I completely empathize with those patients in the Feb. 21 article Healthcare’s hidden fees can surprise patients, who were appalled by extra charges that were billed for services at a “hospital-based facility” that were routine specialist office visits.
Recently my daughter was evaluated by a UM Health ENT doctor. She was seen in an office setting, and we were told that our standard specialist co-payment would be our only charge. The doctor was professional and we were very pleased with the care that she received.
However, I was surprised when we were billed for additional charges that were not covered by our insurance because the service was billed as “hospital-based.” I commend Baptist Health Care for choosing to not charge these fees at its physician practices and outpatient surgery centers. I’m also pleased to see that Mercy hospitals are looking to “simplify billing practices and phasing out facility-based fees for outpatient services.” As both a health care consumer and provider, I believe that fees for services should be fully disclosed at the beginning of treatment so that one can make a truly informed decision regarding treatment options.
Vivian A. Perez, Hialeah