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Had a facet block with increased pain afterwards - getting billed twice

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Has anyone ever had this happen? I had three epidural lumbar spine injections for my lower back pain. The surgeon did a total of 5 injections on the last round when I had a facet block.

I received a bill from the surgeon and surgicenter - but the anesthesia department is also billing me for a "nerve block" - the surgicenter invoice details the steroid/local anesthetic injections and they got paid.

Seems like a bogus bill from anesthesia - the surgeon did the "nerve block" - which actually increased my pain, making me wish I'd never gone through that last procedure.

I went to a back specialist, strictly spine surgeon who came up with a different diagnosis and reason for my pain: spondylolithesis.

Has anyone ever been through this sort of billing routine? Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated. Thanks.


  • Thanks for your reply optimist. I worked as an OR RN in Philly. The question I posted regarded the anesthesia bill and that bill does not state "monitored anesthesia care" or "MAC" - the "statement" I received stated "Nerve Block/inject prone" in the Description of Service column - the surgeon performed that.

    Trust me, not all OR's are as "sterile" as you would like to believe. It's the nurses and OR techs who can make or break a surgical suite's sterile conditions.

    As far as $$$ go, I've been "double-billed" before - I have not run into this situation, where the anesthesia billing listed what the surgeon did, instead of listing "monitored anesthesia care" or "MAC". Billing for the same thing by different departments is referred to as "un-bundling" in the medical fraud vernacular.
  • If you had an IV in your arm, got any oral or IV sedation, chances are there was an anesthesiologist involved who yes, bills separately. They also take the liability if something bad had happened during your procedure. If you honestly knew the overhead to do a procedure under sterile conditions, the maintenance of flouroscopy machine alone, you would be mad at the insurances for allowing so little payment. And keep in mind, blocks are meant to be both therapeutic and diagnostic. Often failure to respond to a block gives the spine doc as much information as you getting relief from the block.
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