If your derriere hurts now, wait until you see your bill from Dr. Michael Khalil at the Hemorrhoid Care Medical Center.
I am a licensed physician in the state of California. However, this review constitutes my personal opinion and experience as Dr. Khalils patient, and is not intended as medical advice. I am not and never have been in competition with Dr. Khalil, his business partners or companies in any way.
I was seen by Dr. Khalil in the Hemorrhoid Care Medical Center on 8705 Complex Drive in early 2011 for a rash on my buttocks. I checked up on Dr. Khalil online but he didnt have much there one way or another so decided to give it a go and I thought as a hemorrhoid surgeon hed have a lot of experience in that area.
A group of doctors run multiple independent business entities in this Ambulatory Care Medical Center at 8705 Complex Drive including HCMC, the surgery center (which I experienced), a genital wart clinic and a Gastric Banding Medical Group (which I didnt). The gated parking lot was filled with the Mercedes driven by the various doctors (the waiting room was empty) and had the low lighting and overstuffed couches you would typically associate with a funeral home or lounge rather than a medical office.
As the front secretary Karen made me wait as she tapped with long nails on a bedazzled smart phone, I sat in the waiting room, which has the low lighting and overstuffed couches you would typically associate with a lounge or funeral home rather than a medical office. After a while I was brought back to Dr. Michael Roushdy Khalil, a pleasant man in his early 40s, who examined me and told me that in addition to my rash I had an external hemorrhoid.
To my surprise, he said in addition to needing a skin cream, that I may have internal hemorrhoids as well and he recommended that he schedule a colonoscopy. This was quite a jump from my initial complaint of rash, so I was concerned about coverage by my insurance at this small clinic. He asked if there was any colon cancer in my family, I said yes (grandmother), and he said Im sure it will be covered.
I scheduled my colonoscopy, filled out the routine paperwork at the office, and had my colonoscopy done by Dr. Khalil in February 2011. On the day of my procedure, at their surgical center, I was brought to my gurney by nurse Diane. I asked again to make sure everything had been authorized by my insurance company, she said they woundnt have scheduled you if it hadnt gone through.
I went home afterwards and thought everything would be fine. Until the bills started arriving. You see, Dr. Khalils bill hadnt gone through. It had been submitted, but he was told he was only going to get less than $200 after he billed them, no typo, $4600. The surgical centers bill had gone through, in fact Dr. Gertsch had called personally a half-dozen times to make sure to get every potential penny. Dr. Khalil sent me personally a bill for $3129.84, AFTER a professional discount.
I called Dr. Khalils biller, whose name is Neal C., multiple times to attempt to get this large bill resubmitted and paid by my insurance. He referred me to one of the routine forms I had signed: I understand that I am responsible for any deductable my insurance may deny payment or consider some or all services performed by Dr. Khalil to be non-covered, and I understand that the feels charged may exceed the fees considered usual, customary and reasonable. Nearly all doctors have some form like this so I hadnt been threatened by it.
So that seems a pretty big bill, just doctor side only. I started to call around to gastroenterologist offices locally. Would you like to know the usual and customary (U&C) physician bill at the time I had my colonoscopy (including all associated procedures done) by Dr. Khalil? The GI doctorss offices I called said it should have been $942.
So here we have a physician that has two critical pieces of knowledge about his bill. He KNOWS he participates in ZERO networks to perform this procedure (Neal said so on the phone). He KNOWS the patient is going to pay THREE TIMES as much going to him than if the patient goes to a location charging Usual and Customary (U&C) fees. And given that he knows he is out of network, an insured patient is shelling out $ for a procedure that (in my case) may have been free elsewhere!
I called Dr. Khalil, the HCMC owner Dr. Gertsch, my insurance, the biller, the clinic, and even went in person to the center and talked to Bruce and Steve about my concerns. No dice. In the end I paid up. But I let him know that this review was coming. Colonoscopy, hemorrhoid removal these are NOT boutique services and HCMC is hardly a boutique anyway. My personal opinion is that you dont need to pay prices like Dr. Khalils, whether if you do OR do not have insurance. Protect your wallet and go somewhere else.