The Heroic Efforts Of Dr. McDreamy's Billing Clerk

Mike P. wrote to us recently after hearing our podcast on medical billing. He works as a medical biller, and writes that he listened to the billing episode while he "posted a 173 page Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois payment voucher."

The note continues:

As billers we are constantly in the middle. Patients yell at us because the insurance company won't pay. The doctors yell at us because insurance companies keep lowering the rates that they pay the doctors.

And the codes — did you know that you can have 10 different types of an office visit with your doctor? That's not counting the codes if you have a physical. Those are procedure codes otherwise known as CPT codes.

After that you have the ICD-9 codes which are the reasons that the CPT is being done. So if you go to the Doctor for a cough you might be billed for a 99213 with an ICD-9 of 786.2. I could go on but it is so boring.  Maybe that’s why you never see this end on TV shows.

It's great to show the heroic efforts of Dr. McDreamy saving the life of someone. Those shows never show the heroic effort that McDreamy's biller is performing just to get that surgery paid. I just wanted to say how grateful I am that finally someone recognized me, the lowly little biller.

Thank You,

Mike P.

Chicago, IL

P.S. I will be emailing and faxing this letter, once you work with health insurance companies you learn to cover all avenues of communication.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from