December 18, 2009, Newsletter Issue #210: Operating-Room Time

Tip of the Week

It's not uncommon for hospitals to bill for more time than you actually used. Compare the charge with your anesthesiologist's records. Often times the anesthesiologist, radiologists and other medical professionals you see while you are in the hospital will bill you separately. This is called the “professional bill.” For example, your anesthesia record will state the times when your surgery began and ended. Operating-room use is billed either hourly or by the half- or quarter-hour. Rates may vary from $500 to more than $2,000 per half-hour. If you compare these bills, you may find that you were billed for five hours for a procedure that actually took only four.

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