Need medical billing help

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Jenn0113's picture
Joined: 03/09/07
Posts: 5335
Need medical billing help

For any of you in the medical industry I'm hoping you can help me. When we took Deacon to the ER for "dehydration" we were there about an hour. The nurse took his vitals and the ER doc came in for *maybe* 2 minutes and said he wanted to get Deacon a drink and food and some anti-nausea meds. However, in the mean time (they took forever to come back) Deacon was able to urinate - so we were sent home. Basically - no care was given besides taking his vitals. No meds, no food, no drinks.

I got the bill and they charged our insurance $700+ and insurance paid about $120 of that and they are billing us $277. :eek: Um, I would happily pay that IF they had provided some kind of care. Even while we were there we kept looking for the doctor and the nurse up and down the hall and couldn't get anyone to talk to us so we could tell them that he was able to use the bathroom. I called them yesterday and they are sending us an itemized bill for me to go over and dispute. I am also supposed to call a patient advocate today to discuss the service that I wasn't happy with - even though I already filled out a survey over the phone about it.

Do I have any chance of getting this lowered? Obviously hospitals are businesses and I would hope that as the consumer I didn't get any service for my money. I'll pay a drastically discounted amount but not $277. Jus has had multiple biopsies there and ultrasounds for his thyroid and I had Deacon there so its not like we refuse to pay our bills - we paid all of that. And I will have this baby there but if they are going to provide crappy service it makes it hard for me to go in and be happy with the hospital.

Advice? Anything I can do?

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

Jenn- I am no help but OUCH that is a lot for no care! I would definitely be complaining!

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
Posts: 1348

To be honest, it all depends on the hospital. Some hospitals will accept what insurance pays, plus $5 from you, and write off the rest, that is there business model, because they bill insurance more than they are supposed to (North Cypress on 290 is like that). Others will not because they don't bill insurance as much and count on getting a higher percentage from the patient.

I have had a similar experience where I saw an ER doctor for literally like 2 minutes, they gave me a tylenol, and billed me $700. (several years ago) I think you should definitely be able to get it down to at least 50% of what they are billing you but you will have to be relentless. Start by saying that you will not pay more than $25 for the service you received....that you receive better service at your doctor's office, and that is your copay (or change amount to whatever your office visit copay is). If they won't accept it, keep asking to speak to a supervisor. The first people you talk to may not have the power to waive such a large percentage of the bill, but I guarantee someone does.

Go get em, tiger Wink

Jenn0113's picture
Joined: 03/09/07
Posts: 5335

Carrie - that was my plan. I had planned to offer them my $50 deductible because it was an ER visit - but anything over that is not acceptable. I almost feel like its going to be a little challenge for myself to stay on top of it and get it written off. I will eventually start sending letters to every Tom, **** or Harry that I can get an address for.

I'm very eager to see the statement they are sending me since I am sure the cost of seeing the doctor will be laughable. I swear he was an intern dressed like a doctor - he seemed so scared of us as parents and was very timid. It had to have been his first day - oh, and he introduced himself as Chris - not Dr Dolittle or whatever.

Lavender444's picture
Joined: 03/27/03
Posts: 1944

The hospital charges are outragous! We over charge the heck out of everything, (did you know a toothbrush, at least in my hospital, will be billed to you at 12$ for 1 toothbrush!?)

It's possible you were charged for care and items you did not receive. A lot of standard hospital charges include meals( regardless if you got one or not) Diapers (if it's a child) and equipemnt that is commonly used. So look close at your bill and makes sure none of that stuff is jacking it up.

If you are kind and asertive to the billing people and ask to talk to managers they might be willing to take it down a percentage. The billing people are shockingly agreeable to work with and want to help as much as they can. Generally my hospital will drop a bill at least 20% just for asking. More, if it's warrented.

Jenn0113's picture
Joined: 03/09/07
Posts: 5335

That's why I asked for the statement, there has to be tons of charged on there that didn't pertain to us.

KatieWillis's picture
Joined: 07/01/07
Posts: 1441

Similar thing happened to us when Sully burned his fingers a few months ago. We were charged around 850! We were there maybe 30 mins and saw the dr for only a couple minutes...and all he did was say 'yup, those are 2nd degree burns' and left. The nurse wrapped his fingers and got a script from the dr. We called to get an itemized bill and turns out the ER charges $500 just for stepping in the doors! The dr charged something like 300 and the rest was the bandage and creme they used. Oh, and lucky for us our insurance wasn't accepted because we were in WI. Lovely.