How One Woman Tackled Medical Overbilling of $24K

It is one thing to know that medical overbilling is a huge problem in healthcare, and it’s another to experience the problem firsthand.  With eight out of ten medical bills containing errors, many of us have faced this issue.  If we were fortunate, we had a mild bill that didn’t significantly impact our wallet.  Some of us, however, haven’t been so lucky;  Beverly Weintraub among them.

In a recent healthcare horror story titled, “The Anatomy of a Ripoff” in NY Daily News, Weintraub explains how she dealt with a $22,214.92 medical bill when her son had to visit the emergency room after choking on a piece of turkey.

She explains that the charges were shockingly high, but what was even more astonishing was that her insurance company had only agreed to cover 13% – a mere $2,885.67 for the services.

What’s more, her son had a second choking scare just two weeks after his hospital visit.  This time Weintraub and her son went to another hospital.  Because of this, she was able to compare and contrast two very different treatments and the bills that came with them.

“…confusion is reflected up and down the bill, with multiple, conflicting prices for each medication and procedure. There are the sky-high costs that a hospital will claim reflect its expenses, and the much lower fees it accepts under contract with insurance companies. What’s missing from this complex web is any hint of what the services a patient received actually cost,” she explains. 

After a long, drawn-out analysis of costs and numerous phone calls, Weintraub was finally able to bring the bills down to $800 out-of-pocket, but the experience left her with a bad taste:

…with potential bills totaling $24,469.60 for two emergency room visits at two hospitals, one ambulance ride and four doctors, it’s easy to think that he [my son] was seen less as a patient and more as an ambulatory cash machine.

The confusion that Weintraub faced as she tried to settle the claim is common.  If it weren’t for her persistence, attention to detail and analysis, she might have been stuck with a 24k medical bill – a cost that many are unable to afford.

So the question is, what would the average American have done?  The answer, is why we created Cake Health.

To read the full story, visit http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/anatomy-a-ripoff-article-1.1002077#ixzz1j4uVWxHv

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