A couple months ago I went to my doctor because I was having a great deal of joint pain. While I've had joint pain at times this was different, it was in many joints and came on all at once where before it was in one joint and would travel to another after a while and there were times when I was pain free. I asked for the blood test to determine whether I had rheumatoid arthritis because I felt so weak. He ordered that and X-rays of my neck, knee and both hands. In hindsight I should have just done the blood test which ruled out rheumatoid arthritis but I went ahead with the X-rays. I thought I was doing everything I could to keep my costs down, we have a $10,000 deductible per person, I called the insurance company to make sure the radiology location was in my PPO, I specifically did not go to a specialist I used in the past because they charge very high fees including a facility fee. They took 14 X-rays, 4 of my cervical spine, 3 of each hand and 4 of my knee. During this time I was very uneasy and should have spoken up and stopped it but didn't. He never used a lead shield for any of the X-rays and I would never have consented to 14 if someone had told me that's how many they would take. I got the bill for $1300 and with the provider contract price they want me to pay $860. I didn't pay that much for my foot surgery several months prior due to contract pricing. I have been dealing with the hospital for a couple weeks now. The patient advocate sent me a letter last week telling me the charges were correct because that was what the Dr ordered and they don't use a lead shield on women over 55. I asked her to send me a copy of the doctor's order and I received it today. The form the doctor filled out indicates 3 view of cervical spine and just had a check mark for right and left hand and left knee. I am calling my Dr Monday to ask him if he knew they would be taking 14 X-rays and if yes why did he order that since he knew what my deductible was and it's arthritis for goodness sake, they weren't looking for a needle in the haystack. I am prepared to pay for 6 X-rays, since I should have looked at the form and seen that's how many he ordered but I am not paying for 14 X-rays. I suspect I will have a fight over this but I'm prepared. I learned a very important lesson by this and want to pass it on. First, always ask how may X-rays they will be taking and in my case I should have and would have refused that many. For that matter make sure you know all of the services that will be performed on you. Also make sure you know what the charges will be before any services are begun and if you have a high deductible, make that known to everyone involved. I also should have stopped them and demanded a lead shield (but I didn't even think about it until the end when I saw it hanging up and he told me they don't use it for extremities). I believe the hospital saw I had insurance and gave no thought to what my deductible was. Either the doctor has to inform the patient exactly what is involved or the hospital has to tell you how many they are taking but they can't do this in secret and expect us to pay these outrageous bills. I know I made some mistakes in not stopping what was going on and I won't make that again.