Medical Billing Can Be Unpredictable Which Makes Transparency Essential


The Health Care Blog recently conducted a survey in which they asked their members to share how much they were charged for a lower back MRI. The results demonstrate the variability and unpredictability of medical billing.

They found that bills ranged from $255 to almost $3000—all for the same procedure. Whether or not insurance covered the bill varied as well. In some cases, patients hadn’t met their deductible, so they were forced to foot the entire bill.

There were two Medicare patients that got the same MRI done at the same facility. For one patient, Medicare was charged $2,450, it paid $255, and the patient paid nothing. The other patient was charged $602.85 and they had to pay the full price, since they had not yet reach their deductible.

Sometimes, patients who hadn’t reached their deductible were able to pay a lesser fee if they paid upfront and didn’t report the procedure to their insurance company.

Many point to discrepancies like this as reason for a clearer and more transparent medical billing system.

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