posted on Jul, 11 2008 @ 02:53 AM
Not even mildly surprising. I have a deep mistrust of the entire medical industry from top to bottom, mostly formed over money. When my son was born
2 years ago, thank God I had good insurance. Of course they have brokered deals between hospitals and the insurance companies to lower the prices for
services and supplies to "reasonable" levels vs what the patient would pay if they had no insurance. When I started getting the statements from my
insurance company I was stunned. Without insurance I would have been on the hook for crap like $10 a pill acetaminaphine for my wife after the
delivery, $350 for the 7 foot long little rubber tube that went from her arm to her IV machine, $185 one time vitamin K eye drops for my son's eyes
immediately following his birth, I could list probably 3 dozen mind boggling charges I'd have been forced to pay... FYI, the final difference between
what I'd have paid and what the insurance company actually paid: $37,000 vs about $10,000. (It was an emergency C-Section, BTW) Absolute lunacy.
My dad had a bypass surgery done in December. He also has pretty decent insurance since he is a retired state employee. He made sure to pay every
"Patient's responsibillity" bill, after reviewing it, and every co-pay immediately upon receipt to ensure he & my mom didn't suddenly get hit with
one of those "Payment 30 Days Late" threatening letters that are oh-so beneficial to a post-op patient's recovery process. They also were smart
enough to keep a meticulous file of every insurance statement and bill they got. He was telling me that last month he got a collection letter from
the hospital demanding something in the neighborhood of $5,000. He immediately called the billing department and demanded they fax him a detailed
bill. He compared it with his insurance statements and discovered that they had recieved payments for everything they were billing him for from the
insurance company. He called the billing administrator back and was pretty fired up, she apologized and blamed "computer error" and assured him the
bill should be ignored and they faxed him a letter saying as much upon his insistance. That, to me, is complete and utter illegal bullcrap which
should be prosecuted. Blaming computer error is a cop-out. The medical field billing offices do this very intentionally in hopes of hitting the
jackpot with some elderly person who automatically pays every bill they get.
Truth be told, this is very much part of the reason I am so anti-illegal immigrant. This became an epidemic of "billing mistakes" right about the
time the government mandated that all illegals had to recieve whatever medical treatment they needed, even with the hospitals knowing full well
they'd never see a dime of payment for the service. Illegals will slip across the border when they have a serious illness or injury, go to the
closest bordertown hospital, get treated, and then go back across to home. The medical field, in turn, has attempted to recoup these losses through
overcharges and billing "mistakes." You can bet your ass that while Sancho may not be paying his doctor's bill, someone else under that doctor's
care will pay it somehow, someway.