid $139.84 leaving the patient with $415.54. Why wasn't more covered? The patient intends to look more into the Insurance side of this bill. The patient has called the number on the bill to understand the charges. The associate had no idea why one was listed as a delivery room charge (almost $200) and the other pharmacy ($960), but both charges on the bill were apparently for the shot (which, may the reader be reminded, was completely unnecessary in the first place).
The Doctor has already been confronted, but mostly as a verification that the two procedures were unnecessary (which was confirmed without an apology) and following only the $75 bill (the other had not been received at the time). "We usually don't even ask because most people don't know" was the Doctor's response. In other words, "What do I care if someone actually does know the answer? No skin off my back, I don't lose out on $400."
Is $1,160 the normal cost of a shot these days?
Is there any way for the patient to find out if those charges are correct (since the associate on the phone only knows what is on the bill, not if the charges are right)?
Is there any way out of the $500?
If there is anyone reading this who is or knows someone with knowledge of these matters, please comment with advice for this poor patient. Five hundred dollars is not pocket change.