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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dealing with hospitals



My lovely wife used to be the one who dealt with hospital and medical insurance. They push my buttons. However, I've taken over the task once more.

Here's an example of the sort of thing that grinds my gears. Years ago we had an insurance that required preapproval of non-emergency surgery. Fine. We got all the preapprovals. My lovely wife had a successful operation. Great. Then we got a bill for over $20,000. They said we hadn't gotten preapproval. My wife had to straighten it out as I was incoherent with rage.

Now I find myself back dealing with this stuff again. My lovely wife has Medicare and had a procedure done. Quite a fair chunk was not covered. That in itself kinda ticked me off. I decided to send them a small amount every month. One day they called me on the phone and offered to clear the bill if I paid half. Fine. It took some doing, but the budget got squeezed and they got paid.

Except they kept on billing me. I just got off the phone with the hospital with my fourth attempt to straighten this out. The guy assured me that this time it's fixed. Right.

As for my own self, I have a solution that's been working for me. I don't have insurance and don't go to the hospital. Those two things give me peace of mind and keep my blood pressure low. Very good for my health, physical and mental.

-Sixbears

19 comments:

  1. The medical system is set up to multi-bill government and insurance agencies. They just can't understand that when individuals get their bills, they READ them. Therefore, they keep sending bills, assuming we'll be stupid enough to pay them.

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    1. Billing is a mess. I do read and question. It's coming out of my very shallow pockets.

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  2. I like your solution, it's similar to mine... to make it work you also need a little bit of luck... and I wish you plenty... stay well Sixbears...

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  3. Just think, when SHTF all debts owed are going to dissappear in flames most likely.

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    1. They'll find some way to screw that up too...

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    2. I'm not counting on it.

      One of the most disturbing thing to me is that in every totally dysfunctional 3rd world crap hole, there are lawyers with their shingle out.

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  4. I quit working at a hospital when it demanded a 1,500 dollar deposit before it would admit a man who had just come back from Haiti and had severe hepatitis. Luckily he had his platinum Amex.

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    Replies
    1. Good for you! Good for him. That's one reason I keep a valid credit card, for emergencies like that.

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  5. Good timing for your post. My wife just got off the phone with the nurse at the doc's office trying to get them to help her the way she wants. She knows her own body much better than they do.

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    1. She's the one living in it. Remember when doctors had a bit more time to listen?

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  6. hi. my daughter has an as yet incurable disease. one which many health insurance companies refuse to acknowledge.
    she cannot get medicaid so we buy the medicines, which are not inexpensive.
    we have, blessedly, a real Catholic hospital with real nuns still in charge.
    they have a fund to help the indigent and my child qualifies.
    however, she fills out the same form over and over again, the billing office keeps sending the same bills, and she spends ages on the phone with them.
    every time a clerk tells her it is all taken care of. of course, it isn't.
    she is so frustrated!!

    my take on this is that the clerks, in order to keep it seeming that their jobs are necessary, do these things on purpose so they can log x number of phone calls and other work per day.
    two efficient and honest clerks could probably clear the books and take the places of a dozen of these drones who draw paychecks which add to hospital costs and thus run up our bills in the long run.
    that seems to me to be the only logical explanation of all this garbage we have to wade through.

    daughter is too ill to hold a job and she said to me there are those with jobs who qualify for aid but they cannot spend hours on the

    phone waiting to talk to billing clerks. what do they do?

    well, sixbears, the obama-ites will love you! no insurance?? obviously you are lying in wait to unfairly take advantage of the system!!

    love, deb harvey

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    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear you daughter is unwell. Good thing she can get care.

      I was too sick to deal with this stuff years ago, so my wife carried the ball. Years later, I did the same for her. I worry about people with no one looking after them.

      Oh I'd get insurance, but not if it'll cost me all of my limited income. Guess I'm "unfairly' taking advantage of the system, but it's taken advantage of me for years. Was that fair? :)

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  7. $ 20,000.00 ?? that's peanuts. Try $68,843.00 even after the insurance pay what was suppose to be my hospital bill.
    I feel that is a scam...I still have problems that they told me they were going to disappear after surgery. Instead of taking 8 pills a day I'm taking 14 and became a diabetic and i'm now in 2 insulins. I'm lucky, some patients are in 3 insulins plus other med's.

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    1. It's a scam. Sounds like they never heard of "do no harm."

      My parents went into medical bankruptcy, and they had "good" insurance.

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  8. Health insurance is the bane of my existence. My daughter has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which means she winds up in the hospital fairly often. Every doctor in the place comes by the emergency room, sticks their head in, then sends a separate bill. The insurance makes us pay a deductible on each one, then a copayment, and a coinsurance. It's virtually worthless.

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    1. That's another of the rare diseases in the books. 1 in 20000 , the problem is identifying the type. You can request that only the doctor (specialist)is allow to see or treat the patient. There's a lot of lookie loooos walking the hospital halls, making misery for the patients with their opinions and ordering unnecessary tests. whiting a week I was hospitalized twice in one hospital they perform nuclear medicine test 4 days later in another hospital they wanted to do the same. I flatly refuse to go along." they put isotopes in your vain and they are radioactive.
      They charge me several lifetimes of aspirins for just one that they gave to me.

      I wish you the best to you and your family. God bless

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    2. Harry, good luck to your daughter.

      One thing missing from the whole insurance debate is how bad it really is, even when you have it.

      Then there's the doctors who won't listen to the patient.

      Every doctor who listens to my chest wants to give me a chest X-ray. The X-ray never shows what they expect, so then they thrash around in the dark. I do better treating myself. Most of what they do makes my condition worse.

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