Hazel Crest couple's bill battle after kidney biopsy drags on for months – until FOX 32 steps in

A Hazel Crest woman's billing battle dragged on for months, and when her insurance carrier and the medical center kept pointing the finger at each other, she called on FOX 32 for help.

After more than 40 years in the workforce, Iris and Joseph Kuhn are happily retired. They live on a fixed income and make sure to pay their bills on time.

But there's one that kept lingering - a radiology bill from a kidney biopsy Iris had last May.

Joseph says they received this bill from "Radiology Imaging Consultants" a few months later. But right away, Kuhn knew he didn't owe the $1200 listed.

“I call our insurance company, they say it's being billed wrong. I call the people at the Radiology company, and they say, we're billing it right,” he said.

Kuhn says from July to November, he and his wife sent letters and made calls to try and resolve the problem.

Then, he got a "final notice" from a collection agency, threatening his credit.

“To anybody it'd be a lot of money. To us, it is, because we're both retired. We're living on our savings,” Joseph said.

But he says he continued to reach out.

“I've contacted them numerous times trying to get this resolved. And their attitude has always been, we're billing it right,” he said.

Kuhn was frustrated, so he took a chance on FOX 32.

We contacted Radiology Imaging Consultants, which told us it was taking necessary steps to resolve this.

“I finally got a phone call from them after I reached out to you,” Joseph said.

He says a rep from the radiology center told him they were not adding the correct "modifier" to the billing code.

After we got involved, they removed his bill from collections and submitted it to his insurance.

Radiology Imaging Consultants also says some insurance companies require something unique on a claim – like a modifier – that other insurance companies don’t require. It will provide regular updates to the Kuhn’s until the issue is fully resolved.

Radiology Imaging Consultants issued the following statements:

“Thank you for reaching out. We have spoken to the patient to understand her concerns yesterday. We shared with the patient that we are handling the claim directly with the payor and that we will provide the patient regular updates until the claim is resolved. We anticipate that the patient will be reaching back out to you to share that we are taking the necessary steps to resolve this for them.”

“At Radiology Imaging Consultants, we take pride in providing consistent, high-quality care for our patients. Due to privacy laws, we cannot comment on any individual situation, but I can tell you that various insurance companies have different handling requirements on billing codes for the same procedures. In some cases, there may be an outlier insurance company that requires something unique on a claim (i.e., a modifier) that no other insurance company requires. In those cases, it sometimes takes longer than any of us would like to get it resolved. In 2017, we filed more than 1.16 million claims for Radiology Imaging Consultants and only three were denied due to a unique modifier requirement.

We take responsibility for what transpires and the frustration it may cause, and remain committed to minimizing any billing issues for our patients now and in the future. For escalated billing issues, we correct the claim with the payor and continue to provide the impacted patient with regular updates until the issue is fully resolved.”