LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I am sure many consumers have at one time or another experienced bad customer service. Well, at CSMC they have excelled in being the worst!! Details: when you visit a doctor any CSMC medical facility, you are charged for 1. Physician fee; 2. CSMC facility fee (I.E exam room); 3. Leasing of all equipment used (I.E ultrasound mach etc.) Seems fair, of course we can all agree that if you are provided a service that service should be paid for and whatever equipment used should also be as well.
Problem 1: a routine visit to a physicIan in an exam room when it isn't necessary for the physician to touch you (literally) **maybe** billed as an operating room procedure. Yes this has happened to me. The reason for stating "maybe" is because CSMC bills certain procedure codes depending on the insurance company you have. I.E. When I had blue cross Illinois the same visit was billed as an office visit. Now that my insurance has changed to an excellent reimbursement plan they bill the same type of visit as an operating room.
Problem 2: they double bill insurance companies and patients (Proof available). situation#1 saw doctor x on 06/19/06; insurance is based upon a fiscal yr (06/19/05 through 06/18/06); insurance carriers changed from one company to another. CSMC billed blue cross-il for dos 6/19/06 then billed united health care for dos 6/19/06 then they billed me 2 facility copays. Make no mistake I did not have dual insurance which they were aware of because I provided this info to CSMC. Of course both insurance companies are launching an investigation into their billing activities. to make matters worse when CSMC sent me a bill I paid it!!!
Now CSMC has sent me to collections for an unpaid bill. Of course I have proof of payment. Yes,I have contacted the billing dept, supervisors, anyone who would listen. Everyone says it is not their department and shrugs their shoulders.
Moral of the story: please be diligent in selecting your doctors. Make certain you know which hospital affiliation he/she is with. If the doctor is in a medical facility or hospital ask questions!!!!About billing. Do not assume that your insurance will protect you. Ultimately you are responsible for all incurred fees. Whether they are justified or not.
If you live in Los Angeles avoid Cedar Sinai Medical Center. They may have excellent doctors, no question but that is not where the problem lies. The doctors save lives not the facility (CSMC). Most of CSMC doctors have private offices. When available use the md's private offices. What good does it do to have a doctor save your life only to have a facility murder you with the aggravation of endless unethical billing. Which by this time no one at CSMC cares anymore
PS: This problem only occurs with the CSMC facility billing department. They are experts at inflating bills to the better paying insurance companies to offset the loss they have for non-paying patients or underpaying insurance companies.