SOS: Speaking of Seniors – Medicare Making Piddly Work

On August 12, 2011, I got a phone message from a medical service provider in Lake County, Indiana. When I returned the call, I got a surprising bit of information about how the federal Medicare bureaucrats have been forcing medical service providers and insurance companies to do lots of time consuming, money consuming “piddly” work. In other words, the federal government has been driving up costs to doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies under the current leadership.

Since January 2011, Medicare has been reprocessing claims for services rendered from January 2010 through May 2010. It seems that Medicare officials were “wishy washy” and “flip-flopping” on percentages for payments to medical service providers in 2010. So, Medicare decided to re-do all the claims in that period.

This forced medical service providers and insurance companies to re-do their books for all the claims for that period.

I discovered this by writing a letter to a medical service provider regarding a small bill for $2.89. I thought that the small amount was for interest during the period from when the client got the medical service to the time that the doctor’s office got paid. Nope. It was the new unpaid balance after Medicare recalculated the claim.

Before that Medicare recalculation, the insurance company relied on the first claim calculation to pay what it owed. So, before the Medicare recalculation, our client’s bill was paid in full by Medicare and the Medicare supplemental insurance company.

Medicare’s recalculation of claims program is causing an enormous amount of expensive and time consuming work for insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, and laboratories. In all that recalculating, mistakes are bound to happen. In one instance, the person who brought this to my attention got a phone call from an irate patient. The patient was upset because Medicare applied $162 of a claim to his annual deductible for 2010 Medicare Part B claims when in fact his prior claims had already met the annual deductible. In other words, Medicare’s goof caused the patient to owe another$162.

The patient was angry because he thought that the doctor’s office caused the extra bill. Nope! It was the anointed and infallible public servants at Medicare who caused the problem and the bill. So, don’t be upset with your doctor, hospital, laboratory, or insurance company if you get a newly recalculated bill for medical services received sometime from January through May in 2010. Blame it on Uncle Screw-Up, er, uh, I mean Uncle Sam and the Obama administration’s management team at Medicare.

Woodrow Wilcox is the senior medical bill problem solver at Senior Care Insurance Services in Merrillville, Indiana. That is the largest senior citizen oriented insurance agency in the Midwest. For over six years, Woodrow Wilcox has helped senior citizens with medical bill problems with Medicare and VA clinics. He has saved senior citizens over $600,000 in wrongful charges. For more health care articles by Wilcox, visit or

© 2011 Woodrow Wilcox. Re-published here with the permission of the author.

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