In order to afford to offer health insurance a number of my clients audit their hospital bills to make sure the charges are reasonable and undelivered services are not slipped in. As most PPO contracts are a percentage off billed charges that starting number is very important.
Following is part of a letter we received from a hospital's attorney last week;
"Hospital personnel were in communication with your office and were told that you needed the itemized bill. I question whether you are entitled to receive an itemized bill, given the fact that this claim should be repriced through the XXX PPO (not it`s real name), which presumably has a contract with either your company or the plan, and I believe that the contract would preclude your request."
Few key points here, this presents employers with two choices;
1. Either don't employ a PPO and subject your plan and members to 100% of hospitals` billed charges, remember these are charges no one actually pays because they are so high, discounts run up to 80%+ off these artificial charges; or
2. Employ a PPO and forfeit all rights to review or question the bill.
Keep in mind how one sided PPO agreements are, a plan is purchasing a discount but they have no idea what that discount is off of. A 5% discount on a $2,000 bill is better then a 50% discount on a $20,000 bill (20K is an actual claim we received for what should have been a 2K colonoscopy, even with a 50% discount hospital was still trying to collect 10K for a 2K procedure).
If someone in almost any other field tried what this attorney is they would be brought up on extortion charges. The good news is it might not be long till he is;