Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fun With a Hospital Bill

Here’s an interesting story that happened to me. See if it makes any sense to you.

In late summer to early fall of 2011 I had a perpetual headache. I got sick one night and the next morning. I called my doctor up and he said get thee to a CAT scan. So I had a CAT scan of my head. The joke of course is they didn’t find anything. That happened October 5. 2011.

Sometime over THIS summer most likely in August of 2012 I got a bill from the hospital. It was statement with an amount that I owed. But there was no sort of explanation a to what I was being charged for. I called up the hospital and said I’m not paying this unless I know what this is for. I also asked why it had taken so long (about 10 months) for me to get the bill. I was told that I would be sent an itemized copy of the bill and that would show what my current bill was for. As to the reason for the bill being so late, the guy laughed a little and said well they’d gotten a little behind. I thought to myself gosh I wonder if I could pull that on the hospital. Ha ha ha I got a little behind in sending in payments.

I get the itemized bill. I figure out what the bill is for. I look for an address on the statement on where to send in a payment but I can’t find one. I decide I’m going to wait until they send my another bill. Another bill shows up and I pay part of it. I could have paid the whole thing but decided I wasn’t going to do that. I figure it took them 10 months to bill me they can wait a little longer for their money.

Over the weekend I get another bill. On it it says final notice. And this following note: after several attempts to contact you, we regret that the balance listed above remains outstanding. Failure to pay the balance today may result in a referral to a collection agency. I’m a little annoyed at this. The balance reflects what I’m owed but doesn’t show the payment I made.

This morning I called the hospital. Here’s what I found out. The bill only shows what is owed. It doesn’t show payments. If I want to have a statement that shows payments I have to ask for an itemized statement. I’d explained I’d gotten one of those but there was no address on it on where to send payment. I was told well that’s only an itemized statement not a bill so there wouldn’t be a payment address on it. Also they never show payments on the actual bill.

I could not believe what I was hearing. Where to start on this. Personally I know of no other bill that just shows the amount owed. I looked through other medical bills that I’ve received. They ALL show the charged being incurred. Then any payments. The amount of the payments and where the payments came from say like the insurance company or the individual. Then I looked at some other bills the exact same thing. A previous balance any payments, the date of the payment and then the new balance.

I then said that as far as I was concerned this was not the final notice. Since the first one was completely out of the blue and had no information, it was not the first notice. The guy said he would note that and then asked if I wanted to set up a payment plan. I said no.

I realized I wasn’t going to get anywhere and the conversation ended and I hung up.

I asked for yet another itemized bill. I have to say I’m rather pissed about this whole thing. And the reasoning behind the itemized statement (not bill) and the bill is just incredibly stupid. I’ve decided I will pay the bill. But I’m going to write the check for 10 cents less than what I owe. I’m really interested to see what happens with that.

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