Abused By Health Care

August 12, 2015 by Rieshy

The hidden health cost of health care brought on by the stress by paperwork and hours of phone calls to insurance and health companies is one of the special parts of dealing with a child's chronic illness.

It's why I'm gray.

I'm so angry I can barely limit this post to one story of what I consider the intentional incompetence that I have had to deal with over the past 9 years.  I am ashamed that I desire special circles of hell for certain subgroups of humanity... but people who design the billing and insurance company policies are seriously difficult for me to forgive.  Their designs intentionally inflict suffering and lost hours and untold worry on caregivers.  Even worse their models rob, yes, absolutely rob people who don't have the hours or know-how to fight and appeal.  And I mean rob- no less than if I held a gun to someone in a parking lot and demanded their cash.

Case in point:  My son needed a blood test in January, I was assured it was covered, I asked multiple times- I showed them my insurance.  They said they would double check.  A month later I received a bill from the lab saying insurance was denied and I owed them $10,000.

I appealed.
I appealed.
I appealed.  I got a EOB from my insurance company saying that they would cover part of the $13,622 bill.

?  But whatever.  One thing you get used to is that no bill is trustworthy, they play around with the numbers.  Imagine Kroger doing this.

Yesterday, I got a bill from the children's hospital where the blood draw was taken.  They politely told me that this same outpatient work done in January was $19,460.76 and now due.

More phone calls.  The "system" was blamed.  Give me a break, systems do not give birth to themselves... not yet anyway.  This happens every single time our child has a hospitalization.

The really fun bonus is that sometimes bills will be bumped to a collection agency because the appeal process is so lengthy that the bill becomes "delinquent".

Time.  My time.  My children's time.  I really hurt for someone without the ability or gumption to fight back.

Not to mention the inches and inches of mail that these companies try to drown you with.  If you have a problem requiring multiple labs or doctors and hospitals, good luck keeping up with who legitimately needs to be paid and who is sending bogus or inflated bills.

It's criminal, it's intentional, and we should be ashamed as a nation that we have allowed this parasite of bureaucracy to suck the life blood of our patients and their families.


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