Does it matter where you receive your medical visits or treatments? If care is provided in a hospital setting or surgery center, as opposed to the same care in your doctor’s office, you will receive two bills – one for the facility and one for the physician. The cost to you may be significant. Always try to have procedures provided at the lowest level appropriate. Here is the continuum of care levels, with the highest listed on top:
A) Hospital Inpatient
B) Hospital Outpatient
C) Ambulatory Surgery Center
D) Emergency Room
E) Hospital Physician Office
F) Urgent Care Center
G) Independent Physician Office
HAS YOUR OFFICE MOVED?
Has your physician office moved to a hospital or surgery setting.? If so, be sure to ask if you will be receiving a facility bill plus a physician bill. Some offices have signs notifying you of this and the website should also advise you of potential bills from other parties such as the facility, anesthesiologist, lab, pathologist, etc. There can also be higher bills if your doctor’s practice becomes part of a hospital practice or is purchased by a large health system.
Please see this related article from Kaiser Health News – Bill of the Month.