The other day I got a bill for some of my husband's medical expenses. I went to my banking site to pay, and it was the same odd amount I had paid two weeks before. Figuring it was a duplicate bill, I called the billing office. According to their records, my payment had not been received.
My bank account had proof of payment posted on my account, so I asked about the process to get this fixed. The billing person explained that I had to send a clear image of the front and back of the cancelled check.
I had a PDF including that, along with all the routing information and dates of the electronic transactions. Damn, good digital information can be fun!
Now for the punchline; I could email this, but only within the body of the email. NO ATTACHMENTS.
Yes, the medical center was losing it's stuff* over ransomware about this time and requiring all emails with attachments be quarantined. Apparently the billing department had been told to trust no PDFs from their clientele.
I ended up printing a PDF and faxing it. In May 2017.
Collection agencies have not called yet.
*I'm trying to keep it PG here...
I feel your pain.
A lot of my patients have to deal with "mail order" pharmacies for chronic medications. Often insurers require that these "services" be used. They often present challenges for healthcare providers. Now I have a perspective from the other side of things.
My husband has been on chemotherapy since April. His regimen involves an oral drug that he takes at home, with few side effects. It is expensive, and our health insurance makes us use a specific national pharmacy. He is to get a round of treatment next week, so I called yesterday to ship the next refill. The pharmacy said they did not have the prescription. OK, I contacted the doctor's office, and they called it in (even though they had faxed back the refill 2 weeks ago - yes, medicine is keeping the fax machine alive).
This morning, I called to arrange the shipment. The prescription , given verbally, is still being "scanned in." They cannot verify the claim and arrange shipment until that happens.
Never mind that we only use this service because our insurer demands it. Never mind that we have filled this prescription monthly for 5 months. None of that is adequate to allow them to schedule the shipment. I have to call back in 2 hours. They cannot make a note to ship when approved. No, I have to call again during my clinic. I can't imagine dealing with this "service" without my medical background.
How this level of red tape saves anyone money is beyond my understanding.
Faithful Whizbangers will remember when I tried to amputate my finger in June. I have just now received the Explanation of Benefits from my insurer. The bill includes $233.27 for drugs, $205 for supplies, and $666 for service. The latter was divided into two separate categories; I have no idea if that occurred solely to avoid the sign of the beast.
The grand total for sewing me up came to $1104.27. If I had no insurance, this would be my bill. Oh sure, the hospital might be willing to negotiate it down some if I could show financial need.
Of course, I have employer-provided insurance. Thanks to the company's power, $651.71 is "not covered." This brings the final bill down to $452.56. I will end up paying this amount toward my annual deductible, essentially covering the entire final bill out of my pocket.
So let's review that: even though my insurer is not paying a cent for this ER visit, I get a $651.71 discount simply because of their power. No insurer and I owe the entire amount.
I am not complaining about my bill. The final amount seems fair, and I clearly had to have the wound cleaned and closed.
I wonder about the pricing and discounts and other negotiated sorcery.
I have begun my battle with paperwork necessary to change positions and move to a new state. Oklahoma MD licensing requires nine forms that I downloaded, including a test on medical-legal issues. From prior experience, I know the real fun will happen when I have my license and must get certified with every health plan in the new state.
Red Tape Hoops? Click for source
This week I found out that they will need to see my actual social security card. Like all good girls, I read the instructions on the card and put it in a safe place. Where that place may be is currently unclear, but I am sure the card remains quite safe. So today I filled out an application for a replacement card and brought my passport to the local Social Security office.
I was planning to run by on the way home yesterday, but I discovered the office closes at 4 pm.
So I request my card and show them the passport, the only single document that can confirm US citizenship for employment purposes. They hand me a print-out, and the birthdate is wrong. The clerk goes back through my history and discovers that in 1984, when my name changed with marriage, someone transposed the digits in my day of birth from "12" to "21." My original application in 1976 had "12" on it, as does every other form of identification I possess. I hand back my passport which includes the correct date of birth; however, birth date can only be established by an original birth certificate with raised seal. Never mind that the government put the date on my passport using my birth certificate - I must bring in the actual certificate between 9 am and 4 pm on a non-federal-holiday weekday to correct this information. Or mail in my official copy of my birth certificate and hope I do not need it for another hoop-jump in the coming 2 weeks.
I guess I should be glad that I found this now, when correcting it remains an annoyance, rather than when I needed to collect benefits. Still, I feel like I am jumping through hoops of red tape.
That feeling will only get worse as I start filling out these damn forms...