Rib Revisited

It has been almost two months since I broke my rib. I can’t believe how great I feel. I have no pain or discomfort during or after a run. I don’t even really think about it anymore except to marvel at how the human body heals itself if given time and TLC.

So while I’m ready to lay the event to rest the billing department at the hospital is not. Upon arrival to the ER I was asked to present my health insurance card. A photo copy was taken and information was entered into the computer. I know this as a patient and a nurse at this hospital. I handle many admissions. The patients have to come through the ER and their insurance information is collected and entered into the system.

About a month after the accident I received a notice from the hospital’s billing department alerting me to the fact that they hadn’t been able to process my claim because my insurance information was invalid. They had the wrong ID number, wouldn’t you know it. So I provided the number once again. Next I received a form from the insurance company to determine the nature of the ER visit (car accident, work related injury, etc.). I filled it out and returned it right away.  A week and a half later I received another letter  from the hospital’s billing department indicating that they tried to process the claim but it was denied. I spoke to the same woman. She took down my ID number again and said that she would re-issue the bill. A few days later I received two separate invoices for the ER visit and the chest xray.

My husband is in the bricklayer’s union so I never actually speak to the health insurance company. I call the union representative who handles the health insurance for us. The woman is very nice, efficient and on top of things. I called her to find out what was going on. She said she had reviewed it, approved it and sent it off. I believe her. I have never had a problem with medical bills getting paid.

I gave it a week and called the hospital’s billing department again today to follow up on the issue. I spoke to a different woman this time. She claimed, once again, that they did not have the proper insurance information. “For real?!” “Seriously!” “Are you freakin’ kidding me.”  No I didn’t really say those things, but I thought them along with other thoughts. Instead I patiently repeated my ID number AGAIN! She had nothing. No record of my previous phone calls, no indication that I had ever spoken to anyone and of course no payment.

I had a lovely chat with the woman although I wanted to burst into tears and scream. She agreed to bill the insurance again. She also said that she would call me if there was a problem. I gave her the union rep’s contact information though I doubt she’ll call. I called the union rep again and she assured me that there was absolutely no reason all of this should be going on as the claim has been approved.

Now I just wait. I wait until I get another bill in the mail saying that I owe X amount of money and my payment is overdue. Then I start the phone calls all over again.  This is so frustrating and it’s not the first time I’ve had to go through this. Why the run around? I have insurance, good insurance.  I should not have to be tracking the payment of these bills. Yet it seems like there is not communication between all the different people involved. They keep mailing things but no one is talking to each other. I truly don’t understand why this is so difficult.


4 thoughts on “Rib Revisited

  1. I use to work in Insurance, and it is so frustrating the amount of hoops people have to go through to get the benefits that they pay for! I hope it gets ironed out, that can be so frustrating!

    • I never take it out on the person on the phone Carrie because I know that they are doing their job. It is just so difficult to understand the process that these bills, claims and payments have to go through.

  2. Seriously this is simply ridiculous. I read it to Kimm and she couldn’t believe the hoops you are going through but we both know that is the game now. Why can’t anything be easy these days…especially taking care of your health??? Hopefully it all works out soon. BTW…we are STILL working on our bathroom…and have had lots of problems with that as well.

    • I agree Kaye. You try to be responsible and proactive but it instead of being effortless it takes a lot of time and frustration. I wish you luck with the bathroom. We have been talking about renovating our kitchen and I feel like I am dragging my feet on the whole idea because I’m scared of it taking a long time and dealing with unforeseen issues. This kitchen is old and really needs a facelift. Do you read Young House Love? I am so envious of their home improvement skills. They are doing an incredible kitchen renovation right now.

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