Were you slammed by an ‘out of network’ anesthesia bill?
Consumer Watchdog is investigating a pernicious threat to your pocketbook: the out-of-network medical specialist, particularly in hospitals. We’re trying to confirm how widespread the problem is, and need your help.
Here's the scenario: Your doctor tells you that you need surgery, treatment or testing at a hospital or other specialty setting. The good news is that it’s not life threatening, so there is no need to jump in an ambulance and race over to the ER.
There's some time to do this right. You know your health insurance coverage requires you to get care in an "in-network" hospital by an "in-network" physician. So you do the research, make a few calls, and schedule the procedure.
Everything seems to go fine. The procedure is completed, and you head home.
Then you get the actual bill: It turns out that the anesthesiologist who saw you for less than five minutes before putting you under was not "in network"--even though the hospital and the doctor performing the procedure were approved providers. No one bothered to tell you. Even if they had, the likelihood of switching anesthesiologists at the last minute is close to nil. Now, the anesthesiologist wants you pay $1,500 out of pocket because he won’t accept the rate that the insurer is willing to pay.
We’ve heard of similar cases involving hospital radiologists and a few other hospital-based specialties.
Has something like this happened to you or someone you know? Please click here to tell us your story.
1/7/2014News ReleaseSanta Monica, CA – Blue Shield Life and Health is imposing an unreasonable rate increase on over 80,000 Californians with... More >
1/17/2014News StoryToday I have answers to questions on the Target data breach, whether Covered California policies cover you while traveling... More >
1/31/2014News ReleaseConsumer Watchdog Campaign: Anthem Increases Rates 25% As It Spends $12.9 Million With Parent Company WellPoint To Defeat California Ballot Initiative To Regulate Rate HikesSanta Monica, CA – Anthem Blue Cross and its parent company WellPoint have given $12.9 million to defeat a California... More >
1/29/2014News StoryIn my 20 years as a practicing oncologist, I have seen way too many of my vulnerable patients fall victim to our current health... More >
1/31/2014News StoryUp to 306,000 Californians with older, individual Anthem health insurance policies — unchanged by Obamacare — are... More >