How many folks in the Toledo-Lucas County area went to their doctor between October 1, 2009 and February 1, 2010 and received TWO bills for the visits - one from the doctor and one from the UT Medical Center?? I was only one of hundreds????? who this happened to. For example, normally an annual checkup by the internists that are part of the UTMC Physicians group would be charged about $200. During these last 5 months not only would the patient get that bill but he or she would also get a bill for ANOTHER $200 or so from UTMC itself. WHY? The explanation given to me was that UTMC wanted to "unbundle" their overhead costs for the clinic space and the support personnel from the doctor's fees. Reasonable people would take that to mean that the original $200 fee would become two new charges that ADDED together would come to some new number approaching the original $200. NOT SO! UTMC used a different math and actually made patients pay ALOT more to see one of their doctors.
But there's more...how many of you called UTMC and were told that insurance companies would pay the fees so your "out of pocket" would be some lesser number? How many of you DON'T have insurance or have really high deductables?? And should insurance companies pay these huge fees and THEN pass on the higher costs to us in the form of higher premiums? And should Medicare have to foot the bill for these huge, made up fees by UTMC and then we - as taxpayers - are burdened with a Medicare system that is going broke?! And, finally, UTMC is a state institution, supported, in part, by Ohio taxpayers. So what kind of good neighbor is UTMC? What kind of good corporate citizen is UTMC?
I don't begrudge my doctor making a fair wage; I DO think UTMC is trying to make our office visits to their doctor's group a new and - ver lucrative - PROFIT CENTER!
Were you one of those affected? Do you know someone who was? What do you think?? I'd love to know how many folks were affected. I'd love to know what you think about this situation.