The way we bill people for health care services is broken and it’s time to fix it

June 23, 2021 / By L. Gordon Moore, MD

Podcast listen buttonA physician is billed $10,000 for a COVID-19 test by his own organization, and the insurer paid the full amount (it costs about $8 to perform the test). A nurse’s five-year-old son is charged for a history and physical exam in an emergency department—and while she was indeed in the ED with her son, he was never examined by the billing provider—yet the insurer paid. These examples only scratch the surface of Marshall Allen’s new book “Never Pay the First Bill: And Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win.” 

Health care is overwhelmingly populated by good people, but the way we pay for health care is broken:

  • Almost one in three Americans are sent to collections for health care bills[1]
  • 44 percent of Americans say they can’t afford needed care due to high out-of-pocket costs[2]
  • 66 percent of personal bankruptcy is due to medical debt[3]

Listen to Marshall Allen describe how the medical billing system is rife with fraud, price gouging and exploitation. Hear him describe how little attention is paid to this broken system and how people need to be aware of ways to fight back. Employers and others must help push back and fix this problem which costs us all too much.

Dr. Gordon Moore is Senior Medical Director, Clinical Strategy and Value-based Care for 3M Health Information Systems.