Sometimes a cashier can ring you up wrong, accidentally overcharging you for groceries, or a waiter will mistakenly charge you for another table’s cappuccino. But imagine if the cost for other people’s foul-ups was $34 million? That’s the scenario right now with Medicare, except worse, because the hospitals that overcharged supposedly knew what they were doing.
If you ask us, Medicare is in poor shape to begin with, and it’s awful to think that medical institutions are working the system to take advantage of “free money.” In a Washington Times article published today, Jerry Seper explained that the medical charges submitted were all for kyphoplasty procedures (a minimally invasive method of treating the effect that osteoporosis can have on the spine.) Seper reported that according to the U.S. Justice Department, this procedure is done in an outpatient manner with no need for an expensive hospital admission, although 55 hospitals in 21 states reportedly billed Medicare for inpatient kyphoplasty procedures which are far more costly.
I think it’s fair to give some of these hospitals the benefit of the doubt, especially with nobody on the outside being able to know every single detail involved. But overall, we at FinanceSpectrum.com hold the U.S. healthcare system to a higher standard, and would beseech hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices nationwide to practice honest and honorable medicine.
To our readers who come to us for financial advice, we recommend always reviewing your medical bill in full and calling your doctor’s billing office with any concerns or questions. A good way to help avoid billing errors is to always bring your health insurance card to your appointment to double-check with the receptionist that your correct information is on file and things are up to date.