24 March 2006

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies

When my cardiologist told me I would need more tests a few weeks ago (has anyone ever come out of a cardiologist's office NOT needing more tests?), I remembered my mom telling me her stress test had been $1400. So I made sure to ask the receptionist how much it was going to cost.

"The test is $250," she said.

I called on my rudimentary math skills and quickly calculated that my 20 percent of the bill would be $50. No problem. Done. Scheduled. Test taken.

I just got the bill in the mail. My portion is 983 dollars.

Huh? Oh, yes, in addition to the $250 test there were 4 other tests totalling over $1600 and of course everything wasn't fully covered and then there's the deductible, you see, so...$983.

Now I have to go confront the receptionist about this. I love confrontation. There is nothing I adore more than arguing with people over money and what they were supposed to have said and how they are going to claim they never said that. Oh yes, I live for stuff like this.


I once parked three blocks from my house and made cell phone calls until the pool cleaner guy left because I didn't want to confront him about not showing up for four weeks in a row and leaving the pool a leafy, stinking mess. THAT's how much I love confrontation.

And it's Friday and I'm sick, so I get to sit here and stew in my own stomach acid until at least Monday. Please commence to feel sorry for me now.

Update: I just realized something. I work for an insurance company. A rather large insurance company. I am no longer a lonely little patient. I am someone who has an address book filled with the names of everyone from the lowliest claims analyst to the CEO. And if I have been lied to about the cost of procedures by my doctor, don't you think at least someone in our company might be interested in that? Tee hee. This might be more interesting than I thought. Wish me luck.


J.R. Kinnard said...

Good luck with your confrontation. I can't say I'm optimistic about your chance of success. Like a brick wall, those people.

Christina said...

Ooohhh...lots of luck to you! There is nothing worse than dealing with medical billing issues. I think there's a special place in hell for those who decide to charge us $100 for "supplies" which amounts to an ACE bandage and a piece of tape. (Yes, I've dealt with this crazy stuff before.)

Lots and lots of luck to you.

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