Thursday, July 31, 2008

The American health system sucks ass

Thank you all for your support yesterday! I'm really happy that the blog seems to have got off to a flying start. Now I just have to keep up my end, eh.

I got a check in the mail yesterday, which was a partial refund for money that I paid for my HSG in January. I frankly don't understand anything to do with that HSG anymore. If I ever did. See, I knew my insurance wouldn't cover it, and I thought that the first time I had an HSG (back in the dark ages - you know, when I was still optimistic) that I had paid full whack for it. So I asked to just pay the full amount this time. Which I thought I did. But it seems that the hospital went and charged my old insurance for it, seeing as they had my insurance on file from my laparoscopy. Now, if they'd told me they'd try to seek insurance reimbursement anyway, I'd have happily given them my current card and told them to have at it. But they didn't, and I didn't. Needless to say, the old insurance company turned it down. Not surprising, really, seeing as my company switched insurance about a year prior to me having this procedure done. Then I get a letter in the mail asking for $1400+ to pay the balance of the HSG. Which as I'd already forked over about $750 kind of pissed me off, so I ignored it.

Then I received a notice that my application for charity help with my hospital bill had been denied. Nice of them to tell me, really, seeing as I never even applied for charity help. The words "insurance scam" were starting to ring in my head at this point, and I seriously considered filing a complaint against the hospital for being jackasses. The next thing to happen was a bill for $734, so I thought I may as well just pay them some money to shut them up, as I was sick and tired of dealing with the never-ending HSG at this point, so I paid them $234. I did fully intend to pay the remaining $500, but figured I'd spread it out over a few paychecks. A couple of weeks later, just as I was getting ready to send a check for $250, I get a phone call from them, threatening to send me to collections and demanding payment. Fine, says I, have the money. The girl on the phone volunteered that I could post-date the payment up to 30 days if I needed to, as long as I gave her the bank details so they could take it as an electronic check. Well, I'm not going to pass up an opportunity to hang on to my cash for as long as possible so I said to post-date it to the next date I was going to get paid. Two weeks went by, they took the $500. I thought it was finally the end of the matter.

But, oh no, it is not called the never-ending HSG for nothing. I then got a bill for $75 from some doctor I've never even heard of, for apparently looking at the x-ray films. Which I thought the RE had done while I was in the room. But hey! Someone wants more money from me! What a surprising situation. By now I'm heartily sick of all this, seeing as this HSG was for my FET. Which was two failed IVFs ago. So it's not something I necessarily enjoy being reminded of. So I paid up. I thought this, THIS finally has to be the end of it.

Nope. Got a check in the mail for $250 for overpayment. I mean, I'm happy to have a check in my hand, but am at a loss as to why they felt the need to hound me for money, only to turn around and give some of it back. It just seems a crazy business to have all these people chasing this money and then having more people paying it back again. What an inexplicably inefficient system.

2 comments:

Sara said...

Maybe the $75 was for the guy who has the job of figuring out how to mess up the billing in some new and different way every single time?

gypsygrrl said...

"What an inexplicably inefficient system."

this pretty much sums it up.

in the last two years i have gone to the ER, where i work, to have x-rays done when i suspected a broken toe and thumb, respectively. (grace kelly, in the flesh, i am) and BOTH TIMES they messed up the bill. the first was at teh end of the year, and insurance got billed after jan 1st, and onto the new number, which was wrong. oy. easily fixed. this most recent one, i PAID $50 from my health expense debit card, and rec'd a bill last week for the grand total of $310. no credit for the $50 paid, and a note saying the insurance could not identify me.

my biggest beef: i patronize my own work place. and they cant be a little competent. i am thinking of writing the hospital president and informing him i no longer will patronize Our Hospital and will give my money to some other more efficient and less-frustrating place.

oy. i would put that check in the bank and not use it... in case, like the IRS, they change their minds and want it back in a month.

xo,
gypsy