was referred to an ENT. He was there for 30 minutes, saw the MD for 5 minutes and spent the other 25 talking to his nurse assistant. Has Blue Cross through company but paid $135 when he left. Insurance company sends him a statement which said the visit cost $450, and they covered all but the $135 that he paid. Sounds like a scam to me and we wonder why our health insurance and medical bills are outrageous.
You have something mixed up.
35 minute new patient appointment was most likely billed as a level III E&M. Perfectly normal. $450 is a little high on the charge (mine is $380), but that is really irrelevent.
There is no way in hell your insurance actually paid the enitire $450 unless the physician did more than your letting on. An in office procedure specifically.
What most likely happened was that $135 was the allowable on the level II new patient appointment, you paid it b/c you have a deductible, and they "contractually adjusted" the remainder with the physicians office.
There is no physician on this earth with a $450 allowable on even the most complex new patient visit. So yea...they "covered it all"...but they did not pay that entire charge. Their contract with the physician "covered it".
Other than a poor bedside manner, nothing you described is out of the ordinary, or changing with Obamacare.