Why can't hospitals send a single bill for a procedure?

Why can't hospitals send a single bill for a procedure?

The answer to this is not "There's multiple parties involved, xrays, etc, etc.." My question is, "Why can it not be all on one invoice?"

It's 2019. Surely a hospital can gather all the charges onto one piece of paper and send that out.

8 Answers

Relevance
  • RICK
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    Because the Drs are not usually hospital employees

    All hospital bills are on one bill (at least locally) for all hospital owned functions

  • lucy
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    Hospitals can only bill you for (their) services. So, the ER, CT, MRI, X-Ray, or surgery room, hospital room etc they bill you only.

    But the problem is that (most) doctors/specialists DON'T work for the hospital, but have only admitting privileges to use them. So the ER DR, the surgeon, or the other most common are radiologists and anethesiologists (separate) bills you get are from them for their services.

    See, most of us will use what hospital or doctor is in our network and covered by our insurance. But, if in the ER, or have surgery, can get stuck with these other specialists that are (not) in network, but many are out of network, that your insurance won't pay, or you get stuck with the difference, since they are not in network, nor do you or any (normal) person say, are you covered by my (X) insurance?

    That is the flaw in the system, that you get stuck for bills that are not covered by your insurance.

  • Anonymous
    7 months ago

    They could, but they don't want to. Hospitals spend a lot of time and money chasing debt - they are not going to willingly do it for third parties. If they do, you can be sure they will add a mark-up which most insurers are likely to get snippy about.

  • 7 months ago

    The hospital does not employ the doctors or have control over all of the services needed for medical care of the patients who go to the hospital. Therefore, separate billing is necessary.

    Also, there may be separate levels of insurance coverage, so for billing reasons, it makes more sense to have individual services billed differently. It is not like a grocery store where you can buy dairy, fruit and frozen foods on one bill.

    • Tom V
      Lv 5
      7 months agoReport

      Separate billing is "necessary"? Explain Norway. It isn't necessary there.

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • 7 months ago

    Everyone involved in the procedure may not work for the hospital. The hospital can only charge and collect for its own actions. It's not a collection agency.

  • `
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    Radiologists, surgeons and other specialists don't work for the hospital. Their billing is separate.

  • 7 months ago

    Because the billing for hospital services and billing for individual doctor's services are separate things.

  • Kelly
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    Ultimately, the hospital can only put charges on your bill for services rendered by the hospital.

    My husband is a Cardiologist and I have worked in hospitals for 10 years, actually in IT but I have to understand the workflow of the hospital for what I do.

    Because most physicians have different billing systems that isn't directly linked to the same one the hospital uses and they can only charge for things provided by the hospital itself.

    Most doctors don't work for the hospital directly, they pay fees to have privileges to admit their patients there and use the hospitals equipment & facilities.

    Say you go into the ER...

    ER doctor works for a company... you get a bill from that company for his/her services.

    ER doctor orders and X-Ray, a radiologist has to read that to diagnose it and then they bill for their services.

    Say you have chest pains, DR will order a chest x-ray and order a consult from a Cardiologist, they need to be paid for their services too. If the Cardiologist isn't finding anything wrong cardiac wise he/she may order a consult from a psychiatrist because anxiety and panic attacks often have similar symptoms of a heart attack but are actually a mental health issue so they order a psychiatric evaluation and the psychiatrist also need to be paid for his/her services.

    Using the ER as an example though you really only see 1 doctor that's treating you in the ER there's multiple physicians involved in your care.

    If you have surgery, there's multiple doctors in the OR with you. There's a surgeon or 2 (one primary and one backup should something happen to the primary during the procedure) and an anesthesiologist

    A lot of it comes down to technology, money and hipaa agreements. Not all doctor offices, clinics and hospitals have a ton of money to put into building the technology needed to create it.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.