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Anatomy of an Insane Health Care Billing System

Oct 2018

The lack of transparency in the industry continues. Benefits broker Carl Schuessler, inspired by his wife’s procedure, looks more into why a simple question like “How much is this going to cost?” cannot be answered. If Carl’s family had Medxoom, he could have looked up the price for the HIDA Scan at various local providers and selected the lowest cost highest quality provider before going.

From BenefitsPRO:

Before my wife left the doctor’s office, she asked the receptionist what she thought was a simple question: “How much is this going to cost?”

The receptionist had no idea — and she had no way to check.  She looked at my wife like it was an unreasonable question.  A manager contacted a third-party billing agency to get her a quote, which ended up being nothing close to what we actually paid in the end.

Imagine a banana in a supermarket.  It costs $1 for those paying with Visa, $3 for those paying with MasterCard, and $32 for those paying with cash.  You can’t sign up for Visa until you’re 65, and you can only get a MasterCard if you have a nice employer or a decent income.  Worse, customers have no idea that such price discrepancy exists.  They don’t even know how much they’ll pay for the banana until long after they’ve eaten it.

That would be absurd.  No one would put up with it.”

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