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Old 11-14-2012, 03:18 PM   #1
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Medical bills and scam?

I have been getting phone calls from a lab that claims to work with my OB's office. But my OB has an in house lab. They say that they have been trying to send me a bill or something but don't have my current address. This has all been through voice mail because I don't answer calls from blocked numbers. This sounds fishy right? I mean, if they so desperately needed my info couldn't they just contact my doctors office? Or even my insurance company? I looked up the lab name online and they have one review on yelp and it's a really really bad one.

Is this common in the prenatal world? I feel like we paid a lot of bills to outside laboratories with my last pregnancy and even then I was suspicious. But then my insurance was really crappy so I didn't know what I was required to pay for. This time we have super amazing insurance through the motion picture union. I know that most of this pregnancy should be covered which is why I'm questioning this. It seems like it would be a pretty easy scam. Those lab bills are alway in Greek and impossible to decipher and pregnancy care tends to bring it the sucker in all of us.

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Old 11-14-2012, 05:58 PM   #2
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Re: Medical bills and scam?

Call your doc's office and see if they outsourced so test to this lab.

Also call your insurance co and see if they have been billed by this lab. You should have received an explaniation of benefits (EOB) from your insurance co saying they had received a claim from this office, for x service of y day. The EOB should also tell you the portion of the claim covered by insurance and your responisiblity. The "your responisibility" amount should add up to the amount the lab/dr ofc is asking you to pay.

I have received bills from for lab work which was done outside the dr's office (both for prenatal and regular care). The labs portion (of my insurance) is always separate from dr service, even with covered lab work. The labs portion of my prenatal care is outside the global payment to my dr but that's how my insurance works.

I've found with my insurance co, the customer service reps were super nice and super helpful for understanding the benefits and bills.

One suggestion, I did this with my first pregnancy. I got a binder and put in all the medical bills and EOBs. I matched up the EOBs (usually I'd get copies from ins. co before an actual dr. bill) and dr. bills. Once you start looking at the bills and the EOBs together, they become a lot less mystical/Greek and a lot more like regular bills. The amounts and dates of service should match up. Once the bill was paid, I would mark paid with date and move it to a different portion of the binder.

I was really really glad that I did during the pregnancy because once we had the baby and had accrued $35K of bills from the birth I was able to see when the insurance company and providers had made billing errors. For instance, the insurance co rejected the claim for the epidural (randomly amongst the other 150 claims from that week) and said I was 100% responsible and I kept getting bills from the dr. I was able to call the insurance co with the bill and the EOB and straighten out what was a insurance co. error. It helps control the madness and the urge to just through another meaningless bill in the trash.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:19 PM   #3
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Re: Medical bills and scam?

Yep ^^ that. Sounds fishy to me, I would investigate and NOT answer those calls.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:53 PM   #4
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Re: Medical bills and scam?

I would call your Dr as well to verify. My OB did the blood draws in house, but an outside lab picked them up for testing so I had to pay them as well. But they got my billing info from the doctor.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:19 PM   #5
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Yeah, I've been trying to get through to the OB today because I'm sick of getting phone calls, but they were closed at lunch and then the line was busy all afternoon so I thought I check here to see if this type of fraud was even a thing. Thanks for the info!

Really, the binder idea is a good one. I always just leave it to my husband to deal with medical bills but I should maybe tackle this one.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:37 PM   #6
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I was on writers guild insurance for a long time and they are very easy to deal with directly. I would probably just call them and ask about labs since your Ob is likely in their network and the lab should very too.
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