Creative Medical Bill Item Descriptions (to Charge You More Money)

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Perhaps you have seen medical bills first-hand that contain explanations for charges that just seem ludicrous. A fancy description of an item or service can lead patients to refrain from questioning their medical bills. Maybe you had no idea that things like this occur. It happens more often than you would think. Sadly, if you are not analyzing a detailed, itemized statement of your charges, you will not know that this is happening to you.

Cough Suppressant Device

Believe it or not, Medical Recovery Services has seen charges for a “cough suppressant device” of more than $100. The complex device used? A teddy bear. And not even a large, extravagant bear. It’s a very simple, moderate, medium-sized stuffed animal.

The patients were told to hold the teddy bear to their chest when they coughed as a means of support. You have to admit, it’s creative.

Mucus Recovery System

A mucus recovery system sounds like a fairly serious contraption. You’re thinking of an apparatus with hoses and intricate pieces that gently, yet effectively, suctions. Maybe you are envisioning something akin to a neti pot – a nasal saline irrigation system.

No, it’s a Kleenex.

Thermal Therapy

Are you in a special chamber that provides heat to your body to receive thermal therapy? Is it like a sauna? Or does a medical professional apply heat manually to a certain affected area?

In this particular case, the charge was for ice cubes. This would actually more likely be referred to as cold compression therapy or cryotherapy.

Cotton Professional

I’ll give you a hint – it’s not a member of medical staff dressed in very comfortable clothing. In fact, a quick search on Google shows advertisements and companies that sell cotton clothing. But it’s a Q-tip.

These are just a few examples of the creative wording some healthcare facility billing departments have used to try to mask very simple, very inexpensive items, but try to charge you grossly high prices. But even more alarming is the fact that most of the time, these items are considered to be routine supplies that the facility is not allowed to charge for at all. So not only are they trying to collect on something that they are not supposed to, they are charging an exorbitant fee to top it off. The best thing you, as a patient, can do is to make sure you receive a detailed, itemized statement. Never pay off of a summary bill. If you are unsure of the charges you see, question the billing department. If you need help, call us at 855-203-7058.

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Written By : Tina Pashley

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