Facility Fee Probed

About three weeks ago I blogged about how hospitals and administrators have discovered a new type of greed.

In the past, hospitals bought up doctors so they could control where the patients were being sent.  In other words, all admissions, x-rays, labs, etc. came to the hospital that owned the practice.   Well, since there are a lot of administrators to feed, the hospitals had to find a way to make more money off the doctors (and patients).   Do you know that if the facility where you are treated is part of a hospital network, they can charge facility fees under the federal Medicare rules.  One patient, in this article, had a $145, five-minute, skin tag removal in a doctor’s office located in a hospital-owned building and was charged a $705 facility fee for “operating room service.” Are you kidding me!?!  I am so disgusted right now.

I looks like others are on to this sham as well.   California’s attorney general is going after them for pushing up the price of medical care.    Finally.  This is a con game that needs to be shut down.  Under the guise of improved efficiency, the hospital buys the practice and jacks up the price.   Unfortunately stopping this practice may eliminate one more avenue for docs to escape the crooked insurance payment system.   Now the only way left is CASH PAY!  And that is a good thing.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  2 comments for “Facility Fee Probed

  1. September 27, 2012 at 4:52 am

    Another example of what’s wrong with a profit-based healthcare system and why we need a nationalized comprehensive system. If medical practice, hospitals, etc., are just other ways to make profits in our society, the religion of which is greed, then why shouldn’t a hospital be the same as any other moneysucking corporation, operated for the exclusive benefit of shareholders and CEOs?

    I’m in England right now, and have yet to meet a Brit who wishes their system was like ours. They certainly have problems, but none of them seem to relate to the lack of profit motive. The first question at a UK hospital or doc’s office is “Where does it hurt?”; the first question at a US hospital or doc’s office is “How are you going to pay?”

  2. Steve
    September 26, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Let’s not forget about doctors who, under the guise of the “In- Office Ancellary Exception” to Stark, set up Path. and Radonc. arragements which are neither “in office” nor “ancillary” where these services already exist. They say it’s for patient convenience but, statistically, most exist where patients have to travel further than they would to already existing sites of service. The real risk of self-referral abuse exists in set-ups of this nature because of the economics of this system.

Comments are closed.