Just another one of ‘those’ days…

When the urologist said I had to have the CAT scan to get a better look at things going on inside me I worked with the hospital (group)’s financial and self-pay coordinator. I had to jump through hoops and provide access to all sorts of personal and financial information. Once I had the hospital board (I’m still convinced the ‘board’ is comprised of the stuffed animals she has tea with every afternoon) agreed to drop the price of the $8,000 CAT scan to $1,200. I had to provide a ‘good faith’ deposit of $200 which I did, over the phone with my checking account number.

The other day I get a bill, for the CAT scan, for $8,535.90. I called the billing office and asked how, after being told the scan would cost $1,200 I got billed over eight grand. The idiot on the phone kept parroting ‘The $1.200 was an ESTIMATE, sir!’ To which I would reply that it wasn’t. It was an agreed upon fee between myself and the hospital and then she’d eat her cracker, squawk a few times and parrot the ‘estimate’ line a few more times. I finally said “Look, I was given a non-standard enrolment into Medicare and the effective date I was given for coverage pre-dates the date of service for the CAT scan so you’re just going to have to run the whole bill through Medicare and Medicaid and see what happens.” She says she’ll do that after getting all my personal information, for like the 3rd time.

I hear back from the hospital’s financial and self-pay coordinator after only three voice mails and she says the reason I was billed the full amount was the idiots at the hospital I had the scan done AT don’t have the same codes and flags as the hospital SHE works at but they have access to all the same patient data, they’re a hospital group! So instead of just spending the few minutes it would have taken to find out how to mesh the two systems together (they even called the hospital financial and self-pay coordinator to confirm that I had put down a deposit and didn’t need to put down another deposit for the days service) they created an entirely new account for me ignoring the existing one.

The billing department’s records then, after a month, showed I had an account with the hospital with a $200 balance and no debits. This was considered an overpayment on my part and they refunded the good-faith deposit I’d made.

After she explained that the hospital’s financial and self-pay coordinator looked through my records and found that the parrot I’d spoken to earlier had screwed everything up and NOT submitted my account to Medicare and Medicaid. That she, supposedly, resolved and now it’s wait and see what bills roll in. Which is about as scary as having one of your kidney’s hacked out of your body through a 10″ gash.

Yay, bureaucracy!

Hawk (fearing the mailbox)

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