Friday, April 25, 2014

Five for Friday

Today, after more than an hour on the phone and on hold with billing offices and  people in multiple states and of varying degrees of competence, all working for my local medical center, I offer 5 things that irritate me about medical billing procedures, in no particular order.  Let's just say it is not starting my weekend off  happily...

1.  Having to ask for an itemized bill. If you are going to charge me $460 for something, isn't it possible to tell me what that charge is for, and for whom?

2. Having to ask for a bill at all. I know I had an infusion on 1-31-14.  Shouldn't they be able to find and send me that bill easily? Shouldn't they do it without me having to ask for it?  Or, if it was included in my non-itemized $460 bill, shouldn't they know that?

3. Getting a reimbursement for something the medical center swore up and down in December that they hadn't received in October, so I repaid it in December, and now they have reimbursed me for it in April.  Essentially, I loaned them money for several months.  Shouldn't they pay me interest on that?!

4. I know I am responsible for losing my temper.  It is not the fault of the people I am talking to.  But honestly, incompetence to the tune of multiple tens of thousands of dollars really does get my dander up. Other businesses manage to keep their billing organized most of the time.  Is that asking too much?

5.  If I use a local medical center, why do I have to mail my checks to Cincinnati, and talk to people in Houston?  They not only don't know me, they don't know the billing procedures at the hospital they are working for.  That is just not right.

Phew!  Thanks for letting me get that off my chest, Gentle Reader.  Now I am going to have leftovers for dinner, and watch a violent movie (maybe Catching Fire?). Then maybe I can calm down and be more philosophical about things.

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