Cleveland Clinic – a cautionary tale

Today, Monday, was the date for my colonoscopy so I’d had nothing to eat since Saturday night, I was out of bed before 5 a.m. this morning to take the pills and mix the laxative drinks which, I have to say, worked extremely well. So far, so good, but then we arrived at Cleveland Clinic where my wife has had treatment and I’ve seen one of the doctors. Both of those visits were billed as out-patient. Today, we arrived and registered, and then my wife just happened to say to the man who was handling our registration, “I booked this directly with the gastroenterology clinic so I don’t understand why we are having to register here, in the hospital. This will be billed as an out-patient procedure in the clinic and not as a hospital won’t it?” It turned out that no, despite calling the gastroenterology clinic’s direct number, we had, effectively been transferred by that department from a doctor’s practice to the hospital’s practice – although it would have been the same doctor carrying out the procedure – (at a difference in cost to us of around $800) without anyone telling us that this was happening.

It seems that, yes, Cleveland Clinic does indeed provide the excellence it claims, and which both candidates in the recent presidential election praised, but, it also appears that it is not uncommon for patients to be sent for tests by their physician (clinic outpatient) to what appears to be another department within the clinic but is, in fact, the hospital facility which, at least in our case, costs the patient significantly more. It also appears that patients are often ignorant of the fact that by walking down the corridor for the test, within an organisation which trumpets its comprehensive integration of facilities, they are actually changing from one system to another.

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Filed under Cancer, Cleveland Clinic, colonoscopy

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