Healthcare Business DEMYSTIFIED

de mys ti fy - to make less mysterious, clarify

Why does it take so long for my doctor's office to bill me?

Many patients have noticed that they often have to wait several months before they get a bill from their physician's office.  This most typically happens because the physician's business office may wait up to 30 days for a payment to come in from an insurance company.  If no payment has been received in 30 days, the physician's insurance department begins to follow up with the insurance company.  The insurance company may report to the physician office that the claim cannot be found or that additional documentation is needed to process the claim.  Any number of issues could come up that would cause the claim to be denied.  An  insurance ID number could have been put in incorrectly or a data entry person at the insurance company could have typed something incorrectly. It can be an error committed at the doctor's office or an error at the insurance company.  In any event, it may take 30 or more days to even identify that there is a problem.  The claim can then be corrected and resubmitted for payment.  Another 30 days can pass before a payment is received.  Most medical practices send out their statements once a month.  If that was last week, the statement may be delayed another month.  If you are concerned about a bill that you haven't received, by all means call your doctor's office.  Ask to speak to the person who handles the patient accounts.  They should be able to give you an update on your pending claim or they may be able to research it and let you know what they find out.