In an age where insurance companies dictate the quality and what kind of medical care we receive, it certainly makes sense to be alert to the possibilities of errors in diagnosis and over billings. A close family member with goiter was told by her primary care physician that she might need a fine needle aspiration(FNA) to help diagnose and treat her multi-nodular thyroid condition.
We registered at local hospital to have an ultra sound biopsy performed which would indicate whether the FNA was necessary. The attendant produced the estimate you see below with the anticipated service description of CT Scan for needle biopsy which would have cost us around $3300. Our Blue Cross Blue Shield would have covered $3100, so we signed on the dotted line and took her to the radiology department. Neither of us noticed the mistake, and only prior to treatment was it noticed that we only needed an ultrasound biopsy and NOT a CT Scan for needle biopsy!!
It turns out that the CPC codes for ultrasound biopsy and CT Scan for needle biopsy are close to the same and the clerk input the wrong CPC code! The hospital staff was very courteous and professional about acknowledging error and correcting the overbilling.
I have heard that sometimes the error is not caught by the doctor or patient and the wrong procedure is done! So, be alert people before you let them do anything to you. They usually get it right, but double-check because hospital personnel are often underpaid, in a hurry, and stressed out just like the rest of us.