Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dealing with the Hospital ... ARRRGGHHH!!!!

So it has now been 1 1/2 years since my car accident. I have been trying for months to get my bill straightened out at the hospital for the ambulance ride I took. The excuses I've gotten have been ridiculous. Basically it all boils down to the fact that my insurance paid what the negotiated amount was and then said I don't owe anything. The hospital insists that I owe $610. They really didn't know who they were dealing with. A less stubborn woman would have paid. But I knew I didn't have to. The insurance company says I owe $0.

These are the excuses I got from the hospital.

1. You initially said your husband would pick you up then changed your mind so you owe the money. What this has to do with anything I don't know.
2. You were paid directly by the insurance company (not true)
3. The explanation of benefits says "You May Owe this Amount" which was zero. That could mean you could owe a different amount. (that made no sense)
4. There was some initial problems with payment and supposedly insurance refused to pay but then they paid. So I owed the money that wasn't paid.

All of this was all interesting but since they accepted payment from the insurance company, they would be breaking their contract with them if they forced me to pay. I told them this and was told "Well it may look like that but that isn't true." What a bunch of baloney. I work with contracts and believe me if one party breaks it, it negates everything. Does that hospital really want to tick off a major insurance company?

After an hour on the phone yesterday, I had enough. I called my insurance company and told them what was going on. They called the hospital and after getting the run around and leaving multiple voice mails they finally got the hospital to agree that it is a patient write-off.

Now I'll believe this when I don't get another bill from them saying they are going to put it on my credit report. Which if they did, I would go ballistic.

Thanks goodness for my insurance company taking care of this. It has turned into a fulltime job.


  1. Oh yeah, this sounds so familiar. Back when Joey was just an infant we were in the ER (we drove him there ourselves). That ER wasn't equipped to handle what we needed (pediatric care)and said we needed to be seen at Children's. We started packing up and said, "We'll go straight there". Their reply was, "Oh well you need to wait for the ambulance"

    Yeah! We drove ourselves there but needed to take the ambulance -according to them. We argued that our insurance wouldn't cover the trip and that our car was in the parking lot. They refused our pleas stating that since they are not equipped to handle our needs the insurance will pay....and we took the ambulance.

    AND! They mailed all the bills to the wrong address (some place 15 miles away from where we were living!). The bills went to collections. Collections called us asking about why we hadn't paid the bill.....It was 4 months later so we were like, "WHAT?! BILL!?"

    Yeah! It was a nightmare to straighten out but in the end the hospital president?? Forget who it was, called and apologized and fixed our credit and dropped all charges from that day.

    Our strongest defense was the fact that we had so much stuff documented from the visit. AND their paper trail showed that they billed an address where my husband had lived when he was a young boy. He hadn't been living in that house for over 20 years!

  2. UGH! I hate dealing with doctor's bills as well. What I really hate is that things that should be covered in full, come to me in the mail labeled as a "procedure" and now cost $375.

    Seriously. I had a plantars wart removed from my foot (twice) and it cost over $500 because it was billed out as a procedure.

    And I still have the wart.