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Discussion Starter #1
Yep, it's true.

About a month ago, I had to go to the ER for a little sleep deprivation induced thingie that happened........not real important.

What is real important is that I spent a total of 43 minutes in the ER, start to finish, pretty fast service, really.....and I have no medical insurance, because frankly, I'm built like a Toyota, and rarely break.

I tried to pay the bill as I left, and they were having NONE of that. So, a week ago, I got a bill for 501 bucks, which actually made me hyperventilate when I saw it. After I came back to my senses, I started thinking to myself....."You gotta be ###### kidding me." Mind you, this is just for the doctor. I have yet to receive the bill from the hospital.

As with anyone, I figured there'd be some minor arm twisting involved, possibly escalating up to pinky-breakage. I've played this game before, and I knew, a little intel going in would be beneficial to me.

Step 1. Reverse the phone number given. 9 times out of ten, if it's some little shithole medical billing company, it's someone's house. This was not number 10.

Step 2. Gather up all the info you can find pertaining to the residence. You can look up tax values, check the local paper for any mentions, all kinds of goodies. Make sure to see if they live in a neighborhood that's deed-restricted.

Step 3. Start laughing maniacally, and dial the phone.

So, I called up. I spoke to the woman on the other end of the phone, and explained that I thought the bill was in error due to the large amount requested. I asked for an itemized statement, which they actually refused to give! OK, time to start getting surly.

"Well, perhaps I should just come into your office, and we can all sit down, and go over the documentation, and come to an agreement?"

"Well, we're not a part of the hospital."

"Yeah, I didn't figure blah-blah address, which seems to be a residence, was part of the hospital."

"How do you know the address here?"

"Wouldn't you rather get me out of your hair? Tell you what, I will make you a deal. I think you should look into my bill. I think you guys did something wrong. Of course, I could call the deed restriction people in your neighborhood, and see what they think about a business being run from the residence, which I understand is a no-no. What do you think?"

"Yes, we will be happy to look into the matter here, see what we can do."

Bill reduced to 204.

I can't wait for the hospital bill to come in.

Zorin (Cranky as ever)
 

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All I've got to say is....

"I have no medical insurance"
"I had to go to the ER for a little sleep deprivation ....... not real important."


THIS is a big part of the reason medical bills are so high. The ER is NOT a clinic. It's an EMERGENCY ROOM. If 43 minutes in the ER is all it took, this tells me you abused the system. ER Dr's are there to care for life and death situations, not something a double dose of benadryl would cure. In this case, I'd lump Zorin in with stupid people. It's ridiculous how many people treat the ER as a clinic.... they come seeking narcotics, or they stubbed their toe at 2am, or the "spider bite" in the crack of their ass has been hurting for 2 weeks and it's now vital at 3am to have a Dr look at it. All stuff that can wait for the clinic or their primary care physician. And people wonder why the bill is so high.

I work in an ER, so ya, I don't have any sympathy for you and the bill. I do commend you on actually attempting to pay the bill. Most don't.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
QUOTE (spridget @ Jun 16 2009, 10:39 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=732847
All I've got to say is....

"I have no medical insurance"
"I had to go to the ER for a little sleep deprivation ....... not real important."


THIS is a big part of the reason medical bills are so high. The ER is NOT a clinic. It's an EMERGENCY ROOM. If 43 minutes in the ER is all it took, this tells me you abused the system. ER Dr's are there to care for life and death situations, not something a double dose of benadryl would cure. In this case, I'd lump Zorin in with stupid people. It's ridiculous how many people treat the ER as a clinic.... they come seeking narcotics, or they stubbed their toe at 2am, or the "spider bite" in the crack of their ass has been hurting for 2 weeks and it's now vital at 3am to have a Dr look at it. All stuff that can wait for the clinic or their primary care physician. And people wonder why the bill is so high.

I work in an ER, so ya, I don't have any sympathy for you and the bill. I do commend you on actually attempting to pay the bill. Most don't.[/b]
Well, there's factors here that I am also choosing not to go into, things I would rather not divulge. However, let's just say that it was not exactly by choice that I went. It's not like I said, oh, I have a headache, let's go to the ER.

Had it been my choice, I would not have gone. However, let's just say this....one person passes out, next person wants a big **** for being the hero, and calls 911, and how many pushy ass EMT's do you know, that all have God complexes themselves? Don't tell me they don't because I used to be on a volunteer fire dept.....I know ALL about it.

The EMT's love this thing called implied consent, don't they?

Luke, I like you. In the future, do not pass judgement until you know all the facts of the scenario, which you still don't and shall not be divulged. Trust me when I say, I know where you are coming from, and really didn't want to go. It sort of frosts me to pay for something that I didn't want in the first place, but it really frosts me to get screwed over it.

Zorin
 

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Tim, you can't get mad if someone passes judgement on half the painting when for all they know, you finished the painting.

Based on your first post alone, I would've 100% agreed with what Luke said.
 

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Sadly, many other americans are in even bigger dept with hospitals becouse of lack of health benefits. Hopefully, the Obama admin can come up with some sort of plan that won't create new problems for us that don't have health care insurance. That is why ER's are clogged up in county hospitals, becouse people have nowhere else to go, many community health clinics are not accepting new patients.
 

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QUOTE (spridget @ Jun 16 2009, 11:39 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=732847
All I've got to say is....

"I have no medical insurance"
"I had to go to the ER for a little sleep deprivation ....... not real important."


THIS is a big part of the reason medical bills are so high. The ER is NOT a clinic. It's an EMERGENCY ROOM. If 43 minutes in the ER is all it took, this tells me you abused the system. ER Dr's are there to care for life and death situations, not something a double dose of benadryl would cure. In this case, I'd lump Zorin in with stupid people. It's ridiculous how many people treat the ER as a clinic.... they come seeking narcotics, or they stubbed their toe at 2am, or the "spider bite" in the crack of their ass has been hurting for 2 weeks and it's now vital at 3am to have a Dr look at it. All stuff that can wait for the clinic or their primary care physician. And people wonder why the bill is so high.

I work in an ER, so ya, I don't have any sympathy for you and the bill. I do commend you on actually attempting to pay the bill. Most don't.[/b]
since i've only visited the er few times, broken bone, head trauma, jill's black eye I mostly saw
welfare people there using my money at their leisure and whipping out the card like
it was god's gift. :lol2: luke i won't lie if my daughter or wife wake's up sick and complaining
of something off to the er we go.call me over protective, but thats just me. i'll use
the benefit i pay for. luckily and thank the lord almighty we have had one scare in our life and that has passed.

tim i asked jill if she ever reviews any of the doctor's bill's and she said no i just look for the part where
it says you are responsible for....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
QUOTE (Racer X @ Jun 16 2009, 11:30 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=732860
Tim, you can't get mad if someone passes judgement on half the painting when for all they know, you finished the painting.

Based on your first post alone, I would've 100% agreed with what Luke said.[/b]
Well, let's be realistic. Is why I was there really pivotal to the story? My whole missive dealt with the blatant overbilling that is rampant in the medical industry.

That being the case, it doesn't really matter WHY I was there, just that I was there, and the cost didn't fit the service. I believe it is AMA guideline that a "reasonable" fee be charged?

Besides, who said I was mad? I'm not mad. I'm also not jumping to conclusions.

Tim
 

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I'm pretty sure you HAVE to have medical insurance now in Massachusetts if you're employed. Personally I'd rather have it, then be SOL up a creek one day. :dunno:
 

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QUOTE (Zorin @ Jun 17 2009, 10:41 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=732949
QUOTE (Racer X @ Jun 16 2009, 11:30 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=732860
Tim, you can't get mad if someone passes judgement on half the painting when for all they know, you finished the painting.

Based on your first post alone, I would've 100% agreed with what Luke said.[/b]
Well, let's be realistic. Is why I was there really pivotal to the story? My whole missive dealt with the blatant overbilling that is rampant in the medical industry.

That being the case, it doesn't really matter WHY I was there, just that I was there, and the cost didn't fit the service. I believe it is AMA guideline that a "reasonable" fee be charged?

Besides, who said I was mad? I'm not mad. I'm also not jumping to conclusions.

Tim
[/b][/quote]


Technically yes why you are there is pivotal to your point. Going in for a band-aid to a cut and getting charged $500 is one thing, going in and having X-rays done with a specialist is another at $500. Obviously different services cost different amounts of money, which you know.


That being said, while it's easy to criticize the hospital for overcharging and the fee being "non-reasonable," unfortunately the health care world is not so black and white.

The reason fees are sometimes ridiculous (especially if they aren't nit-picking every charge or over-charging you like $20 for a band-aid) is because not only have health costs run up, but for people without insurance like yourself, but that don't pay, unlike yourself.

If a person is in cardiac arrest with multiple wounds from knife/gun being rushed into the ER, the staff isn't going to take the 30 minutes and ask the person to fill out these forms, check insurance, etc. Treat first, ask/bill later when it comes to life or death.

But when that person can't pay, the costs go to the hospital, which like any other business will push the costs onto their patients by raising fees. Those with medical insurance get hurt because while they pay X amount, their insurance companies are paying more, so they raise health insurance costs. Those without medical insurance get hurt because they now pay some larger amount.


Based on your first post, I also agree with Luke and Hamal. While I agree that hospital costs are absurd these days from an outside perspective, unfortunately there has been alot more at work than meets the eyes. Should basic health care be something that anyone can afford through their own income or through insurance? Yes. Will it ever be? I don't know, but I do know that to get to the levels of other countries, many changes would need to happen.



Anyway, I personally couldn't see myself going without medical insurance, but to each their own I suppose.
 

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QUOTE (rudedog @ Jun 16 2009, 11:36 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=732862
So, you guys would have just paid the $500. Right?[/b]
I don't think Tim is wrong for requesting the itemized bill, contesting the charges, or any of that. I'm not jumping to conclusions either, only going on what he wrote in his post. If I had posted about my awful experience with a bearing supplier, I'm sure Tim would have responded with some insightful comments. ER charges (all health care) are outrageous. Most of the people in my area don't have health insurance and certainly can't afford to pay their ER bill. The clinics have limited hours and service, so the ER is their only choice. Do I blame them? No. Is the system totally [email protected]#$ed? Yes. I don't have confidence in any presidential administration to correct it either. It's a big business and they call the shots... not you or me. Tim actually tried to do the right thing, pay for his visit. And ya, had it been a clinic, the charges would be extraordinary. Fact is, it's an ER and billing is completely different. ER's are there to provide critical care, not handout sleeping pills. I'm going to school to become an ER Dr, that's why this is especially personal to me.
 

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I went to the ER a few of years ago for a some severe eye pain! I was given two(2) eye drops literally the guy opened a brand new bottle put two dros in my eye and almost instantally the pain went away! He then took the bottle and thru it away! Told me it was some sort of steroid and i could not continue to take it for the pain! I was later charged $250.00 for those two(2) drops! Sure at the time i was happy to have the pain gone, it was a sunday @ about 4 in the morning so it wasnt something i could have waited on to see my eye doctor! but damn $250.00 for 2 drops! thats just blatant!
 

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I thought the health insurance companies charge insanely high rates and deny any claim you have and refuse to pay any time you go to a doctor?
 

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QUOTE (Millermagic @ Jun 17 2009, 04:31 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=733043
I thought the health insurance companies charge insanely high rates and deny any claim you have and refuse to pay any time you go to a doctor?[/b]
Not all the times. Out of all the years I've had health insurance, I only ran into 1 problem.

Mouth infection. Went to clinic. Doctor took one look at me and gave me a prescription. Got ampicillin. Paid by clinic fee ($20) and was out.

Turns out that my insurance companies hate each other. Since my dad works for the City of Charlotte, we get insurance that way. We have two providers: one for health and one for dental. The people at the clinic filed the insurance claim under health insurance. The health insurance providers refused to pay for it saying because it was in the mouth, it's dental. The dental insurance refused to pay for it because the claim was marked health.

Talk about a headache trying to sort that out....
 

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I like my insurance. Made my er visit a few weeks ago 75 dollars instead of 250.
 

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I had an ER visit earlier this year for a back injury and my bill AFTER the insurance paid was over $300.

As far as dialing back/doing a reverse lookup on the biller's personal information - that's a bit rotten. Hopefully the person didn't do something they'll get in trouble for since you apparently scared them. Not to mention that there's a difference between working from home and actually operating a business out of your home with 'deed restrictions'.

It's interesting you could even do that. The billing place that handled this for your hospital must be very crappy. Most outside billing agencies that have 'work at home' staffing connect their billers through IP phone systems that go out through a central system and it will show that actual company's phone number when they call.

I used to be a Network Analyst at a hospital and designed such systems for our in-house billers (we didn't outsource that). I also did consulting work for one of the very medical billing companies you speak of and got them setup with such a system. They were a smaller outfit of about a dozen people and they even had the centralized IP system.

I don't agree with how the 'system' is setup and how expensive medical costs are but these issues probably won't be resolved in my lifetime. Every proposed plan I've read about that's been presented sucks IMO, too. All of them would end up costing me a boat load (more) in taxes.

I'm currently helping my aunt who doesn't have health insurance deal with bills for an ambulance transport, ER/Trauma center visit and two weeks in an ICU plus rehab, etc. She had a heart attack out of town and was rushed to the hospital and now has $300k+ in medical bills to deal with.
 

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QUOTE (jason8225 @ Jun 17 2009, 05:05 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=733065
As far as dialing back/doing a reverse lookup on the biller's personal information - that's a bit rotten. Hopefully the person didn't do something they'll get in trouble for since you apparently scared them. Not to mention that there's a difference between working from home and actually operating a business out of your home with 'deed restrictions'.[/b]
From Tim's previous posts, I would say this is something he does on a normal basis. Not reverse lookups, but trying to put fear into people. I recall the thread of the "cult" or whatever that was.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
QUOTE (Midnight00SE @ Jun 17 2009, 05:12 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=733066
QUOTE (jason8225 @ Jun 17 2009, 05:05 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=733065
As far as dialing back/doing a reverse lookup on the biller's personal information - that's a bit rotten. Hopefully the person didn't do something they'll get in trouble for since you apparently scared them. Not to mention that there's a difference between working from home and actually operating a business out of your home with 'deed restrictions'.[/b]
From Tim's previous posts, I would say this is something he does on a normal basis. Not reverse lookups, but trying to put fear into people. I recall the thread of the "cult" or whatever that was.
[/b][/quote]

I'm not out to "put fear into people" as you put it.....I have unfortunately had the turn of events in life that have put me in contact with some very questionable people who do very questionable things. As such, I have to do some questionable things to avoid being taken for the proverbial ride.

Of course, that would have never even been brought up, had the billing folk decided to just send an itemized statement that I could have reviewed, and gone on from that point, but that didn't work either. So, it's decisions that people make, that will dictate how I will handle something. It's not as if I set out to spoil someone's Egg McMuffin when I roll out of bed.

I recall someone saying something to me several years ago. "You can be the bug, or you can be the windshield. What'll it be?"

As far as "rotten" tactics, well, so what? People do things to me on a daily basis that could be considered "rotten". I don't bitch about it, I roll with the punches. And there is a difference between "personal" information, and "public" information. To be honest with you, I probably could have gotten by with winging it, and not looking up anything, because a dog barking in the background is a pretty big clue that someone is not in an office.

Want to talk rotten? I figure it was pretty rotten that my bill was "coded wrong" and amazingly fixed. Rotten quality control? Of course, since I am certain that these poor folk hear from people all day long with their sob stories, what motivates them to actually SEE if there is a problem?

ME.

Zorin

EDIT: I might also add, that while I don't have $204 to just wipe my ass with, when the revised bill gets here, I will gladly swat them with a check. They did provide services, and should be paid, and I agree that while $204 isn't what a regular doctor visit would cost, it seems perfectly reasonable (there's that word again) for the services rendered.
 

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QUOTE (Zorin @ Jun 17 2009, 08:41 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=732949
QUOTE (Racer X @ Jun 16 2009, 11:30 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=732860
Tim, you can't get mad if someone passes judgement on half the painting when for all they know, you finished the painting.

Based on your first post alone, I would've 100% agreed with what Luke said.[/b]
Well, let's be realistic. Is why I was there really pivotal to the story? My whole missive dealt with the blatant overbilling that is rampant in the medical industry.

That being the case, it doesn't really matter WHY I was there, just that I was there, and the cost didn't fit the service. I believe it is AMA guideline that a "reasonable" fee be charged?

Besides, who said I was mad? I'm not mad. I'm also not jumping to conclusions.

Tim
[/b][/quote]

I agree with the overbilling part. 500 bucks seems like a lot. My kidney stone adventure at midnight was over 3 grand.

If you call on of my technicians out at midnight you are gonna get billed a minimum of 4 hours at 93 bucks an hour.

You kind of set yoursel up for the disagreement by not telling the whole story.

The paperwork, the cubicle you took up the number of nurses that probably took you bp and other stats as well as seeing a doctor doesn't make me think that 500 bucks is too much.

Mike
:dunno:

One othe rnote is your joy in taking on anything you don't like. I understand that to a certain point but one of these days you are gonna get some wacko like me that will track you down and blow your brains out for calling and threatening them. Just my two cents.
 

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Um... me? I had to go to the ER when I had the flu (yes, probably that flu) and my 2 days old fever broke 104 with no signs of coming down. I was held for observation for a bit, fever started to break (which is good as I was growing tired of the whole vertigo/ delerium thing), and I was sent on my way to see my doctor the following day.

Hospital, my doctor, and my pharmacy all got paid without me nitpicking my bill.

I was sick, they all made me better, why wouldn't I pay what they ask?
 
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