Not bargains . . .

Oh my insurance!!!!!  Not a bargain!  Our insurance still covers all of the boys since they are students and even poorer than us.  Dan spent some time in the emergency department in Tallahassee this summer – six hours to be exact.  He had a saline drip, and endoscopy with a biopsy and that’s it.  Total bill?  Just under $10,000?  

I’ve been trying to find out why.  But, under HIPPA laws, no one can talk to us, only Dan.  Doesn’t matter that it’s our insurance or that we’re paying the bill.  According to the hospital, Dan is liable for the amount, not us (huh?) and the clock is ticking.  

I have not seen a single piece of paper from the hospital, though I have paperwork and have paid the GI and the anesthesia guy…  Maybe they have different privacy laws?  Dan finally got a copy of the hospital paperwork today (this all happened in June).  Ummm . . . 

Dan has had this procedure before.  While not pleasant, it’s not a big deal either.  It’s not complicated and it’s super-quick.  This hospital is trying to charge $5840.00 for the endoscopy/biopsy and another $2620 for a esophageal dilation (a 3-second thing that they do during the endoscopy, it’s not a separate procedure!).  Well, as I’ve paid the doctor’s fees and the anesthesia guy’s fees?  What else am I paying for? 

(I should note here that we are willing to pay for any medical charges and we certainly have paid for them over the years, but these charges are beyond outrageous! We’ll pay for the care that Dan was given.  We’ll pay a premium because he was treated on an emergency basis and we’ll be quiet about it.  But … no. And, I urge all of you to ask for itemized bills and question anything you don’t understand or remember! You’d be amazed.)

I googled the average price for an endoscopy/biopsy and found several sites with information.  Of all of the sites, the highest price I could find was $2200.  Here is a sample site.  GAH!  

I guess I will call our insurance on Monday.  I don’t know if THEY will talk to me, but I hope so.  The hospital is threatening to destroy Danny’s credit before he even has credit.  The timing could not be worse if Dan has to wade through all of this crap – he’s got finals next week.  Cross your fingers that we run into someone sane on Monday and that we can get it all worked out.  

This would be my anti-bargain rant of the week.  I’m going to go hug my new tea kettle for a while. 

13 thoughts on “Not bargains . . .

  1. Dan can give them written permission to share all that information with you. Get him to sign the paper pronto. So sorry. The whole medical thing is a screaming, fucked up mess and everything they do is fucking outrageous and oh dear, I just started to rant. Get Dan to sign that paper.

  2. I thought the same thing, but the hospital lady was adamant that such a thing couldn't be true. I'm on it Monday am. The thing that kills me is that our insurance has already paid their part of this atrociously huge bill – aren't they supposed to be up on the cost of things? Rant on . . . I'm right there with you.

  3. Sounds fraudulent really….nothing I hate more than dealing with uncooperative insurance folk. Back in June Collin went to doc for bronchitis or something, left no urine or blood sample. Magically we saw an insurance claim rom a lab for close to $2000; we called them and told them to deny because the services never existed….load of crap!

  4. Sounds fraudulent really….nothing I hate more than dealing with uncooperative insurance folk. Back in June Collin went to doc for bronchitis or something, left no urine or blood sample. Magically we saw an insurance claim rom a lab for close to $2000; we called them and told them to deny because the services never existed….load of crap!

  5. Have one of the other boys play the roll of Dan on the phone. Bob has been both Riley and Braden and I play the roll of my mother for this kind of crap all the time. Sorry you have to deal with it.

  6. I know how you feel! Mitchell's concussion and our hour at the ER with CT scan was $5000! That doesn't include any of the bills from the individual Drs. INSANE and def not a bargain!

  7. The hospital lady is full of shit. ANY adult can sign a paper giving permission for their medical information to be shared with a person of their choice. And in this country, it's a fucking joke for a hospital to stand up and scream “PRIVACY” when they share your information everywhere and with everyone. Grrrr.

  8. If this has been filed with your insurance company, sometimes you can get them to help if the hospital is trying to charge you above and beyond the insurance payment and your co-pay amount. Also, there are people that talk to the hospital and negotiate for you (for a fee) to get the outrageous hospital charges reduced. They try to use a ridiculous pay card for their rates. Google for some articles. I've read WSJ articles on hospital overcharges and these consultants. I'm sure there's someone in Orlando if you can't get it straightened out.

  9. OK, I have nothing useful to add so I will just say I hope you get this resolved quickly.. We are still dealing with an issue from years ago with Ian. While on Active Duty he was told to go to the ER. Because he is AD we don't use codes and hospitals know it. We were transferring from Hawaii to Japan and home on vacation. They did an Xray, and sent him home with motrin. We still get collection calls. They tried to say we owed them almost 10 grand. We had to get Tricare, and Navy legal involved. Lucky (or unlucky for us) they check Ian's credit regularly and for a while it would show back up and we would have to start all over again. They tried to claim we didn't disclose Ian was military. 😦 I really don't understand the medical insurance companies.

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