I was getting Xolair injections once every 3 weeks at Dr. S's office.  Dr. S is an allergist.
The price started out as $163.  That's the price just for injecting Xolair - not for the Xolair drug itself.  That's a lot.  It's a little more work for the nurse than a simple injection, but not much.
But I was willing to pay $163 as a self-pay patient.
Then, without telling me they raised the price to $262 for self-pay patients.  Pricing info is not available at his office.  I got two Xolair injections at $262 that were in the same billing cycle before I found out about the increased price.  So I was billed $198 extra.
I don't think this is fair.  Three reasons:
- I should have been informed ahead of time of the price increase, especially since I get these injections repeatedly, on a schedule.
- The $262 price is far more than other allergists charge.  I got quotes of $35, $115 and $179 from other local allergists.  My family doctor used to give me Xolair injections for $65.   And the allergist I'm currently using, includes an office visit with a PA and a brief checkup in their $115 price.  Dr. S just had a nurse give me the injection.
- The allowed rate for a Xolair injection for a patient with BCBS insurance varied from $95 to $145.  I know because I was briefly insured by BCBS.
So they are charging self-pay patients more than twice as much for the same service!
I repeatedly brought up the excessive charge with the doctor and told him my objections.  But he didn't adjust the charge.
This seems like an unethical business practice.  Perhaps not strictly illegal - but am I supposed to check the price each time before I get any service?  I would be constantly bugging his billing office in that case.  I didn't think they would increase the price by 60% without telling me, to much more than other doctors charge!  I would like to work it out with Dr. S, since I liked his way of giving allergy shots.  I complained to the BBB, maybe that will help.  

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@sk8yecat, an older friend of mine went to see an attorney about filing bankruptcies on old medical bills. The attorney told her to stop paying them. There was nothing they could take from her. Might be worth a few bucks to see one.

I have a house...or half of one.  Of course it's (reverse) mortgaged to the hilt. 

I sorta would like to have my neck fixed (I'm tired of the worsening dizzy spells and partial paralysis in my arms and hands), but the procedure is frightening, and I really would rather just stop breathing.  I'm a very lazy person; my favorite hobby is reading.

I'm wanting to get a reverse mortgage.  What company do you recommend Felaine.

Hi Spud.......Please be aware  that  a reverse  mortgage is absolutely  the last  resort....The fees  involved  are  high, but  as a last  resort, may be worth  the expense... 

I agree with Freethinker.  The only reason we got the reverse mtge was to pay off a previous mtge and avoid foreclosure. When all the fees were deducted, there wasn't much left for us (it's a racket), they paid it to us in one lump sum, and it's now gone to pay medical bills and emergency home maintenance, and I'm still alive.  I wasn't expecting that last one.

The banks are raking in the dough, and are paying the lowest interest on savings that they ever have in my lifetime.

This is the real root of the healthcare problem in the US. The profit motive is carte blanche for providers to jack patients without having to answer to anyone. We are so apathetic to this as reality that we have come to expect insurance premiums to rise every year, without even acknowledging that the rise is far outpacing inflation. Any pay raise I have gotten at my job over the past seven years has been more than defeated by the increase in my insurance premium.
@future I don't think we're apathetic as much as helpless. If we can't get the government to make changes there's little we can do.
Term limits would be a good start. Once the assholes are in office they climb in bed with the lobbyist and it's game over for the average citizens.
Sorry Future. ;-) Trying to reply from this little phonecauses me to make a lot of mistakes. And sometimes it seems to have a mind of its own.
I just don't see an adequate effort being made to address the real problem. It's our own fault, for letting the healthcare industry continue to limp along as a for profit venture, while the rest of the developed world realized that socialized medicine is the only practical approach. Good luck getting the industry to lower the price of an 80 cent bag of saline water to less than the 100 dollar price tag that it commands in the US market.
Future, can you offer any suggestions on what a person can do? I know if we band together we have some power but even the number of people who vote is pathetically low. I feel like throwing my hands up and just tuning the whole mess out. But that never last more than a couple of days.
I'm at a total loss and any suggestions would be helpful.
We could start by acknowledging what the real problem is, instead of continually bashing/supporting obamacare. The industry has been hijacked, and it's our health that is at stake. Any time someone brings up the healthcare crisis, take it upon yourself to mention the cost of a bag of saline, or an aspirin at the hospital, to put things into perceptive.

I agree Luara.  You should have been informed ahead of time.  It's unethical, and should be illegal.  I would be very upset with them.

A lot of comments here  about health care  reflect   experiences  from a few years  ago....The ACA has not  even been in effect a full year....Many  Governors  have  refused  to  accept  medicaid  expansion that would help at least  20%  of their  populace....As far as the middle class, the exchanges  are now  seeming to alleviate many  of the problems.....As long as we can see improvement and  more Governors  realize  how  cooperating with the federal  government will ease  the burden  of  their  citizens, and everyone  gives  this  new  health care  law  time  to work and  until  yearly  figures  are released.....Then we can be either  accepting  or critical....It is ,to me, shameful that the Republicans  have  tried so hard  to derail  this law, only  for  political  reasons, and  by negative  propaganda try to influence  the rational  thinking  of  fellow  Americans...


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