Futuristic Community Humanity Projects

Light on coding, heavy on content™

"Healthcare Extraordinaire"

January 2023

"Confronting Phantom Credit In Healthcare Records Shouldn't Re-Victimize A Patient, But It Does"

Dear My Civil Duty,

I found on my hospital bill a charge labeled "_________".  According to the American Medical Association CPT codes, the hospital performed a blood test on an umbilical cord, which I know is wrong.  I was there for surgery, not giving birth.  When I tried to challenge the hospital for the charge, I was told that they reviewed my records and found nothing wrong with them.  I understand there can be coding errors, but I've never been told to pay for a medical test I couldn't have possibly received.  They even charged me multiple times for the test.  At this point, I am wondering if I should report this to law enforcement since the hospital is refusing to explain why the charge is on my bill in the first place.

Dear My Civil Duty,

This might not be a big deal to many, but I found something in my medical record that continues to nag at me.  In my patient notes, it says that I was given a "shower chair" as part of my discharge, but in reality, they never gave me a chair when I left to go home.  I did check my bill and I wasn't charged for one, but what if the hospital's inventory systems go by what is in my record and not my bill?  I spoke with a few people but no one was interested in removing the item from my record, all suggesting they weren't the "right person" to make the change and not knowing who I could talk with. 

Dear My Civil Duty,

Using the records from these three examples, each demonstrate an element of Phantom Credit.  While two were visibly converted to Phantom Billing, a widely recognized legal term, the shower chair being absent from the bill creates a moment of assumed credibility, or Credit, ergo unearned, or Phantom Credit.