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Mom is 92 with dementia and is in memory care unit of an AL facility. I was alarmed to see on her EOB from her secondary insurance a $960+ charge from a lab. Seven tests all listed on 2/19/2021. I received the EOB in October. Insurance declined to pay (with the note that she may receive a bill). A couple months later I saw another EOB where the same lab resubmitted the charges reduced to $500+ for the same date. Insurance paid.
Now in December two more EOB's show charges of $125 and $1,000+ - all still for the same date! Surely this has to be blatant fraud!! But WHO do I talk to about this?
(I went to the director of the facility who said it was charges for testing - and they tested not only for covid, but for any and everything that might be on the test swab. It is ALL important to me that I do not have trouble that forces me to move Mom. But this can't be right. I just don't know who I can go to with this).

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Silly question: what is an EOB, please? [Thinks: Errors, Omissions and Balderdash? Early Onset Baloney? Eek, Oo's Bill can we put this on..?]
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BarbBrooklyn Feb 5, 2022
Explanation of benefits
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report to insurance company especially if she didn’t have those tests
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Reply to Pamela60
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seldel: Imho, sometimes a lab codes blood draws and the like incorrectly. I have received bills from a lab company. Knowing that because of my Medicare and my Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans, I should never receive ANY bill, it was amended by my contacting them.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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First of all, contact Medicare and have all her personal ID information available. I do not think that a secondary insurance pays anything until Medicare pays first as primary. So start with Medicare. Then find out the name of the insurance company who has these bills - get copies, details, names, everything. Have this available for Medicare. In the meantime, do NOT pay anything to anyone no matter what happens. Medicare has means to deal with this - it is far too big for you. See what they have to say and possibly talk with an eldercare attorney. Ask the doctor specifically what tests were ordered and for what purpose. Provide this all to medicare. Sounds like a major scam going on.
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Riley2166 Jan 4, 2022
Also go to the local Adult Protective Services Agency in your county. You can also speak with your local state assemblyman and representative for help - the library can provide the names and numbers.
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If your mom has original Medicare, most blood tests are covered 100 percent of the Medicare approved amount.

Download the Medicare booklet and read it to understand. You can also go online to see what the claims are and what Medicare has approved.
https://www.medicare.gov/media/10991

You can also ask for a copy of all test results which will verify that they were actually done. The date of the blood draw will be on the test. You can also sign up at Quest and/or LabCorp and be able to see test results there.
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Reply to lwithaml
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When you get multiple EOBs for the same dates of services, previously denied that is a reprocessed claim. They billed for multiple things and the insurance needed the right cpt codes and modifiers for the claim to process correctly. Now fun fact if you contact insurance they can not tell you HOW to Bill (rules).... Meaning if your 22 year old twit of a biller doesn't know what she is doing she will just on resubmitting until they get paid. Fraud maybe........I shut down the skilled nursing facility for violations and turned in my home health for Medicare fraud so possible but those were 20k in over billing in one month and services never rendered. Every test should have a result simple ask for All results if it's a lab. Double billing or fraud it's hard to create results easy to Bill though.
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JoAnn29 Jan 4, 2022
This is what I said. The biller coded it wrong and is trying to correct their error by constantly resubmitting. Until OP gets an actual billing, she shouldn't worry about it.
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I had an experience of being overcharged for supplies and when I called Medicare to report it, the lady I spoke with seemed a little offended that I called and said if I wanted to report it, I would have to fill out a complaint form and submit it! Needless to say, I dropped the matter!
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JoAnn29 Jan 1, 2022
If the supplies were not covered by Medicare, they can do nothing. If Medicare was billed, the provider had to except what was reasonable and cannot bill u more.
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Your state's Attorney General's office would look into alleged fraud; no reputable business wants that kind of scrutiny but sadly there are less than 'efficient/honest' actors in every sphere.
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Reply to Santalynn
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Fraud or somebody has a really wonky computer program. Talk to the administration about the bills - and make copies to show them what you are concerned about.
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JoAnn29 Jan 1, 2022
The administrator can't do anything unless the AL iwns the lab. Its the Lab that you deal with.
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Contact insurance company and let them sort it out. That's the best you can do.
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Reply to my2cents
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Mac said a good thing. My posts are based on a person having regular Medicare and a supplimental. Medicare Advantages are different. They are contracted out by Medicare and are suppose to follow Medicare rules. Problem is, you need to use providers in the MAs network.

I have reg Medicare and my husbands Union provides my supplimental. The supplimental only allows the use of LabCorp for labs. I have to make providers aware of this. Have even been told that Medicare will except and pay for any Lab. True, but my suppliment will not pick up the 20% if not LabCorp.
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lwithaml Jan 4, 2022
Blood tests are paid 100% by Medicare and do not get sent to secondary insurance. You can go online and look at the Medicare claims.
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Remember folks these are the so called heroes who over charge people just because they can. Gotta love those hospitals and medical professionals.
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JoAnn29 Dec 31, 2021
They can overcharge but if they except Medicare, they will only get what Medicare allows. They also have contracts with Insurance companies that they can only charge so much.
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The lab might not be in the insurance prefered network. Plans can change each year. You still have time to change her secondary insurance. Speak to a Medicare insurance specialist to compare plans. I wonder if the secondary is a poorly matched advantage plan.

In any case, your insurance card should have a number on it for questions
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Reply to MACinCT
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I am going thru with this with a hospital. My tests were turned down because Medicare said this facility is not covered for this service. A HOSPITAL! It was a mammogram and scan. I gave my info to the girl at the Hospital when I made my appointment and again when I was admitted. If there was a problem with insurance admitting would have told me when I arrived. I just had a colonoscopy at the same Hospital and everything has been paid to the doctor thru Medicare. I "know", its a billing error on the hospitals end. They will just have to resubmit. Until I get an actual bill, I am not worrying about it. Statements aren't bills.

Believe me, you can't really do anything until they actually bill you. Its not fraud till they bill you. Statements can be wrong and they can be adjusted. They can charge anything they want to, if they except Medicare they also except what Medicare thinks is reasonable. I still think the Lab is trying to correct a billing error on their part by constantly by re-submitting the original claim. It comes down to the Lab has a lousy medical billing clerk who is coding that lab wrong and Medicare is not excepting it. As I said Medicare pays very little towards labs, very little. And you cannot be billed for more than Medicare considers reasonable.

Just wait for the bill. Don't call anyone until you receive it. If it still seems unreasonable, then look at the Medicare statement and the secondary statement to see how they paid. Again, a secondary only pays the 20% of what Medicare has paid. If Medicare has turned down the claim, so will the secondary.

The one problem I have with Medicare is they send out a statement for each service provider they have paid. Then they send out a Summary listing again All the services u had done within a certain time frame. Like a duplicate. For me this is really confusing because when I get a bill I don't pay it until I get the statement from Medicare and my secondary. If the bill totals what Medicare and my secondary say, I pay it and throw out the statements. I don't need any summary.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I would call medicare fraud division and ask for an investigation. You may want to let the ALF know you plan to do this. If she has supplemental insurance you may need to speak with them as well. These are bills to your grandmother for her care. Failing to pay them may ruin her credit, but realistically how much credit scoring does she NEED at this point. Keep at them. Good luck.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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caroli1 Feb 5, 2022
AlvaDeer, I think you are way ahead of the game. These are EOBs, not bills! As others have said, there may be some errors that have resulted in resubmission of the claims.. In addition, a number of us are confused about why there should be any bills for testing because there are many tests that Medicare covers in full. In any case, realistically, in the insurer's big picture, these amounts are pretty small, and I'd be surprised to see deliberate fraud involving these amounts. (They are not small amounts to the person being billed, obviously!)

Even if these EOBs do turn into bills and you dispute them for her, it would be a long journey before there was an effect on your mother's credit rating, if ever. First, they would need to go to collections. You can dispute bills for a long time before there would be an effect on your mother's credit rating if she ultimately did not pay. AlvaDeer, you have lots of good advice, but this time I think you are over-worrying!
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Is your mother (or you as POA) getting billed exorbitant amounts of money for these tests? Medicare and the secondary insurance should have a CAP on how much you actually pay for lab tests. Unless you are being asked to pay lots of money for this testing, I'd ignore the charges on the EOBs and allow the insurance company to fight it out with the lab.

In 2008 I had spinal fusion surgery on my neck; I was in the hospital for 24 hours. The bill was $249,000.00. I was flabbergasted and immediately felt like the bill was fraudulent. I called my insurance company who was United Healthcare at the time. The representative laughed when I expressed my concern at the exorbitant bill. She told me not to worry, that ridiculously high bills were part of the game the hospitals played with the insurance companies! I was irritated, to say the least, thinking I was doing a good thing, only to be laughed at.

My mother has lived in MC Assisted Living since June of 2019 and has had lots of lab testing over the years, including mobile lab testing where the company comes into the MC with their equipment (which is extra costly). Never have we paid more than our contracted co-pay for any of the services in all this time.

If I were you, I would not spend hours on the phone calling Medicare and trying to prove you're the POA and all that jazz. Just wait to see if you get some outrageous bill FIRST before you freak out. If not, just let the lab and the insurance companies duke it out; it's between THEM, really, you know?
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Reply to lealonnie1
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seldel Dec 30, 2021
Thank you. What you say makes sense - especially in that we apparently are in a time of total ridiculousness! Yep - I'm gonna' let it lay!
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This is what I think is happening. The lab is coding it wrong and they are trying to fix it to get Medicare to pay. As long as the Lab has not billed you, let it go for now. You really can't do anything till you get an actual bill. Have you not received a statement from Medicare saying the charge was not covered and the reason why? Medicare sends a statement, the secondary sends a statement. You should be making sure these agree but the suppliment statement due amount should agree with what the lab bills you.

This is how it works. The lab bills Medicare lets say $1000. Medicare approves $600 (lab has to except this if a Medicare lab), Medicare pays 80%, $480. That leaves a balance of $120 which Medicare sends onto the suppliment of record who then pays all or part of the $120, depends on the contract Mom has with supplimental. If Medicare turns down the charge, so will the supplimental. If Mom has A&B her labs are covered.

Again, there is probably a coding problem. This is the Labs problem to fix. Now, when it comes to Medicare and lab work, Medicare pays the Lab hardly anything. You need to wait for the billing from the Lab to get this straightened out. That billing should show what Medicare paid and what the suppliment paid. Like I said, not all suppliments pay the 20% Medicare does not pay. With mine, we are on a share plan and you have deductibles that have to be met.

If the billing seems outrageous, then u call Medicare. A provider who can bill Medicare has to except what Medicare pays. With my example its the $600. Medicare paid 480 leaving a bal of $120. If the supplimental does not cover that $120, let say it went toward Moms deductable, then Mom owes that $120.

I would ask that no labs be done on Mom without consulting you first, especially if you have POA. There are rapid COVID tests that can be done and more accurate PCR. Under government guidelines, these should be free of charge. They should not be doing these tests at random. Mom needs to have been exposed and I think showing signs. Your local health dept can tell you. IMO the director has no idea what he is talking about. If its a COVID test that is all that the lab should be testing for. My daughter just got her statement and the charge for COVID testing was $600 by the lab but her insurance paid it. There will always be a charge by the provider, but between Medicare and secondary insurance it should be covered.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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seldel Dec 30, 2021
The Director said they will be doing the rapid testing now and there should be no more of those lab charges.
She said that company has a policy that they "absorb the charges" if the patient is billed.
Sounds really fishy to me - and especially now that I see they are still billing more and more charges for the same day.
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Call the insurance company. There should be a number on the EOB to report fraudulent claims.
A couple of years ago there was a scandal about one of the major labs. They were billing routine tests, like a CBC, as individual tests; Red blood cells. White blood cells, liver function, kidney function, etc. So instead of one charge to the insurance company for, say $75, they were billing each component out at $75.
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Reply to Maple3044
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seldel Dec 30, 2021
That's what it looks like to me for these charges. And they are still coming!
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Talk to your Mom's doctor, nurse practioner about the lab work. Who order the labs and why? What exactly is being tested? Who gets copies of the labs besides the facility? How often do they plan on testing? As needed-then need must be established-and approved by her doctor, not just the facility. Monthly testing? Still demmand that that be approved by her doctor and that you are kept in the loop about this.
About the "double billing"-sometimes this happens when one billing period ends and the next one begins and perhaps who ever entered the information about the labs didn't click on the next tab to start the next billing cycle. When this happens to me, I'll call them and ask if it's ok to wait a few weeks until the cycle sorts itsself out-never had a problem doing that.
Do you have power of Attorney? Makes a huge difference in stuff like this. As well as an elder specialist lawyer too, just to make sure you're doing the right things legally in your state.
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Reply to Ariadnee
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A few years ago my friend's husband was retiring early from his Gastroenterology practice. He was dismayed at the internal culture of over testing because the practice had a relationship with the lab. The medical community makes a lot of money on lab work, so they are very incentivized to order it. I think the fact that insurance won't cover it is a sign that even they know it is excessive. I would let both the facility and lab know that you won't be paying for the lab work (because insurance won't cover it which mean even they know it is unnecessary.

In a brief search I couldn't find any governing body to report it to. One of my sons works in a lab at the Mayo and I have asked him if there is any accountability for labs. He says, "The College of American Pathologists provides oversight and accreditation." That's where you should start, I'm guessing. Even if they're not the ultimate leverage they probably will point you to the right organization or pathway for action.
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Reply to Geaton777
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GardenArtist Dec 30, 2021
Geaton, "overtesting" is definitely a good description.   I think Big Pharma (and maybe Little Pharma too!) are contributors, particularly since they run so many commercials for drugs, passing them off as problem solvers and life enhancers, based on an actor/actress' portrayal of alleged conditions.

Personally, I'd just love to see the legal community go after them with class action suits for misrepresentation of drugs' values, curing possibilities, as well as contributing to an epidemic of drug use.
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