Posts Tagged ‘chargemaster’

The Healthcare Saga Continues

July 20th, 2013

By Simon Jones

UPDATED  on 7/23/13 at the end of the post.

Regular listeners will know that I’ve been dealing with a lying, cheating hospital and a less-than-helpful insurance company.

Long story short, I needed a CT scan, so I used my health insurance “cost estimator” to find an affordable CT scanning location. Once I found one, I called the hospital I selected, who assured me my out-of-pocket would be no more than $200. Well, a month after the procedure, I got the bill. My $4500 procedure, to which I was to pay around $200, was actually almost $13,000–to which I owed $2,500 out of pocket. It’s more than four times the national average, by the way.

Several failed appeals later, I made my last resort call: I told the hospital I would pay half. We haggled, and I ended up paying 60% of the bill on the condition that we were settled: this was it. No further charges, I was paid in full.

After repeated assurances from them that this was the case, I made the payment over the phone.

Fast forward to today, three days later: I received a new invoice, showing the amount I agreed to pay…plus a balance. They apparently lied to me. They say I still owe the full, out-of-pocket amount. Too bad for them, I recorded the entire phone call, and if they don’t fix this pronto, I’ll make sure the world knows what lying, mendacious asshats they are.

Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I recommend you familiarize yourself with what we’re up against in the country when it comes to “affordable” health care. Click here. Also, check this out before you pay for a scan or procedure in your town!

What about you? What’s your story? Have you been screwed around by the healthcare system? The comments section is open!

UPDATE: I called the hospital people, and they said “Oh, yeah, we need to note that properly, huh?” The customer service rep then acknowledged I had paid and made a settlement, but strongly suggested I “Call back Monday to make sure we updated your account.”


Yes, I will do your job for you.

Tune in next week for further updates. Damn it.

Episode 39: Most Overcharged

July 16th, 2013

Simon and @UnckelMike are mad. They’re mad because they’ve been dicked around by insurance companies, healthcare providers and the shadowy “boss” of all things medical, The Chargemaster. If you’re not mad, too, then you’re not paying attention!

“The health care market is not a market at all. It’s a crapshoot. Everyone fares differently based on circumstances they can neither control nor predict. They may have no insurance. They may have insurance, but their employer chooses their insurance plan and it may have a payout limit or not cover a drug or treatment they need. They may or may not be old enough to be on Medicare or, given the different standards of the 50 states, be poor enough to be on Medicaid. If they’re not protected by Medicare or protected only partially by private insurance with high co-pays, they have little visibility into pricing, let alone control of it. They have little choice of hospitals or the services they are billed for, even if they somehow knew the prices before they got billed for the services. They have no idea what their bills mean, and those who maintain the chargemasters couldn’t explain them if they wanted to. How much of the bills they end up paying may depend on the generosity of the hospital or on whether they happen to get the help of a billing advocate. They have no choice of the drugs that they have to buy or the lab tests or CT scans that they have to get, and they would not know what to do if they did have a choice. They are powerless buyers in a sellers’ market where the only consistent fact is the profit of the sellers.”

Check this out before you pay for a scan or procedure in your town!

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