One strategy to overpriced hospital bills that is paying off; Don’t pay. Check out this Washington Post article

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medical bill There is nothing I hate more than an overpriced hospital bill. I have firsthand experience with the rules that allow the greed, while we as consumers are threatened by their collection agency and other egregious tactics. A number of years ago, my wife visited her doctor in the doctor's office and other than a biopsied sample, this was a well-care checkup. We received two bills, one for services ($1200) and a second for a facility fee ($3200) for this typical 10-minute visit. I will spare you the details but we won and paid them nothing, and their collection agency gave up after we showed proof they billed for services not performed. Recently, my daughter had a lactose tolerance breath test which most doctors charge under $100 for. Her doctor gave her a script to go to the hospital to have it done. They billed $529 for the less than $100 test. Even though we pay them $25 per month (on principle, since no one will talk to me and even try to justify this bill), the collection agency continues to badger us. The Washington Post reports on a new method of negotiation being used lately; non-payment until there is a reduction of the bill into the land of reasonableness. Check it out here

Hospital bills too high? One benefits firm has a new strategy: Don't pay.

May 18
In the late 1990s, you could have taken what hospitals charged to administer inpatient chemotherapy and bought a Ford Escort econobox. Today, average chemo charges (not even counting the price of the anti-cancer drugs) are enough to pay for a Lexus GX sport-utility vehicle, government data show.Hospital prices have risen nearly three times as much as overall inflation since Ronald Reagan was president. Parties that pay hospitals have tried HMOs, accountable care organizations and other innovations to control them, with little effect.

Elap Services, a small benefits consulting firm based in Chester Springs, Pa., is causing a commotion by suggesting an alternative: Refuse to pay. When hospitals send invoices with jaw-dropping charges, Elap tells its clients (generally medium-sized employers) to just say no.

Instead, these clients pay much lower amounts, based on Elap's analysis of what is reasonable after analyzing the hospitals' financial filings. This unusual strategy is a disruption of business, as usual, to say the least. Hospitals are unhappy, but they have failed to make headway against it in court. read more