Anyone who has ever been in the hospital knows that you don't get just one bill. You get many. One from the hospital, just for being the hospital, one from every doctor that saw you, one from the radiologist, one from the consulting physician, the ambulance, and the list goes on and on.
Well, there's a reason for that. There is a difference between Professional and Technical (or Facility) fees. Let's take a look at them:
Professional fees: These are the fees charged by the doctor for their professional expertise and advice. Generally, it does not cover any supplies or other ancillary services (in a hospital setting). So this doctor gets to charge for what they saw/advised/treated you for. The Radiologist gets to charge for reviewing your x-rays. The consulting physician gets to charge for the consultation that they did, which you probably never saw them for. And on and on...
Now the hospital provides for you the x-ray machine that the radiologist charged you to read; and the bed your physician saw you in, and you food, and your supplies, and the nurses that attend you, and yes, even the staff that bills you. These are all covered under the umbrella of Facility Fees, and the hospital is entitled to be paid for them. Actually everyone is entitled to be paid. It's just kind of a shocker when bill after bill comes in the mail after you get home.
So lesson one: Thank God for insurance. If you have it, keep it. If you don't have it, get some. There are a lot of options here.
And Lesson two: Don't be afraid to call and ask what a billing is for and who is charging it. Believe me, we get these questions all the time.
Until next time:
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Reach me on Twitter @LorettaLea
Author, Medical Billing, Coding, and Reimbursement
A medical billing professional for over 30 years now, I have seen a lot of changes in this field, and there are a lot more on the horizon. Follow me as we see what they mean and for who.