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Professional fees are always billed seperately from facility fees, as are lab charges.

So you had a doc visit (or PA or NP, whatever) and then a lab visit, and then an encounter with a pathologist a few days later - even if most of you was only at the first visit.

The customer service rep should have known this, and explained it right away. It should have been a 90 second conversation.

Maybe the rep was new at the job.

However, billing for copays often costs more than it collects in revenue, so training on these issues is often pretty lame.

Aside from actual care, I'm of the opinion that financing is the most complex and messed-up aspect of health care.

I'm guessing she must have been new. At one point she took my number and called me back! And still didn't have the answer. Messed-up indeed. (But she was very polite and respectful and apologetic, so at least that part was OK.)

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