Have you ever taken a look at an insurance company’s explanation of benefits (EoB) regarding a recent doctor’s visit or some lab work? Once you get over the shell-shock of the dollar amount listed for even the most routine procedures, you breathe a sigh of relief when you realize that’s why you have medical insurance. But don’t, for one second, think that you won’t be paying somehow. Insurance companies will just jack up your premiums to cover the costs.
A couple of cases in point:
Routine bloodwork is the same regardless of where you go and who draws your blood. A lipid panel which includes cholesterol check, iron, sugar, etc. are all part of the routine lab work many doctors order. Every test in every lab is performed the exact same way.
So, why is it that, according to reports, some places in California charge up to $10,000 for the simple test. Other labs charge thousands less. In fact, a University of California at San Francisco professor recently conducted a survey that produced a shocking fact: in over 100 hospitals in California, she found more than 100 different prices for a basic lipid panel!
Prior to conducting the lipid panel research, the same professional took a close look at the cost of getting your appendix out in California. Once again, the cost variation was stupendous. Assuming no complications, an appendectomy in California can cost anywhere between $1,500 and $187,000!
So, what’s with the differential? When questioned, the professor offered, obviously facetiously, that perhaps some facilities use more supplies to perform the tests than others.
One thing is for sure, something doesn’t sound right about this. It’s this very type of scenario where a whistleblower could do a world of good for society at large.
If you work in a healthcare facility where the numbers just aren’t adding up and you have information that could lead to uncovering fraud, speak up. Contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer who will help you make a case and fight for your right to a portion of any funds recovered by the federal government.