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Instead of charging one overall fee for an operation, which is sometimes known as bundling, some doctors inflate their bills by charging for the individual steps, or they may be unfamiliar with what items are bundled in certain codes and bill them independently. This may include anything from the initial incision to the final suturing. Or they may charge separately for the preliminary examination, the procedure itself, and the follow-up care. In rare instances, doctors may perform and charge for inappropriate procedures. To avoid problems, have your surgeon list ahead of time the procedures that will be performed, and try to get a quote for a single fee that covers all services from the billing department. Even then, check for possible unbundling if your bill contains more than one or two charges.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|