atrocious accounting rant

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  #1  
Old 02-17-16, 01:11 PM
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atrocious accounting rant

Most of the doctors I see are all part of the same health system/conglomerate so the billing all gets intermingled. I have a $10 copay for regular doctors and $40 for specialists.

4 months ago I got a $70 bill claiming I didn't pay the specialist on 7/10/14. No explanation as to why it was $70 and not $40. I called billing and they said to send a copy of my cancelled check and they'd take care of it. The next month I got a past due notice so I went down in person and was told it was a mistake and I actually had a $20.50 credit.

Today I got a bill for $90 saying I only paid the specialist $10 on 4/2/15, 5/28/15 and 7/22/15 even though I have cancelled checks showing I paid $40 each time .... so I went down there to try and straighten it out. They now claim that the money I paid in 4/15 & 5/15 wasn't enough because I had an outstanding balance in 7/15 so they had to take the money and pay it first. How can I have an outstanding balance before the fact?? The 7/15 payment was used to pay an outstanding balance in 8/15.

You have to pay the co pay prior to each visit. The only outstanding balance I've had was when they billed the insurance wrong for blood work and vaccinations. I wound up having to pay for them and then got reimbursed by the ins company.

The girl in billing knows she's right because the computer says so she did try to explain it to me but I still don't understand other than I have 2 choices; pay or get a lawyer and since I don't know any $90 lawyers .....

Meanwhile the $20.50 credit stays in limbo until they figure out if they really owe me or not
 
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Old 02-17-16, 02:08 PM
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I get that (some) people don't want the government to supply health care. But I just don't understand the opposition to single payer. Many in my family work in health care, and the stories they tell about how many people it takes to handle just billing, and how much of their time they spend solving problems like you describe. It's definitely one of the key contributors to rising health care costs. (That and the fact that health companies are building little hospitals on every #@[email protected] corner for no good reason at all.

Sorry, but you started it
 
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Old 02-17-16, 03:28 PM
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My opposition to single payer is that I don't want my health care to be a political football for politicians to bat around and screw up. Then you will have all the politically connected businesses taking advantage to line their own pockets. This stuff already happens with medicare and medicaid. I would rather see the government make investments and create regulations to lower the cost of health care.
 
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Old 02-17-16, 04:15 PM
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There used to be a radio talk show in NYC called "What's Your Problem"?. It was hosted by Bernard Meltzer. His advice would have been to sue them in small claims court & wait. That's the only way to get the people at the top, to fix it. They will call you as soon as they receive the notice. You won't have to run around or make calls like you have been doing.
 

Last edited by Pulpo; 02-17-16 at 05:34 PM.
  #5  
Old 02-17-16, 06:36 PM
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I think in your case I would follow up your visit to the doctors billing department with a letter. The more documentation you have the better your case in case there is any legal action. Not that I like the press getting involved but up here we have at least a couple of television stations that are willing to look into peoples problems. I would certainly wait though a few days and see how things work out.

As for the single payer issue I agree that really isn't a good idea just ask many Canadians or people from the United Kingdom how long they have to wait to see a doctor. It is true that not all parts of Canada or the United Kingdom have that problem but too many areas of those countries do. I agree the real problem is and always has been the cost of health care on a global basis and not just the United States although we seem to have much higher costs here.
 
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Old 02-18-16, 03:33 AM
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The problem is all my new doctors share the same billing dept and any questions you ask at the doctor's office is responded with 'that is out of our hands and you need to take it up with billing'. I used to have 1 doctor that wasn't associated with this health system and never had any billing issues but he died. For some reason he had to be replaced with 3 doctors [2 specialist] and I'm convinced my level of care isn't any better [maybe worse], just more expensive with longer wait times

I suspect the only real fix is to get a new doctor but that is easier said than done as most of the unaffiliated doctor offices won't accept new medicare patients
 
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Old 02-18-16, 06:40 AM
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I have to agree with Pulpo and Hedgeclippers.

First I would document everything, and send a letter with a payment "in protest". Advising them to reply within 10 business days or legal action will take place. On any subsequent visits I would insist on a receipt of payment. Also on all future checks write in the memo section "paid in full".
 
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Old 02-18-16, 07:28 AM
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The problem is all my new doctors share the same billing dept and any questions you ask at the doctor's office is responded with 'that is out of our hands and you need to take it up with billing'
You can name the billing dept, in the law suit too. Then it will be your turn to say, it's out of my hands, see you in court. Don't forget to sue for the max. I think that it's $5,000
 
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Old 02-18-16, 09:32 AM
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They print you out a receipt everytime you pay, I used to discard them but even now that I'm keeping them it's apparent it doesn't matter as they apply the money anywhere they want to. I'll go ahead and pay what they claim I owe this time to avoid further hassle but if they continue there will come a time I won't be accommodating!

I used to discard the monthly insurance statements after the claim was paid but now it looks like I'll have to keep them for years. The gals at the ins customer service have been helpful in the past. I called the health system billing dept crooks and those gals stood up for them and said they were just incompetent.
 
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Old 02-18-16, 12:10 PM
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They give you a receipt & they don't honor it. Typical. I wouldn't pay them anything. You'll pay & you'll still get another bill.
 
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Old 02-18-16, 12:21 PM
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If you have a receipt I would ask for a detailed list of all charges including every little needle, pill, conversation, consultation or whatever.

I remember back when son #1 was born. The hospital tried to bill me for a non descriptive amount. I asked for a detailed list. They were unable to provide it. They said if I did not pay then I could not take wife and baby home. I looked at them straight in the eye and said fine, you keep them. Then turn around and started walking out. They could not move fast enough to come around the desk and stop me and delete all the charges.
 
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Old 02-18-16, 12:48 PM
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LOL. Great story Norm!!! That's the way to do it. You called their bluff & you won. Imagine if you said, Now I want $1,000 cash, to take them home?
 
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