Doctor’s Delayed Reimbursement: A Patient’s Dilemma

A patient’s journey through the complexities of medical billing and insurance claims reveals the challenges faced when seeking reimbursement for medical expenses.

Quick Facts

  • Initial Procedure: The patient underwent a colonoscopy and filed a claim with United Healthcare.
  • Insurance Decision: Initially denied, United Healthcare later approved the claim and issued a draft check to the doctor’s office.
  • Reimbursement Delay: Despite the insurance’s approval, the patient has yet to receive a reimbursement check from the doctor, amounting to $551.

The world of medical billing and insurance claims can often be a maze for patients. One such patient shared their experience on Reddit’s r/personalfinance, detailing the challenges they faced after undergoing a colonoscopy. Initially, their insurance, United Healthcare, denied the claim, stating it wasn’t a screening colonoscopy. Resigned to the decision, the patient paid the bill sent by their doctor.

However, in a turn of events, the patient received an Explanation of Benefits from United Healthcare a few months later, indicating that they had decided to cover the procedure. They had even issued a draft check to the doctor’s office. Naturally, the patient assumed they would soon receive a reimbursement check from their doctor. But months went by, and despite multiple calls and emails to the doctor’s billing department, the reimbursement remained elusive. The amount in question, $551, might not seem monumental, but for the patient, it was a significant sum.

Such experiences highlight the intricacies and potential pitfalls of the medical billing system. Patients often find themselves caught between medical providers and insurance companies, trying to navigate a complex web of policies, claims, and reimbursements. This particular patient’s story serves as a cautionary tale, emphasizing the importance of persistence, documentation, and advocacy when dealing with medical bills and insurance claims.

For Further ReadingMedical Billing: Medical billing is the process by which healthcare providers submit claims to insurance companies to receive payment for services rendered to insured patients. The system can be complex, with various codes, policies, and procedures to follow. Mistakes or misunderstandings in this process can lead to denied claims or delayed payments. For a comprehensive understanding of medical billing, refer to its Wikipedia article.


Why did the insurance initially deny the claim?
The insurance company, United Healthcare, initially denied the claim on the grounds that the procedure wasn’t a screening colonoscopy.

How did the patient find out about the insurance’s change of decision?
The patient received an Explanation of Benefits from United Healthcare, which stated that they had decided to cover the procedure and had issued a draft check to the doctor’s office.

What steps can patients take in similar situations?
Patients should consistently follow up with both the medical provider and the insurance company, keep all communication documented, and consider seeking advice or assistance if reimbursements are delayed or denied.

Original article source: Reddit r/personalfinance