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Medical Billing: An Arcane System

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is running a year-long examination of a system that affects every patient in America, usually causing undue stress and a myriad of questions: medical billing.

The centers for Medicare Medicaid Services announced there would be a one-year delay in implementing tens of thousands of new medical billing codes; these codes dictate how much is paid to medical providers and who pays it.

“The world of billing problems is as vast as medicine itself,” according to Sarah Jane Tribble of The Plain Dealer. “Among the many frequent complaints are: patients being billed for the wrong treatment, receiving double billing for the same treatment, being charged for more than an insurance contract allows or getting a bill for unexpected costs, such as a ‘facility fee.’”

No one seems to want to take the blame for these medical billing issues; insurance companies claim the wrong codes are plugged in by hospitals and doctors due to human error or intentionally to get more money, while the other side claims there are too many arguments over whether services should be paid.

It is clear, though, who is truly paying for the downfalls of this arcane system: consumers.

“Medical bills are one of the major reasons bankruptcies are being filed in the five northern Ohio counties served by the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland,” said staff lawyer Michael Attali. Medical crises have also been linked to a large number of home foreclosures.

Read the complete first set of articles here and share your own medical billing stories:

Medical billing, a world of hurt: Error-prone system is headache for insurers, providers, patients

Medical billing, a world of hurt: The most common errors, explained

Share your medical billing error story in our online survey

Steve Crandall, a top rated medical malpractice lawyer in Ohio and Kentucky, believes that this “medical billing red tape” underscores the major problems of our national healthcare system.

“Many times billing errors seem purposeful as the companies hope people do not catch or follow up on the errors resulting in higher profits,” said Crandall.

For any medical malpractice questions throughout the states of Ohio and Kentucky, contact Steve Crandall. Steve is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your best next steps.

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