Northside Hospital has been calling me and leaving me voicemails asking me to call them back for...days...but I only called them back today because I just couldn't before. And that's on them, because they called me on December 27, December 30, and January 4. Like...hello...it's the holidays. And I've already given them hours of my life trying to sort out this billing issue.
So I took a deep breath this morning and returned their call, very surprised to find that using the number they gave me meant that I didn't have to wade through a phone tree and wait on hold for...forever.
Turns out all they want to know is how I plan to pay this bill! And would I like to apply it to a credit card or debit card right now?
No. I would not like to do that.
I explained—for what feels like the millionth time—that I have given the hospital loads of money. I preregistered for my birth like a good little girl and paid 100% of my copay. But then I went into the hospital for preterm labour monitoring and was subsequently discharged...still pregnant. Hallelujah! But then when I went in to have the baby for real they put all those charges on a separate account from the one I poured all my money into.
So now the first account is duking things out with the insurance company (over a nominal amount the insurance company refuses to pay) and the hospital is refusing to use my funds to cover that amount because I don't owe them that money...the insurance company does...but all my funds are tied up in that one account until the insurance company and hospital agree about stuff.
But because the hospital hasn't reported to my insurance company that I've given them all this money that they refuse to use, my insurance company doesn't know that I've paid my co-insurance payments, so the hospital doesn't know that I've given them all sorts of money (how could they not know?!) and they want me to pay the second bill because on that bill both the hospital and insurance agree that I haven't met my co-insurance payment...which is sitting untouched in another account at the hospital.
And I get that that's really confusing. For real, I do. I'm confused. The system is confusing. It doesn't work well (at all). It's terrible and horrible and...also...figure it out, Northside. Figure. It. Out.
Because you have my money.
And I was told not to worry about this bill because the money would move over automatically after the first bill was resolved. But my insurance seems to think the first bill is resolved. I'm not sure what the hospital's deal is.
But now apparently they can simply move the funds to the correct account if I give them 24 hours.
As if I haven't given them enough tries and enough hours to do that already? Like, if that's a thing that's possible...why hasn't it happened before now? Goodness knows I've spent hours calling—begging, pleading, crying—for them to sort this out.
Who wants to bet that my only option will be to pay this bill out of pocket and that the hospital will refund me just...whenever they get around to it?
To be clear: They already have enough of my money to cover both accounts and then some. And that's why I'm annoyed.
On behalf of all annoyed patients everywhere, I hope you are gaining the fortitude needed to go forth and slay this dragon! (With your mighty pen rather than a sword) This needs to change, because if they are doing this to you, imagine what they are doing to people without the education and resources that you have! Thank you!ReplyDelete
Yes!! WRITE THAT LETTER!!!ReplyDelete
Or--an article to be published in the newspaper!!! Sometimes bad publicity does wonders.Delete