| Register  | FAQ  | Search | Login 
It is currently Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:42 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 139 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:11 pm 
Offline
Level 7 Vegan
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:30 pm
Posts: 1570
Location: Maine
Flava, just curious--are you talking about Eastern Maine Med here? I had a pretty good experience there and really liked my OB, and I would be sad to find out they are so vehemently anti-VBAC.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:04 am 
Offline
Bathes in Braggs
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:48 pm
Posts: 1374
mittenmacher wrote:
Flava, just curious--are you talking about Eastern Maine Med here? I had a pretty good experience there and really liked my OB, and I would be sad to find out they are so vehemently anti-VBAC.


No, that phone call was with Waldo County in Belfast. I just heard that they have a new OB who is very pro-VBAC, but is still not allowed to do them by the hospital. Apparently he's referring a lot of potential VBACs to EMMC! I remember you had a good experience there, and it seems like you're not the only one.

EMMC and Maine Med (where Ezra stayed) allow you to VBAC (and now that I'm looking into it more, it looks like the hospitals on MDI do to, but I'm not going out there). They're both roughly the same distance from our house. I don't know, I'm so excited to try to homebirth next time again, I trust my midwives even more now after I've seen them work through an emergency. But I get so caught up in planning everything. The two hospitals that are closest to me (Waldo County and Pen Bay, where Ezra was born) are both 15 minutes away and are very anti-VBAC, so if I transfer again for any reason whatsoever I know I'll have surgery. Their facilities aren't that fabulous either (the OB at Pen Bay who delivered Ezra was fabulous, but she has since left - she was so positive, talking to me and my midwife about how great a VBAC candidate I was while we were still in surgery). So I think that if any of my prenatal testing shows that I'll need to have another c-section, or if I can try for a vaginal birth just with a bit more supervision than the midwives can offer, I'll be going to Portland (and perhaps sleeping on couches down there for the last week or so...) As much as it has a negative tone to it all, Maine Med was a great place and I'd be happy to be there again. But I don't even want to be thinking that way! Agh! VBAC messes with your mind, I swear.

(have I properly derailed this thread by now?)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:51 am 
Offline
Level 7 Vegan
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:30 pm
Posts: 1570
Location: Maine
flavabean wrote:
So I think that if any of my prenatal testing shows that I'll need to have another c-section, or if I can try for a vaginal birth just with a bit more supervision than the midwives can offer, I'll be going to Portland (and perhaps sleeping on couches down there for the last week or so...)


I am only 10 minutes from Maine Med and I have a guest room!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:52 am 
Offline
Bathes in Braggs
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:48 pm
Posts: 1374
mittenmacher wrote:
flavabean wrote:
So I think that if any of my prenatal testing shows that I'll need to have another c-section, or if I can try for a vaginal birth just with a bit more supervision than the midwives can offer, I'll be going to Portland (and perhaps sleeping on couches down there for the last week or so...)


I am only 10 minutes from Maine Med and I have a guest room!


I'll definitely keep that in mind! :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:10 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 19049
Location: Cliffbar NJ
I hate my insurance company.

Leela had the state mandated hearing screening done the day after she was born while I was in the hospital (in-network). It is done by the only company that does screenings in the hospital, and no one asked if I wanted the screening, because it is mandated by state law - they took my child, tested her and brought her back.

My insurance first denied all payment and then the test administrators billed me $150. Then I appealed and my insurance company sent me a check for $10 to pay for the screening test.

They have said that I need to lodge a second appeal if I want any hope of being paid this $150 bill for services that were rendered in an in-network hospital, without my consent or notification. So between dealing with my messed up ankle and a 4 month old, I am writing out an appeal.

If I had more money, I'd just pay the $150 and let it go. And I guess that is where these people make their money.

The hearing test administrators don't want to be paid $10 for the test, they want $150, so they don't participate with Blue Cross. Blue Cross doesn't want to pay $150, so they deny the claim. And then the person paying $890 for coverage for 2 ends up paying an additional $150 or having their credit forked.

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:05 am 
Offline
Bathes in Braggs
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:48 pm
Posts: 1374
Oh Tofulish, I'm so sorry. Hang in there! I know it's not where your attention should be right now, but don't let them get away with this. Ezra saw a dozen doctors while in the hospital, and of course they all billed separately, and of course half of them were out of network. It sucks, but I spent so much of his young life on the phone arguing with insurance companies.

My credit definitely took a nosedive when he was born, and I'm still terrified to see what it looks like now. I refused to open any bills for about two months when we finally got home. I needed to get comfortable with my new life and finally bond with my son. I knew those bills would be there later and whatever hit my credit took was worth it. Seriously, I wish there was a 6-12 month wait until all those bills come at you. Insurance companies were calling me IN MY HOSPITAL ROOM when I was still recovering. It's not right and they can wait. You need time to adjust!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:33 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 19049
Location: Cliffbar NJ
Oh Flava, your situation was so much worse than mine! This is just $150, and I'm not that affected by it, just more annoyed - but I wanted to put it up and share my experience.

It just feels like both parties with the negotiating power - the testing provider and the insurance company are refusing to come to an agreement, and the person without a seat at the table - the patient- gets slammed. There are no consequences to anyone else. If there were any alternatives here, it would be one thing, but this is literally the only company that does the mandatory testing.

Next time I am giving birth at home.

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:41 pm 
Offline
Bathes in Braggs
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:48 pm
Posts: 1374
Tofulish wrote:
Next time I am giving birth at home.


It is pretty awesome when it goes how it's supposed to go. I loved the fact that I wrote one check (figuratively - we did a payment plan, so it was many little checks) and we were DONE. The idea of not having to worry about bills after having a baby is so freeing.

I yelled about two things while in the ambulance when we headed to the hospital:
1) the fact that we had JUST finished paying off Nate's hospital bill from when he broke his arm two years ago, and
2) "This ambulance is going to cost so effing much!"

(yeah, our health care system is messed up when that becomes your priority.)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:20 pm 
Offline
Nooch of Earl
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:18 pm
Posts: 3723
Location: Bella Napoli
This thread makes me so angry on behalf of people who should be focusing on getting better. Tofulish, I hope you get your hearing screen covered! That is ridiculous. Flava, I'm really sorry that you had to worry about that stuff when your priorities should have been different. I think a law sort of smushing together the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act would be interesting - like, the same provisions for deployed servicemembers kicking in with those facing medical or family issues that would trigger leave entitlements. I don't suppose hospitals or doctors would like the idea, though.

I understand a lot of my [US] friends have been upset over the whole birth control coverage controversy lately. It's getting to the point where I'm getting downright tired of hearing about BCPs. But in my mind, the overwhelming issue at hand is: can we please decouple employment and healthcare already? Then this wouldn't even be an issue.

I know this is turning into a political rant, but while it has a left-leaning bias I highly recommend the book High Wire.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:30 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 19049
Location: Cliffbar NJ
Yikes Flava, that is horrible.

Thanks for the recommendation annak! It is crazy that employment and insurance are so coupled that when you're sick you have to worry about meeting performance standard, attendance etc, or risk losing your job. And so crazy that in all but 6 states, your insurance company can choose to terminate your coverage if it becomes too expensive for them.

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:18 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 19049
Location: Cliffbar NJ
Oh yay! In June we settled the stupid $150 hospital hearing test bill that our insurance wanted to give me $10 for, and then said I had to return the check if I wanted to appeal and then kept saying they would send me a new check once I accepted that after going through 3 rounds of "appeals" where they lost my letters and paperwork that was all I was going to get. I paid the hearing test company $100 and they agreed it was settled.

So today I get a call that they need payment on the remainder. I am so angry there aren't even words. The hospital and MidAtlantic Neonatology have forked me over for the last year and now they don't even have records of my payment arrangement. I hate them so much. Hatehatehatehatehate.

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:47 pm 
Offline
Wears Durian Helmet

Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:18 pm
Posts: 863
Ewww. Sorry to hear that Tofulish. When you work so hard for something that shouldn't have even been an issue and then they handily forget about it. That happened with me once with physical therapy bills, only I am such a pushover I called once or twice and then gave up. Insurance companies must love people like me.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:49 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 19049
Location: Cliffbar NJ
It turns out it was a mistake and easily fixed. But still balls to hospital bills :)

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:22 pm 
Offline
The Real Hamburger Helper
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:59 am
Posts: 2240
Location: Oxford, UK
Geezus Pete this thread is scary. We've talked recently about how we're not sure we could afford a baby 2 if we land in America (everything is sooo up in the air).

Freya's intense but non-surgical birth included nearly 7 days in the hospital for both of us, multiple additional staff (second OB at delivery, a pediatrician, anesthesiologist, etc.) a little over a day in the NICU, IV antibiotics, iron infusion for me, multiple lab tests and gosh, I can't even think of what else. Total cost to us = maybe 40 or 50 quid in parking fees.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:33 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 19049
Location: Cliffbar NJ
I do think that NHS keeps you in longer. Leela was in hospital for 3 days for jaundice ($8,000 and change). My stepsister's twins had jaundice (milder than L's) when they lived in London and she was in for over 10 days. Though at least she was also admitted and allowed to stay with the boys in her room etc. Wheras I had to put my postpartum sore body in a chair for 3 days.

I still want to punch people if I think about it.

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:37 pm 
Offline
Bathes in Braggs
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:11 pm
Posts: 1324
Location: Montreal
tzipi was definitely kept for longer than if she'd been in the US. parking was expensive, but everything else was free. the facilities weren't cushy though! i was definitely parking my poor, sore, stitched up nether regions on a hard wooden rocking chair for 10 days, while i've heard of other people rooming in with their babies in proper beds in private rooms for similar situations.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:59 am 
Offline
Wrote Dissertation on Vegans, Meat, and the Deserted Island Question
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:08 pm
Posts: 1646
I got lucky - if one can even use that word to describe the situation - in that I was already in a private room when it was discovered Sierra had jaundice. Since I'd had a c-section they'd normally keep me at least 3 days but I was feeling so fine the hospital was going to discharge me after 36 hours...till they ran the tests and found the jaundice. I totally freaked out about having to stay an additional day because I was convinced this would ruin everything (like my first birth experience with the hospital cramming Dahlia full of formula) but this particular hospital was soooo great about calling me to the heat-lamp room to nurse her frequently.
However, my insurance was extra-shitty this time so no matter what, I had to pay $500 a night for the first 2 nights in hospital. It could be worse I guess.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:22 pm 
Offline
Nooch of Earl
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:18 pm
Posts: 3723
Location: Bella Napoli
Tofulish wrote:
I do think that NHS keeps you in longer. Leela was in hospital for 3 days for jaundice ($8,000 and change). My stepsister's twins had jaundice (milder than L's) when they lived in London and she was in for over 10 days. Though at least she was also admitted and allowed to stay with the boys in her room etc. Wheras I had to put my postpartum sore body in a chair for 3 days.

I still want to punch people if I think about it.



I kicked and screamed to get a bili blanket and not have V treated inpatient, but at least the Army hospital was going to give me a room and put the light bed in it, with me having primary responsibility to care for V. It seems like this is so obviously a cheaper way to do it since you don't need as much nursing care for the baby!! But I guess most hospitals have no incentive to lower costs.

I think I might've mentioned this before, but to twist the knife into the fellow Americans out there, the Dutch basic health plan pays for 7 days of a postpartum doula in your home.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:37 pm 
Offline
The Real Hamburger Helper
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:59 am
Posts: 2240
Location: Oxford, UK
That would be amazing, annak!

I do wonder if the NHS kept F in a bit longer than in the US. For me, they let me stay an extra day to be with her, otherwise I was fine to go home 4 days pp.

If we have a next time, hopefully, we will be in and out. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:57 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 19049
Location: Cliffbar NJ
I met a woman who gave birth at Morristown Memorial Hospital (where we birthed and which has a Level III NICU) when her pregnancy was at 30 weeks. She and her son spent 45 days in the NICU, without a single person telling them that their neonatologist was out of network.

Their insurance agreed to pay "reasonable and customary" rates of $500 per day, because they were at an in-network hospital that didn't offer them any in-network options for a neonatologist.

Now the neonatologist is now trying to collect the difference, which is $600,000 from them. This is beyond stupid. I cannot believe you can check into an in-network hospital and still get hit by fees because some of your providers will be in-network and others won't. I can't believe the hospital can't use its significant leverage to make all the MDs with privileges there accept the insurance policies that it accepts. I cannot imagine going through the stress of having a preemie, living in the NICU for 45 days, fighting to establish breastfeeding, an emergency C-section and then having to spend so much time fighting the insurance companies and their doctors for medical bills that could have easily been avoided.

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:11 pm 
Offline
Wears Durian Helmet
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:19 pm
Posts: 843
Location: Northern NJ
That happens every time I've been at a hospital. Someone who bills us is alway's out of network. What I learned after paying off a few of those Dr.'s is that if I just called my health insurance and told them that I had no choice in which specialist..etc..to use that they would then consider it an in network provider and pay almost all of it but only if I called them. That's at least $1,000 that I could have saved! Its also infuriating to me that the insurance doesn't automatically do that for all hospital visits. Why do I have to call them! So please have your friend call the insurance and explain that she had no choice in provider while at the hospital. Hopefully they will do what mine does.

_________________
The blog: good-good-things


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:12 pm 
Offline
Wears Durian Helmet
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:19 pm
Posts: 843
Location: Northern NJ
At the ENT that we use all but 1 of the Dr's there is on our insurance. Its insane to me that this 1 Dr out of many wouldn't accept our insurance and of course he was the child specialist.

_________________
The blog: good-good-things


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:22 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 19049
Location: Cliffbar NJ
She did! And the insurance company said that because she had no choice in the provider they would pay "reasonable and customary rates" which are $500 a day. The difference between what the insurance is willing to pay to an out of network provider and what the provider wants is still her responsibility - $600,000.

For us with the hearing test - there was just one hearing test provider, which happened to be out of network for us. Because we had no choice of who would administer the test, and it is legally mandated by the hospital and we couldn't leave without it, our insurance company agreed to pay "reasonable and customary" rates, which was $10 for the 2 minute test. We were on the hook for the remaining $140, because the hearing providers billed us $140. 2 years later the same test now costs $300 (our friend is being billed for that as well). 'Reasonable and customary" is still $10. So anyone with Blue Cross who has an infant that gets a legally mandated hearing test at Morristown is going to be billed $300, and then if they fight it, they will get $10 from BCBS.

I hate "reasonable and customary" because it allows insurance companies to only pay a small fraction of the bills that the insured incurs and I hate that hospitals can't force all the professionals who have privileges there to accept the same insurance policies to make things easier for patients. How messed up is it that the only hearing test provider at Morristown, a place that delivers thousands of babies, will not take BCBS,one of the largest insurance providers in the state?

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:37 pm 
Offline
***LIES!!!***
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 3777
They don't accept blue cross? One of the hugest insurance carriers in the state? How the fork do they get away with that?

Our anesthesiologist charged us $8000 because he was out of network. I called the insurance company and they did cover it (don't have that insurance anymore, now we have bcbs!), but likely would've called the anesthesiologist and told them to go fork themselves. The idea that even 45 days in the NICU would be worth 600,000, let alone the 500 a day they already paid, is ludicrous. The idea that setting an epidural once would be worth 8000 at all is ludicrous. It feels like there is no point in having insurance when shiitake like that happens. It makes no sense to me at all that all of the providers in the hospital aren't actually employed by the hospital. The idea of private practice anybody working out of a hospital and getting to decide for themselves their rates or what insurance they'll take is complete and utter bullshiitake. You go to the hospital you should get one bill and that bill should be just forking paid by your insurance, the end.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:58 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 19049
Location: Cliffbar NJ
Quote:
You go to the hospital you should get one bill and that bill should be just forking paid by your insurance, the end.


Yes. The hospital has the leverage to make that happen - because every professional practicing there needs privileges to be able to make their money. So why in the everloving fork are they not insisting that if you have privileges there, you accept the same insurances the hospital does? And why isn't the hospital insisting that insurance companies "reasonable and customary" rate be at least close to the actual billed rate?

And they are calling to tell people to go F themselves, but what do you do when they then threaten to send the bills into collection and screw up your credit rating?

Basically, the hospital has leverage and so does the insurance company. The only people with no leverage are the patients. And they're the ones being stuck with the bill

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 139 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Template made by DEVPPL/ThatBigForum and fancied up by What Cheer