Pay Bills

Some medical bill increases appear to be blatant scams

For the publisher: I was fascinated by David Lazarus’ column about a patient who was initially billed $ 809 for a plastic walking boot that costs around $ 80 on Amazon. I had a similar experience with a different break, and my experience involved Medicare.

I broke a bone in my right arm and had a brace after my cast was removed. I liked it so much that I bought another one to wear for my left arm for safety reasons when I exercise. It cost me $ 20.39 on Amazon.

I later received an invoice from the supplier of the splint for $ 14.67. The provider had previously billed Medicare $ 73.37, which paid $ 58.70. I was billed for the rest.

The cost of the corset on the manufacturer’s website is $ 21.99. When I called the supplier they told me they were charging ‘what was allowed’ but they would reduce their charge to $ 11.74 for me – after saying I would write to my member of the Congress (which I did).

I firmly believe in paying a fair price, but it was greedy and arrogant in my opinion. Like starting at $ 809, it’s unreasonable for this to be allowed.

Evelyn Noether Stokvis, Haworth, New Jersey


For the publisher: Thanks to Lazarus for bringing to light the story of Stephanie Noonan Drachkovich illustrating the need for systemic reform of our medical system. Kudos to Drachkovich for challenging the morality of our current system for Angelenos who cannot afford insurance or health care.

We have to ask ourselves why California, the world’s fifth largest economy, does not have a fair and accessible health care delivery system.

The column ends with Drachkovich saying, “We can solve this problem” and Lazarus writing, “All we need is the courage to try. ”

Members of the National Assembly Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), Alex Lee (D-San Jose) and Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) have the courage. Last February, they introduced Assembly Bill 1400, California’s guaranteed healthcare for all law.

The AB 1400 will come to the Assembly next January. He deserves our support.

Carol Fodera, La Crescenta


For the publisher: Lazarus writes about a woman who was billed $ 809 for a prescribed orthopedic boot that sells on Amazon for around $ 80.

It reminds me of a friend who received intensive chemotherapy for breast cancer. She saw the supplier’s original invoice for approximately $ 750,000. His insurer settled for a fraction of that amount, but we’ll never know how much that was.

I think we are all paying one way or another for this game.

Ken Hense, Los Angeles