Routine Ultra-Stupidity

, , , | Healthy | April 5, 2021

I am pregnant, and I’m sent for a routine ultrasound. I’m considered a low-risk, routine maternity case. The place where I’ve gone for ultrasounds in previous pregnancies is completely booked up, so when I go to schedule, they say they’ll just schedule me with the other ultrasound office in the building.

After I get the ultrasound, the bill arrives, and it is orders of magnitude higher than what it has been in the past… approximately nine times higher. My insurance company refuses to pay that amount of money, and it gets kicked back to me.

I call the insurance company and ask why they didn’t cover the ultrasound and am told that the ultrasound was billed as an ultrasound for a high-risk pregnancy but I am not a high-risk patient. So, I call the ultrasound office.

Me: “I’m trying to figure out a solution here. It seems that the ultrasound was billed as for a high-risk pregnancy, but I’m not a high-risk patient, so insurance rejected it.”

Clinic: “Oh, but that’s because we’re the high-risk office, so your doctor wanted a high-risk scan.”

Me: “I was sent to you because the other office was booked. They told me that you were covering their overflow because you had space.”

Clinic: “Yes, we agreed to alleviate some of their scheduling issues.”

Me: “So, you knew I wasn’t high-risk. Why did you do the high-risk scan?”

Clinic: “Oh, we didn’t do the high-risk scan because you aren’t a high-risk patient.”

Me: “So, why did you bill me for a high-risk scan?”

Clinic: “Because we’re specialists. We specialize in high-risk perinatal care.”

Me: “But you were just covering for the other office, right?”

Clinic: “Yes. But you can’t expect us to not be paid what we’re worth, can you?”

Me: “But you didn’t do the high-risk scan, right?”

Clinic: “No, but if we’d seen anything high-risk, we would have been able to tell you because we’re highly-trained. You have to pay for our higher training.”

Me: “So, if a surgeon who is capable of a kidney transplant gives you stitches, you should have to pay for a kidney transplant?”

Clinic: “You got a higher level of care here, so you have to pay for that higher level of care.”

Me: “I’m just lost for words here.”

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