Patients Challenging Medical Invoices and Bills

Root Cause is Money, Failure-to-Disclose and Frustration

[By Staff Reporters]

Join Our Mailing List

Patients are challenging their medical bills with lawyers and lawsuits, out of frustration about the lack of up-front disclosure over costs by doctors and hospitals.

Involve More than a Few Cases

For example, after being charged $82,282 for a 23-hour stay in doctor-owned Westfield Hospital for two operations on her abdomen, a 56-year-old West Penn Township woman called the hospital and her insurer for an explanation.

Not satisfied with the response, she hired a lawyer and notified a reporter, after which Westfield officials said she was overcharged due to human error.

In another 2006 class-action Seattle lawsuit that was expected to have a ripple effect on consumers and hospitals, two patients of the Virginia Mason Medical Center filed suit against the center and won, after which Virginia Mason agreed to pay back an estimated $60 million to more than 3,200 patients who over six years had been charged ”overhead” for procedures performed in hospital-owned clinics – in some cases adding 60 percent to the price patients would have been charged for the same procedure performed by the same doctors in their offices.


Although private legal action over medical bills is hard to track, the number of billing and coverage complaints filed with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s health care unit has risen steadily, with the 2,000 or more complaints so far this year representing a five or six percent increase over last year; according to Morning Call, July 13, 2008.


Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact:


Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details



2 Responses

  1. Crowd-Sourcing Medical Bills

    What if everyday purchases were priced and consumed like healthcare services?

    An interesting thought and another new service!



  2. Two-Thirds of Americans Surprised by Medical Bill in the Past 12 Months

    Vitals recently conducted a survey on healthcare cost management. Here are some key findings from the report:

    • Two-thirds of American adults (155 million people) have been surprised by a medical bill in the past year.
    • 7% of respondents said they receive incentives from their health plan to shop for cost-effective care.
    • Over half state that medical costs “seriously” or “very much” impact their household budget.
    • 3 in 5 people never ask their doctor about the cost of medical services they’re about to receive
    • 28% said price of care wasn’t discussed because they believed insurance would foot the bill.
    • Almost one third stated they didn’t think their doctor knew the cost.

    Source: Vitals, September 30, 2015


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: