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Old 01-04-2013, 06:41 AM   #1
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$1100 bill for UA??

I received a bill for $1100 for a UA I had in August. I think I'm responsible for paying it. Is this normal? It was originally $1600, my insurance paid $500. I'm kind of upset because I had another test at my last appointment in December. My insurance changed last June. Since starting PM in March, I've had 3 UA's and I really don't feel like paying $1100 4 times a year. Have a appointment today for meds for my upcoming major foot/ankle surgery and I will talk to my Doctor but...... Wow!

 
Old 01-04-2013, 07:20 AM   #2
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You need to check with your insurance company

Or check the EOB they should have sent you, or online.

On my BCBS, depending upon what was tested, where tested and by whom (in network?) I might actually owe $0, or 30% of the balance, or $150 plus 30% of balance.

If your test was out of network and insurance says the balance is between you and the tester, negotiate with the Biller. They will usually happily settle for much less that retail balanceof $1,100

 
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:31 AM   #3
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Re: You need to check with your insurance company

Thanks, Mr. Dolphin! I'll check it out. I also want to see what the doctor says about it.

 
Old 01-04-2013, 10:22 AM   #4
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Re: $1100 bill for UA??

I've been in PM for 20+ years and I've never paid any out-of-pocket for a UA. Definitely do some checking but if you have to cover that much of the bill 4x a year, that's just crazy. Maybe you can have your doctor (or you, if you have any input) direct you to an in-network provider. You should be able to seriously reduce your out-of-pocket expense or maybe e get rid of it.

 
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:43 PM   #5
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Re: $1100 bill for UA??

That's a pretty large bill for a UA in my opinion. I looked at my most recent bill and it said $40 for mine. (which I pay 100% of everything, other than an office visit, until I reach my yearly deductible) but $40 is nothing compared to $1600. Yikes, i would definitely call, hopefully it was just a billing error. Good Luck! Let us know what they say. Take care!

 
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:51 PM   #6
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Re: $1100 bill for UA??

I'm going to call the insurance company and lab on Monday. I think the cost is common in this area. I'll let you know what I find out. Thanks everyone for your comments!

 
Old 01-04-2013, 10:13 PM   #7
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Re: $1100 bill for UA??

I got an EOB for almost that much for my first UA and freaked out. I actually submitted an appeal, etc, as it was an out of network provider and the EOB said my insurance wouldn't pay any of it. It is that high of a cost as they test for the presence and amount of many many meds (depending on what the doctor requests). Plus, they overcharge as insurance won't pay the full amount anyways.

However, I talked to my doctor, and they have a deal where anything that the insurance doesn't pay the lab company writes off for their patients (stipulation of using their lab). Is this just an EOB, or an actual bill? If its an actual you owe $X bill, I'd call your doctor before the insurance, to see if they have a deal with the lab. My doctor told me if I ever got a bill (I haven't), to call them and they will take care of it. Hopefully its the same for you.

I also found out that they only sent my first UA out for the expensive test, then the ones I got after that (every 3-4 months), they only send out to the lab if they "need to", which I'd assume is if the in office test (cheap dip stick type) shows something that shouldn't be there, or excludes something that should be there, such as can happen with certain drug interactions, or as those tests aren't as accurate. The dip stick tests would be more in the realm of $40.

Long story short: Don't freak out yet, especially if its only an EOB. Call your doctor before the lab or insurance. Best wishes.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:13 AM   #8
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Re: $1100 bill for UA??

I got the EOB months ago, this is a bill.

 
Old 01-05-2013, 11:00 AM   #9
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Re: $1100 bill for UA??

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Originally Posted by tortoisegirl View Post
I also found out that they only sent my first UA out for the expensive test, then the ones I got after that (every 3-4 months), they only send out to the lab if they "need to", which I'd assume is if the in office test (cheap dip stick type) shows something that shouldn't be there, or excludes something that should be there, such as can happen with certain drug interactions, or as those tests aren't as accurate. The dip stick tests would be more in the realm of $40.
You hit the nail on the head right there. Those expensive tests aren't done all the time but they are extremely detailed and accurate. I think they're called "Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS)".

You're right, those dipsticks are probably in the $40 range but IMO are notoriously inaccurate. I heard more horror stories about them and was a victim myself one time. It said I used pot when in fact, I hadn't smoked for over 30 years. I suppose you get what you pay for. Good Luck OP!

 
Old 01-13-2013, 09:54 PM   #10
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Re: You need to check with your insurance company

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Originally Posted by daffydolphin View Post
or check the eob they should have sent you, or online.

On my bcbs, depending upon what was tested, where tested and by whom (in network?) i might actually owe $0, or 30% of the balance, or $150 plus 30% of balance.

If your test was out of network and insurance says the balance is between you and the tester, negotiate with the biller. They will usually happily settle for much less that retail balanceof $1,100
my pain dr switched to ameritox i just got bill for 11oo bucks insurancesaid above normal and customary that makes it mine i just went again yesterday another ua came home to bill above we are supposed to start once a month this is not a pill mill but starting to act like one i am 57 back and neck fusion i cannot pay this not easy to change dr been here 2 yrs ameritox seems to be running the dr help

 
Old 01-21-2013, 10:26 AM   #11
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Re: $1100 bill for UA??

When I got the bill from my pain management clinic for my first UA I almost had a heart attack. It was $1,100 and this was four years ago. My insurance refused to pay any of it as it was not deemed medically necessary. I called the clinic and told them I could not afford to pay this and when they said they would take my insurance I assumed they were agreeing that they would accept what my insurance would pay which in this case was nothing.
They told me not to worry about it and asked me if I would pay $30 for a UA whenever they had to do one. I agreed to that and I have never had a problem since.
I think this charge is ridiculous. I am surprised any insurance would cover it. I am thankful my clinic was understanding. I'm not sure what I would have done had they insisted on me paying this charge. I can't afford that.

 
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:21 AM   #12
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Re: $1100 bill for UA??

I'm a Medicare patient. My pain management doctor submits a monthly bill of $1200 for the urine screen, and $400 for the office visit that's an established patient's rate!). I know medicare only pays a portion of this, but is this what the person without any insurance would pay? Yikes! I recently found out that he is doing his drug testing "in house", which means he is seeing even more profit! He is a very good doctor, albeit a bit greedy one might say! Yikes again.

 
Old 01-22-2013, 07:21 AM   #13
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At my PM in rural NC

I will find out about Medicare when I switch in 3 months. My PM's standard office visit is only $95 To $130, 10 to 20 minutes. He gets my $50 copay and $10 to $25 more from my BCBS insurance. When he does an in-house UA he bills another $380 and BCBS pays $200 more. He is a GP with additional training and certification in PM.

If you have no insurance he bills the full retail, and hopes you'll pay, I guess. If you negotiate they will settle pretty fast and easily for just the BCBS approved amounts of $60 to $75. Plus $200 for UA. Negotiate a little harder and the UA drops a little further.

If he trusts you and you have insurance, you get a UA about half your visits. If you have no insurance and he trusts you, UAs drop back to once every 3 or 4 months.

 
Old 01-22-2013, 10:27 AM   #14
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Re: $1100 bill for UA??

My UA's costed $1750.00 each when I had insurance. Of course my insurance wouldn't pay a penny toward them because they deem them medically unnecessary. I'm still paying off the $7000.00 bill I owe for those UA's 4 years later.

Now that I have no insurance I'm only charged $150.00 a UA. My appointments are half price too now. It's actually cheaper for me to say I don't have insurance and just pay as a cash customer than for me to show them an insurance card.

It's kind of a scam that they can charged double the amount for appointments and 1000% more for UA's just because a person has insurance.

 
Old 01-22-2013, 11:27 AM   #15
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Re: $1100 bill for UA??

Hi the bills vary according to how many drugs they have to tests for. My PM dr used to used Ameritox which was out of network for me (they didn't take Cigna??) anyway the nurse gave me a POC at Ameritox I called them told them I was retired couldn't afford it so they wrote it off after a while they just stop billing me.

Stupid feet: I would definitely speak to the dr let them know you can't afford it Maybe you can get the number of the company POC too and work it out. I'm hearing in most cases they are wanting to work thru these things to keep the drs business. Cathy


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Last edited by noevr; 01-22-2013 at 11:34 AM. Reason: Added more info

 
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