Renal Cell Live!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Caving In

This morning I walked a check for $15.00 down to the mailbox. It's the result of a coding error on a bill that I've been trying to get resolved since April. For a regular doctor's appointment in February, at which I paid my normal $15.00 co-pay, I was charged an additional "facilities charge" of $15.00. The $15.00 facilities charge isn't supposed to apply and, in most of these visits, isn't applied.

I've made phone calls to the billing agency. I've made phone calls to my insurance company. I've left messages for the coding clerk. I've called customer service. Everyone agrees that the $15.00 charge was wrongly assigned, but nobody seems to be able to take it off my bill. And now I've gotten a "FINAL NOTICE" threatening action by the state attorney general's office.

So, I'm paying the $15.00, like it or not. Chances are it will be refunded to me as soon as the check clears, because somebody will look at my account and have a eureka moment - "Gosh, she doesn't owe that. Let's send her a refund check."

The worst of it is, it's for a god-damned $15.00 charge. Who knows how much money has been spent by 3 or 4 different agencies trying to sort this out, send out billings, review statements, talk to me, ad infinitum? That's not even counting my time or my blood pressure. I had thought I could get this straightened out easily, which is why I hadn't paid the damned thing.

Things like this make me crazy. No wonder there's "business opportunity" out there for people who do nothing but straighten out medical billing messes!

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