Mystery Medical Bills: Don’t Get Tricked by Surprise Charges!



We’ve all been there: a trip to urgent care for a minor injury, expecting a quick fix and a (somewhat) reasonable bill. But what if that bill turns out to be a monster you weren’t prepared for?

This happened to one doctor who took his daughter to an urgent care center – only to be slammed with a $1,168 bill weeks later! Turns out, the urgent care center was secretly affiliated with a hospital, meaning they charged the same as a full-blown ER visit.

Here’s the shocker: this isn’t an isolated case. There’s a new wave of urgent care centers called Hospital Outpatient Departments (HOPDs) that look like regular clinics but charge hospital-level prices.

Why the Confusion?

HOPDs offer services like X-rays and injections, similar to your doctor’s office. The problem? They can charge like hospitals because they’re technically part of the hospital system.

How to Protect Yourself

The good news: you have some detective skills at your disposal! Here’s how to uncover an HOPD before you get stuck with a surprise bill:

  • Website Checkup: Head to the urgent care center’s website and do some digging. Look for info about hospital affiliations under “About Us” or similar sections.
  • Pick Up the Phone: Call the center directly and ask if they’re affiliated with a hospital. Simple and straightforward!
  • Hospital Hunt: Know the hospitals in your area? Check their websites for a list of affiliated clinics. They often showcase their network of care facilities.
  • Doctor Knows Best: Ask your primary care physician (PCP) if they know about the center’s hospital connection. PCPs are often clued into local healthcare networks.
  • Look Around: When you visit the center, keep an eye out for signs or posters mentioning hospital affiliations.
  • Review the Reviews: Online review sites like Yelp and Google Reviews can be goldmines for hidden info. See if past patients mention a hospital connection.
  • Insurance Insights: Contact your health insurance provider. They usually have the scoop on which urgent care centers are part of hospital networks and which are covered under your plan.
  • Local Health Help: If all else fails, reach out to your local health department. They can provide info about healthcare facilities in your area and their affiliations.

Remember: Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to your health (and your wallet!). By doing your detective work, you can avoid a financial surprise and ensure you get the care you need at a fair price.

Don’t Let “It’s Not So Bad” Hurt Your Personal Injury Case!


 If you have gone to urgent care after an accident, slip, and fall, or as a victim of domestic abuse, DO NOT dismiss or downplay your injuries. While you might think “it’s not so bad” at the moment, seemingly minor issues can sometimes mask something more serious. Everything you say is documented in your medical record.

And if you’ve been in an accident, don’t hesitate to seek expert advice. A personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and navigate potential legal issues.

Call Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti, South Florida’s Personal Injury Attorneys for over 40 Years!

Call us 24/7 at 305-653-5555, text us at 305-653-1515, email us at [email protected], or fill out this form for your FREE Consultation.

Remember, there are no fees until we win your case!

Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti, P.A.

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