What recourse, if any, do I have in dealing with this equipment charge from my podiatrist?
September 9, 2011 6:49 PM Subscribe
About six weeks ago I went to a podiatrist for heel pain and was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. I was given instructions for treatment along with a night splint that I've been wearing every night. Today, I received a bill from the podiatrist's office for the splint: Blue Cross has paid $80 of the $280 (!) charge, and the podiatrist's office is now putting me on the hook for the $200 balance. What recourse, if any, do I have in dealing with this charge?
posted by Kosh to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Because this night splint is, quite frankly, a little on the shoddy and simplistic side (it's already falling apart in some areas), I decided to look it up on the web. I found the exact same model, by the exact same manufacturer, in the exact same size, on Amazon from several vendors in the $40 to $50 range. I am assuming that my podiatrist's office paid this much or less for it. I know doctors frequently get screwed by insurers and their prices can be kind of wacky in anticipation of getting less from the insurer, and I'm generally sympathetic to doctors in that scenario. But I also feel like taking the patient for a ride with a ridiculous markup like this is outrageous.
Since I discovered all of this after business hours, I won't have the chance to call and ask about this until Monday, but I want to make sure I approach it right. I assume I'm technically liable for the charge no matter what, but, have any of you had success in negotiating down a charge like this? (Or, preferably, negotiating it out of existence--I feel like since Blue Cross already paid them twice the market value of the item, I shouldn't be paying anything.) Assertiveness in these sorts of situations is not my strong point, so, any advice on how to handle this smoothly would be appreciated.