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A Piece of My Mind
June 2, 2015

Penny Wise

Author Affiliations
  • 1North Shore Medical Associates PC, Great Neck, New York
JAMA. 2015;313(21):2123. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.5487

One of the disadvantages of solo practice is that you have to wear a lot of hats. Among other things, private practitioners often have to personally attend to billing and insurance company correspondence. So one day last fall as I sifted through the daily mail, I opened a letter from one of the larger carriers informing me that upon review of old claims, they had determined that I owed them 22 cents. I turned the envelope over to look at the postage stamped on the outside. There it was: first class postage, 49 cents. I couldn’t help but chuckle. Someone or something had spent 49 cents plus some nonzero amount of labor to mail me a letter just to tell me I owed them 22 cents. And now I was supposed to write a check as well as spend 49 cents to correct the carrier’s gross overpayment.

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