I have panic disorder and recently was left with a new Dr. I saw the physician assistant twice and was then seen by the actual doctor (at her request). He immediately ordered bloodwork. He has helped tremendously and I've seen him since then and he told me all the tests were fine.(liver function TSH, potassium). I later recieved a statement with my co-pay but noticed the actual cost. The bill was over 3 thousand dollars and there was a secton that said "single drug class" ten times. On the side it said from 301701. This looked like a screening for illegal drugs or abuse of prescribed meds to me. Each instance cost $296.00. The doctor never mentioned ordering these and I am curious, even a little anxious about his initial lack of trust in me. I don't drink, smoke or take any unprescribed drugs and I feel a bit violated. Am I totally wrong about that bloodwork? If they were concerned I think they should still have let me know if this is what they were actually screening for. I don't know if I'm just being stupid or if I should ask at my next appt. At least he really started treating me with a little more compassion after the bloodwork. I'm happy he did it if he had questions about my condition, but I have never had this happen before. Do you know what this lab testing was about?
I can certainly see why you'd have some questions about this bill! Three thousand dollars for some routine lab work is way out of bounds! I would get the doctors office on the phone as soon as possible and talk with the billing department.
Before you lose trust in this doc, thinking he was sneaking around ordering tests to check for drug abuse, get to the bottom of it with the billing dept. and then go from there. You may need to eventually get your insurance company involved if there WERE unnecessary tests ordered.
You could also call the Dr.'s office and ask for the lab's phone no. Then, call them directly and ask what the code means. You'll definitely get confirmation on what tests were done.
Out of curiosity, how much did the insurance co. end up reimbursing the Dr. for as they usually adjust down?
Good luck in getting your correct info.
The billing office told me that my insurance paid only 86.00. The rest was written off through a credit. I don't know if my doctor had to suck it up or what. I was also advised by the lab to call my physician immediately since the only positive test was for the klonopin he prescribes. I would had gladly agreed to these screenings had he said I was a new patient to him and he really did not feel comfortable treating me without some chemical history. I really feel violated. When we do a drug screen on people at work, they have a choice. Refusal tells us all we need to know. I think he had the same option.
You have every right as a patient to know what tests your doctor has ordered. I would again advise you to call the billing office first and then if things are still not straightened out to your satisfaction, call and ask to speak personally to your doctor. It's also possible that the lab got your paperwork mixed up. We all hate to think that that happens, but it does. Your insurance company will have the information about the codes as that is what they use to decide if you are covered for them or not. I'm in the middle of an appeal with my insurance company right now, and I had to obtain copies of the codes they work off. My insurance refused to pay for a test my cardiologist ordered saying that it was code 36...........meaning they considered it "experimental." Oh, really?
People do need to read and understand their bills for the two reasons we have cited.
I wish you luck in YOUR battle!
I left a message with the receptionist that I would like for my doctor or the PA. to call me when they could this evening as they have evening hours. I explained that i had gotten the lab bill and had a few questions. I am anxious to see if they will return my call. i would like this cleared up before my next appointment. just some explanation as to why I was being tested for all those drug classes. There were ten. How many classes are there???? I don't drink or smoke and limit my caffiene intake to two cups of coffee a day in the AM. I think my doctor's office may be causing my anxiety.lol
Believe it or not the doctor returned my call. He told me that a full drug screen is their procedure for anyone taking a controlled substance.(klonopin) He said he thought I was aware of that. In fact he told me that I didn't test positive for anything, and that should make me happy. Duh...why would that make me happy?? I know what I ingest, and it's nothing illegal. I told him I've been on it for five years and nobody ever did a three thousand dollar screening. He does not agree with prescribing benzos long term and requires this testing periodically. I'm still not sure I believe him. Have any of you on benzos or other controlled substances been tested regularly for ten classes of drugs? My doctor says the state of NY is very strict about controlled substances and this is his only way of covering his butt. He also said it is standard practice.
My problem is that my old Dr. worked with this group of physicians. If it was standard procedure, why didn't he ever do a ten drug class screening every six months or so. Maybe that's why he left. Perhaps they didn't have the same ideas.
No HMO. Just a regular family practice. My previous Dr. was not in family practice. He was an MD that I loved. He could not keep his private practice going in our small town so he joined a family medical group. For reasons unknown, he ended up leaving and moving away.
I have checked with everybody I know and can't find one that was screened like this. My son has been on Concerta( ritalin ) for years. He is almost 30 and has never once been tested at all. My sister-in law has been on xanax for 16 years and has never been tested for ten drug classes. She has had liver function testing, but that's all. I even have a cousin who told her Dr. that she was an ex-substance abuser and she takes a controlled substance without being tested periodically. I'm bummed. I'm the straightest person I know. I wouldn't even take vicodin after shoulder surgery because of the bad stuff I had heard about it.
They ARE affiliated with the hospital that has the draw station. My insurance only covered under a hundred dollars of this $3200 bill, so they ate most of the cost. Not much revenue generated there. If I had better insurance maybe they would have made out better.
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