Yay Bureaucracy!

A few months back my urologist said I HAD to have a CAT Scan to get a better look at what was going on with my kidneys and bladder. Since, at the time, I didn’t have health insurance I was going to have to foot the bill for it myself. Compounding the problem my being a very large person there are some facilities who can’t handle someone my size. It turned out there was one facility that could do the scan and that was Palm Bay Hospital (actually about a week later a new private imaging company opened up and had the equipment we needed) Their fee for the CAT Scan was over eight THOUSAND dollars while the small, independent imaging labs were charging between $250 – $500 for the same services.

I found out there was a financial services department at the hospital that would review your situation and adjust their fees accordingly. I jumped through their hoops. I gave them full access to my personal information and banking details as well as having to create an account on their mail server so I could download ‘protected’ application files.

I gave them all this information and waited… and waited. Finally they called me back and said the portion of the bill that I would be responsible for would be $1,200. I didn’t want to but I had to, so I agreed. I then had to put up a $200 ‘good faith’ deposit to prove I intended on paying the bill.

The next week I went and had the scan done. The paperwork was a total nightmare. The person checking me in was completely clueless and screwed it all up.

A couple weeks later out of the blue I get a check in the mail for $200 from the hospital saying I’d overpaid for a service and this is the refund. I called and found out that Instead of using the account they’d created when I made my ‘good faith’ deposit the woman checking me in had created a new account with no link to the financial services agreement or my deposit.

Another week goes by and I get a bill for $8,403.90 full cost for the CAT Scan and the doctor’s services reading the results. My jaw hit the floor.

Having just gotten Medicare coverage the effective date was the first of the month so any eligible procedures or tests I’d had done that entire month were covered. I called the billing office back. Gave them my Medicare number and told them to submit it and see what happened.

Today I got a bill for $144.85, Medicare covered ALL the rest. I ended up having to pay less than the deposit they’d made me make and refunded to me. YAY!

Now, on to the next service. Getting a PET Scan next Tuesday. It sounds absolutely like torture. Fun, fun, fun!

Hawk (still alive and kicking… well, alive at least.)

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