A patient may wonder if he can view the bills his doctor submits to Medicare. Under most circumstances a patient cannot view the bills the doctor submits as the bills are not part of a patient’s medical records. Some doctor’s offices may have more open policies on this, but the only way a person can be certain is to ask the receptionist at his doctor’s office.
The HIPAA regulations protect a patient’s medical information and his privacy. While a patient might reasonably expect that the bills from a doctor’s office are part of this, they are not. However, a patient will receive a statement in the mail from Medicare showing the same information on the bill that the doctor submitted.
Most people do not understand the Medical codes and other confusing information that goes through a doctor’s office on a regular basis. The codes are designed to make it easier for the medical professionals and insurance companies to communicate with each other.
A person may be able to get copies of the bills by submitting a request to Medicare. As a federal agency, the people who work for the administration are more likely to let people see their bills than a private office, although knowing the HIPAA rules may provide a person with enough reason to get the bills from a doctor’s office.
Doctors do not have to show you the bill, but Medicare does, provided the person requesting the information is the person being billed or acting on his behalf. Basically, if the person requesting the information must have power of attorney for the person named.
Generally, the only reason to request a bill submitted by a doctor to Medicare is if a person suspects the doctor is billing the government-sponsored program for services that were not actually provided.