9/19/2008

The Hospital Bill: Update


As I reported in my entry, The Hospital Bill of Wednesday, September 17, 2008, I received a bill from the hospital where I had back surgery in July of this year. The bill was for the amount of $5,286.17. The unfortunate aspect is that this bill had nothing to do with my back surgery. All those bills have been paid, thanks to my insurance. This was all about a woman who, according to the hospital, had given birth to MY child. The fact I was divorced, 57 years of age (and all my parts do still work) and had no idea who this woman was did not matter to the billing department of this hospital.

As I said Wednesday, I made an appointment to meet with both the billing rep I spoke to on the phone and her supervisor. I got there at the billing department at 8:15AM Thursday morning. I asked for the billing rep by name and of course, she had not made it into work as yet. Somehow, I was not in the least bit surprised by this. At 8:30AM she finally comes in with her latte in one hand and cinnamon roll in the other hand. Not even giving her time to sit down, I told her who I was and why I was there. She didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. Again, I wasn’t in the least bit surprised. The billing rep finally remembered and told me she had talked at length to her supervisor (who was also present now) about this situation. The consensus among both is that I had to prove that I was not the father of this child. My name, address and insurance information was on the paperwork of this woman and baby. Ever see the movie “Krakatoa?” It was a volcano that blew up and made the loudest sound ever heard on earth.

Well, I wasn’t quite that loud. But, I imagine I was a close second after this conversation with these two idiots. I told them THEY had to prove I was the father and if they couldn’t, there would be a name change on this hospital because it would belong to me!!! The fact my insurance refused to pay should have been a clue to them. She was not listed under my insurance as my wife!!!! So, just out of curiosity, I asked who this woman was. They said because of medical confidentiality…and I stopped them right there. I said, ENOUGH! If you think I’m the father, you should not have any problems telling me the name of the woman! They huddled together and went for reinforcements. About twenty minutes later, with me ready to leave and find a lawyer, the chief of their billing department came to our little enclave. This man appeared to be normal. He told me upon further review, it was “almost certain” a clerical error that caused my personal information, including insurance company and policy information, to found it’s way onto the paperwork of this woman (no explanation how that could happen). Now, I was almost beside myself. I won’t say everything I said to them. But, I would imagine there are three people who are having difficulty sitting today because they don’t have a butt left.

I told the billing chief he had better hope I don’t get any further bills relating to this woman. Because I am not “almost certain” I will sue. I am “absolutely positive” I will. I’m not sure what cause I would have. But, I’m sure I can find a lawyer who can find something. Emotional distress, false identity, illegal disclosure of medical information…SOMETHING. I’ll update again if I hear anything else about this “incident.” But, I tend to believe this matter is closed.

4 comments:

Wow I feel for you David. It's amazing that millions of us a day deal with the same thing every day and do nothing about it. Heres a good one I recieved a doctor bill about 3 years ago for 15 dolors. I did nothing about it. Why? Well his office is 3000 miles from were I live and in a state I have never been to in my life. Now it's on my credit and the credit company's will not remove it. They said "Prove It". Now who is going to pay me for my lost time to prove it the doctor, the credit company.
What have we became as a nation of people? Life,Liberty and Justice for all.

divine, it seems the entire medical system is out of control. Nobody seems to know or understand what their primary mission is any longer. Incompetence is something that I can't tolerate, however. thanks for the reply.

You did well David. I especially like the way you picked up on the absurdity of them not disclosing the name of your "wife" because of confidentiality.

david...I would like to say they are the exception and not the rule. Sadly, they are far too common in the medical profession.

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