Ken Kaleida hit the nail on the head with his letter “UPMC Surcharges” (March 12). It never ceases to amaze me that people rarely or never review the charges on a bill. UPMC has been attaching a “facilities charge” to its bills for years. I know this because a number of years ago my daughter was released from her specialist at Children’s Hospital and referred to the same type of specialist at Presby. After her doctor’s visit, for which we paid the co-pay, I received a bill from Highmark that had a $75 “facilities charge” added to it.
I was told by Highmark to call UPMC and was told by UPMC that the $75 was a charge for using the facilities. I asked UPMC what it considered “facilities.” The woman I spoke with told me that facilities were the waiting room, the exam room and any other areas contained in the doctors’ offices. I asked her if this included chairs and she said yes. I asked her about the floor, and she also said that the floor is part of the facilities. This ridiculous conversation continued on until I asked about the rest of the building, and I was told that from the time you enter the building until you hit the sidewalk on your way out … that is part of the facilities charge.
And, of course, your insurance doesn’t cover the facilities charge! I guess that the co-pay means nothing, and UPMC collects the rest of the doctor’s fee by attaching a facilities charge. This is just one more reason that under no circumstances will I ever have UPMC insurance.