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Cost of tests

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In mid-February my doctor referred me for blood testing. The lab next door to his office was closed, and I was finally able to get the testing done at Rancho Vistoso Urgency Care (RVUC), two miles from my home, more convenient than the 15 mile drive back to the first lab.

I subsequently received the benefits statement from my insurance company showing the total charges for the tests: $1,492.60, my copay $496.31. 

Shocked by those charges, at my request the doctor’s office reviewed the bill with RVUC, who advised that since they are affiliated with Oro Valley Hospital (OVH), they charge hospital prices for lab work.

Outraged, I contacted the original lab and another lab and learned their charges for the same testing are identical: $391.00 - 1/4 the amount charged by RVUC.

I contacted OVH Business Office and I was told the same billing practice, and that OVH had offered a 20-percent reduction in the conversation with the doctor’s office. I noted I do not recall such an offer; further that the reported offer is secondary to the unreasonable and exorbitant charges for basic lab tests. Had I been advised of the fees at time of service I would have driven back to the original lab.

I have shared the fee comparison with my insurance company, and submitted a complaint to the hospital office of quality monitoring.

Local residents need to be aware of this price gouging by RVUC/OVH so they can make informed decisions about where they go for medical care.

 

Steven Sanders,

Tucson

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