No Surprise Billing

Recently, I went to a doctor’s office for a routine appointment. I had a few X-rays taken of my shoulder. The billed amount for this encounter was over a thousand dollars. It turns out that the doctor’s office was associated with a large hospital and I was being charged an additional “hospital” fee for my appointment even though I was not being admitted into the hospital or receiving typical hospital services. I was not informed prior to the visit that I would be charged a “hospital” fee.

At the Pain Intervention Center, we only charge an office visit fee for consults and visits.  There are no hidden or surprise charges associated with the doctor visit. I can assure this because I am an independent, solo, “private practice” physician. I do not work for a large conglomerate hospital chain or large group practice that can charge my patients whatever they want or tack on a “hospital charge” without my permission.

If a procedure is performed at the Pain Intervention Center, then there is usually an associated “facility” fee to cover the costs of equipment, nursing staff, medicines, needles, trays, etc. We make every effort to disclose the real costs to every patient we serve. We review your insurance information for deductibles and co-insurance costs so that we can fully disclose to you what is covered and what is not.  It is our promise to you that there will be NO “out of line” surprise bills or extraordinary expenses.

About a year ago, I opted out of the Medicare program because the reimbursements from Medicare did not cover our basic operational costs. Indeed, primarily because of politics, the Medicare program pays 3x as much to the hospital and hospital-employed doctor for the same interventional pain service that is provided at our center. It is no small wonder that the Medicare trend to pay MUCH more for interventional services performed at a hospital has contributed to the recent spike in Medicare costs.  Private and independent small physician practices have become nearly extinct while Medicare hospital facility costs have grown exponentially. Lack of competition with consequent reductions in quality of care and loss of individual patient choice are additional, unfortunate biproducts of the current Medicare reimbursement scheme. 

Our only viable choice to “solve” our Medicare problem was to “opt out” of the program and to provide an alternative for our patients. We now offer a deeply discounted fee to our Medicare fixed-income patients for consultations and procedures. The fee is a clear-cut, single fee. There are no surprise charges, no hidden “hospital” fees or “gotcha” charges.  This is our commitment to you, our valued patient!


-Dr. Patrick H. Waring, M.D.

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Pain Intervention Center

701 Metairie Road ·
Metairie, Louisiana 70005
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(504) 455-2225

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