‘Drive-By Doctoring’ During Surgery Can Add A Surprise To The Bill
The New York Times examines the growing -- and lucrative -- practice among doctors to call in colleagues to consult during a surgery or afterward. The need is sometimes questionable, and patients often don't even know the second doctor was involved until the bill arrives.
The New York Times: After Surgery, Surprise $117,000 Medical Bill From Doctor He Didn't Know
In operating rooms and on hospital wards across the country, physicians and other health providers typically help one another in patient care. But in an increasingly common practice that some medical experts call drive-by doctoring, assistants, consultants and other hospital employees are charging patients or their insurers hefty fees. They may be called in when the need for them is questionable. And patients usually do not realize they have been involved or are charging until the bill arrives. The practice increases revenue for physicians and other health care workers at a time when insurers are cutting down reimbursement for many services (Rosenthal, 9/20).
Also, Virginia has updated its consumer guide on outpatient procedures -
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Your Health: Finding Out What Medical Care Costs
Virginia Health Information has updated its online Consumer Guide to Outpatient Procedures. The online guide provides information on average charges for common medical outpatient procedures. For instance, a consumer can compare charges for having diagnostic breast biopsy, diagnostic colonoscopy, cosmetic eye surgery, gallbladder removal, hernia repair, hysterectomy and other procedures, done at a hospital versus an outpatient surgery center versus a doctor’s office (Smith, 9/22).