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Blue Cross Blue Shield battles NC hospitals over radiology charges

The Charlotte Observer, July 17, 2012

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina says the providers are charging an identical fee for each image taken during the radiology session, even though the setup is performed only once. Blue Cross says the providers are overcharging patients and their insurers by $16 million a year. The lobbyists for hospitals and doctors are fighting Blue Cross' effort to cut back on reimbursement, saying the insurance company is unilaterally trying to rewrite an active contract. The radiology dispute is a small but revealing example of how arcane billing practices can drive up healthcare costs, which have been rising faster than inflation, even during the recession.