Park Nicollet Health Services Charging Patients Extra for Asking Too Many Questions

| by Michael Allen

Medical clinics are notorious for coding nightmares, but Park Nicollet Health Services is raising eyebrows with a new way of charging people.   

Park Nicollet told CBS Minnesota that if their doctors feel their work goes beyond the scope of the visit, they must code that on the bill.

Park Nicollet claims this is done to assure that coverage for a “wellness” visit doesn’t fraudulently cover care given to an “acute care” matter.

The medical provider said that “the insurance company may require that patients pay or make a co-pay for services beyond the preventive part of the appointment.”

While this might sound like the medical industry is trying to combat fraud, critics say it's actually a way for them to charge patients more.

Asking a question about a problem during your annual physical turns the physical exam into  a different kind of visit, one that is not "free" from deductibles or cost-sharing payments under Obamacare, which covers physicals and other preventive care.