When it comes to getting bills from a doctor’s visit, it can get pretty confusing pretty quickly. It is important to understand that just because you are in your doctors office does not mean that office is the only entity providing a service. You must consider lab work, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and specialists. In rare cases, your primary physician may take on the billing for all of the services but usually the bills are all handled through insurance. Your insurance will pay the various providers and then provide you an EOB or Explanation of Benefits. Then the various companies involved will all send bills to you. So, when you pay the co-pay at the doctor’s office visit, it doesn’t end there!

Pay close attention to your bills. Make sure to stay engaged with the various providers. Also, make sure everything seems normal. If a bill seems high, you need to call about it. It is possible your doctors office forgot to add a billable diagnosis code or perhaps a clerical error during processing. It is very important that you know your in network and preferred providers for medications and labs as well. Sending to an out of network provider can cost you a lot of extra money.

It is a lot like going to a store to shop but later being billed by the manufacturer. It is just important to understand that your doctor’s office is a business that is providing a service to you. In doing so, they have the ability to refer and prescribe many other services. We refer to the office as a store front so that people can remember the analogy and think about the services being provided at the office.

Do not be afraid to ask questions. You are paying your doctor to be an expert in examining your physical health but you are paying your doctor whether through insurance or direct pay. Take the time to make sure you know what is happening. That being said, most doctors are extremely happy to explain, discuss and teach…. so ask them about anything that might be confusing to you!

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