View Full Version : Hospital billing issues....

Lori in NJ
06-11-2003, 10:17 PM
I didn't know where else to go to vent about this, so here I am...

I had a m/c in Sept and had to have a D&E, someone from my hospital started a new account for me (I already had an account b/c I had been hospitalized last April & had a D&E in May). Not only is my name spelled wrong, but during the date they had my 'service' I was in ARIZONA at my grandmother's funeral!!!! HELLO???? Obviously I called and explained the issue--a very nice (intelligent-sounding) woman said she would cancel out the account b/c it had been paid in full and that should be it.

Fast forward to February--I have to see a perinatologist at the same hospital and paid my co-pay upon getting to my visit ($20). Sure enough 2 wks after my visit I get a bill for $20--I called immediately and said I'd paid it. The woman treated me like I was a criminal! She told me I needed to call my bank, find out if the check went through and call her back ASAP. Sure enough, that day my statement came and lo & behold, the check cleared. I didn't call back b/c I had proof I paid. A week later I get a bill for the SAME visit for $40 now. I brought my statement to my visit, had the receptionist photocopy it (showing proof I'd paid) and I thought all was okay. NOOOOOOOOO... not even close! I'm now getting letters from the hospital for final payment and being told it'll be going to collections. DON'T THESE PEOPLE HAVE ANYTHING BETTER TO DO THAN HARASS A PREGNANT WOMAN WITH A HIGH RISK PREGNANCY FOR $40 THAT I ALREADY PAID??????

I finally got the ear of someone who I THINK might be able to clear up my issue and finally started to feel a bit better about everything.

Hence, today I went to get my mail and there was a bill with my name spelled wrong--yup, the first account is STILL active. The date was still when I was in Arizona but now to make it a bit more interesting I suddenly have a discharge date of 10/25/02 (I had my D&E on 9/27/02). I swear, is someone out to get me?????

I have had SUCH a difficult, stressful pregnancy (a subsequent pregnancy no less, after losing my son) and the ONLY thing that is stressing me out this time around is the actual HOSPITAL!!!!!!!!!!

Do I take these final notices seriously??? Should I have to repay a copay I've already paid to get rid of these notices????

Frustrated & Stressed in NJ

06-11-2003, 10:48 PM
Well I wouldn't ignore the notices. If they do go to collection, you're required by law to pay any legal fees associated with your account. I wouldn't re-pay, though.

I would call the hospital and ask to speak to a patient representative. Explain the situation, make sure you have everything logged (who you spoke to and when), put it in writing and mail it to the Director of Billing. Flood them with copies of the cancelled checks, too.

I've learned the hard way to ALWAYS take names and extension numbers.

I had a big problem when I went through fertility treatments - the hospital went by one name, but their fertility division went by another. Try explaining THAT to an idiot on the phone!


August Mom
06-11-2003, 11:05 PM
I'm so sorry that you're in this mess and it's causing you so much stress. I can relate a little bit because we had some billing/insurance issues with the hospital and insurance company after DS's birth and we were getting the nasty letters/phone calls from the hospital even though it was the insurance company's fault. I would advise going higher of the chain of authority at the hospital. The woman I originally talked to was clueless and told me I had no option but to pay the entire bill immediately and then try to get money back from the insurance company and all sorts of other things that didn't make sense. Then, I talked to a supervisor who was much more understanding a helpful. I agree that you shouldn't ignore the letters because the hospital eventually will send it to collection and then you'll have to deal with getting that removed from your credit report. Do you have any attorney friends? Sometimes a letter signed with Esquire or Attorney-at-Law after the name goes a long way to getting situations like this cleared up. After all, the hospital really wouldn't want to be accused of harassing a pregnant women with a high risk pregnancy, would it?

Good luck.

06-12-2003, 08:28 AM
I'm so sorry about the harrassment. That stinks.

I would follow the advice that these ladies have given. You can't ignore the notices because it will get worse and then it'll be placed on your credit.

Go higher up and always take names. Hopefully this will be resolved soon. Also I would have them send you something in writing that that one account has been closed. Insist on this. It's the only way that it'll get done.

Proud Mommy to Martie 4/6/03

06-12-2003, 11:21 AM
I'm an attorney (in Texas) and I think you should write a simple, wel--organized letter w/a timeline and send it to ptient accounts via cert. mail - return receipt requested - explaining how your acct is current, etc.

And I would agree that an attorney friend can help "get you noticed."

They are not allowed to put you in collections for a billing dispute - there's a cause of action for them doing this - I don't know the details - I only handle child-related court cases.

The other thing to do is go IN PERSON w/a copy of all statements and cancelled checks and ask for the boss in patient accounts and not leave until you're vindicated!

Good Luck and I am so sorry that you are having to go through this stress right now. You should have your feet up eating bonbons!!

Lori in NJ
06-12-2003, 04:33 PM
Thank you all so much for your input--I'm going to send the $$$ b/c I have proof (the check stubs) that I've paid--easier to just wait to get my $40 back than deal with the possibility of collections over a mere $40!!!!!!!! I found a woman today who actually understood my account (she's only been working there for 29 years so that explains a lot). I'm afraid to say it for fear that I'll jinx myself, but I think the end of my situation MAY be in sight...and if it's not I'll have my father (an attorney) write a letter with the advice you guys have offered.

Thanks again,

A little less frustrated in NJ

06-12-2003, 08:13 PM
I used to work in Hospital Administration....call the "public Relations dept" get the name of who you talk to and email that person to reiterate your conversation...I guarentee they'll take care of it!!!

Keep us posted...This is not fair to you at all and is saddening...
The key is Patient Relations and not a receptionist in billing or collections...there is huge money in keeping a mommy happy let them know you will deliver somewhere else and tell all of your mommy friends if this is not taken care of immediatly.