PA motorcycle crash attorney takes aim at Medicare & Medicaid fraud
Does Medicare and Medicaid fraud matter to you?
It should, because one way or the other, ultimately we all foot the bill. Emergency rooms in particular are becoming notorious for overcharging these programs.
And because bikers are relatively unprotected when we are involved in an accident, PA motorcycle crash victims often end up in the emergency room. That makes it possible for them to pull you into this scam involuntarily.
Here’s how it works
Doctors are required to treat everyone who comes through their doors, regardless of their insurance status.
If a patient has no private insurance and cannot afford the treatment out of pocket, their expenses are typically covered by Medicare or Medicaid, which often pay a lower negotiated fee than a private insurer.
To defray these costs, hospitals are accused of administering unnecessary tests and extra treatments to uninsured patients, or keeping them overnight for procedures that should be outpatient. This is rampant in emergency rooms because of the high percentage of ER patients who are uninsured.
So if you care at all about this epic fraud and the way it inflates our national debt, it is critical that you get medical coverage. Those of you who have been reading my Pennsylvania motorcycle accident lawyer columns over the last few years will recognize one of my hobby horses – making sure you have the fullest insurance coverage available.
99% of PA motorcycle crash policies have no medical coverage
Contrary to what they may tell you on the phone, even if they ultimately accept fault for the accident, the other person’s insurance company will not voluntarily pay your NJ or PA motorcycle crash medical bills.
If you don’t have medical coverage you will need to apply for medical assistance.
These are your injuries, and you are ultimately responsible for the bills. If you have health insurance, great! Be sure to advise whomever treats you to send them to your carrier. Keep the receipts for your deductible or co-pay and send them to us.
If you don’t take care of these out of pocket expenses, your account could end up in collections.
Emergent/Urgent care facilities can help keep bills down
Unless you have a serious and/or obvious injury, do not go to the ER.
There is a new proliferation of stand alone emergent/urgent care facilities that are perfectly suited to treat minor injuries sustained in your PA motorcycle crash.
They all have x-ray machines and can perform most of the same tests at 25% of what the hospitals would charge, and they will bill your health insurance, or Medicare, directly.
If the staff at the urgent care facility feels you need to go to the emergency room, believe me they will immediately let you know. You can also call your family doctor and make an appointment to be seen as soon as possible.
Remember, I am only talking here about injuries that are not obvious emergencies. If you are bleeding or believe something is broken, by all means, go directly to the emergency room right away.
Skip the ambulance if you can
Secondly, if you can get to an urgent care facility or an ER on your own, skip the ambulance and have a friend or family member bring you.
The average cost for the ambulance is $1500 per trip and they usually do not negotiate. So avoid the cost if you can – you’ll be treated the same whether you arrive in an ambulance, a Ford Taurus, or on a Harley.
Right now, there must be 4 or 5 urgent care centers within 10 minutes of my home. If I am involved in a motorcycle crash, and have the option, I’ll be using one of them rather than the ER. I have health insurance, but if they have to pay the fraudulent charges, those inflated expenses will eventually filter down to me.
If you have any questions about your medical coverage, I will be happy to go over your bike, auto and health insurance policies from the perspective of a motorcycle personal injury attorney for free.
If you’ve been involved in a PA motorcycle crash, and have further questions about how you can keep your medical expenses under control, and what to look out for on your medical bills to prevent overcharging, call Pennsylvania motorcycle injury lawyer Lee D. Gaber, Esquire at 1-888-292-5352 (1-888-CYCLE-LAW).