Thursday, May 5, 2011

Yes, you may take three giant steps off my butt....

I had my post heart attackial 'echogram' today. That is what Tobey calls it. Echo. Gram. *ahem* And all went well. I had to wonder about the little female technician though and how many times a day she had to ask patients to 'lift up' their left breast so she could stick that echodohickey all around. I wonder if the majority of breasts need a lifting? I hope so.

After I was poked and prodded I was sent to the check-out area where I was told I was good to go. Without making a co-payment. But then...oh...I need to see someone from billing. Apparently my account has been 'flagged'. So I wait. And a few minutes later I get pulled to one of the tables in the waiting room - seriously, don't they have an office for this kind of thing? - and the billing rep is telling me how they have payment plans, how they take Visa and Mastercard etc.

Then she hands me a print out of my bill. $5,500. With a remaining balance of $1,500 after the insurance has paid out. Now I already asked if they had both of my insurances since the hospital long since screwed up the insurance situation. I was told they had both. And yet....only one has paid so far. Well I am not about to pay them and wait to be reimbursed. I think the billing gal felt a little silly and she said she would give me a call when she finds out what the situation with my dual insurance is. You can imagine how much I am looking forward to that conversation.

I then went to the lab to fill the three different doctors requests for blood tests. Now I am still IN the hospital. I hand over all of my paperwork from doctors that work within this hospital system and I get told that the hospital lab doesn't accept any of my insurances. They don't take Cigna or Blue Cross - two of the biggest insurance companies available.....

I was then told that I could still get my blood drawn there but I would have to sign a waiver and then they would bill me for the procedures and tests. I hope I looked at them like they were idiots when I told them no thanks because that is exactly why I have insurance: so I don't have to pay for anything. They kept insisiting and I kept resisting and finally I snatched back my lab paperwork and told them I would go to my normal lab. And they wanted to know where that was at and which lab I was going to. Like that is their business. But I told them and then they asked if I needed directions - er no - I already told you I would take it to the place I normally go to.


I arrived at the lab only to find them in the midst of what appeared to be going out of business. The once nicely decorated and welcoming lab was stark and the floors were filthy. The bathroom was dreadful and the floors in the drawing room looked like they hadn't been swept in months. There are illegal abortion clinics that are cleaner than this place.

But fine. The gal that was working was the one that usually draws my blood without a problem. Today though - she couldn't hit a vein to save her life. And remember how I said I had three doctors wanting blood work? 3 cbcs, 3 lipids, 3 A1cs. I assumed they would draw for one test and CC the rest of the doctors the results. Nope. They aren't allowed to do that any more for insurance puposes. Because why pay just once for a test when you can charge three times for the same thing. So there we were, not able to hit a vein and 9 tubes just waiting to get filled. And then she butterflied me - which takes for flippin' ever....


I need a vacation.

And a bottle of Jack.



Good grief! No wonder you are having a pisstastic day. Here's hoping the insurance gets straightened out and pays the medical bills.

Did you find out if your normal lab is actually going out of business?

Dealing with insurance companies is enough to make you sick all over again, but please stay healthy for our sakes. We look forward to your comments.

Sadie from BBPland

I dunno Sadie. The girl kept answering the phone and telling patients that they don't do this or that service any more. When I left my urine speciman was on the back of the toilet still waiting a pick up - which made me feel all cheap and used.


I would be livid, just like you! I always ask the medical provider if they accept Blue Cross, if they don't I walk. What part of no didn't they understand, was it the "n" or the "o". You are right, they are idiots, guess WHY we pay insurance premiums? Not for the fun of it and certainly not to pay for medical services at the time of service!

I thought about when I read Pie's post. I know Sunday will be a very rough day for you.

Mrs. Oh, I have lived abroad and I will tell you that we do NOT have the best medical care in the world. I am sorry for your horrific experience. It is so frustrating, isn't it?

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