In the wrong business

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
Every rare once in a while, I look at the "Explanation of Benefits" I get from BC/BS after every medical appointment. Sometimes, it's because the billing hasn't arrived yet, and I want to be prepared - one of the seriously exasperating things about receiving care from a hospital is the number of DIFFERENT bills you will get over time, because even though every one of those bills comes under the auspices of the hospital - and all its ensuing rules and regulations - they all seem to function like separate entities. Hence, you pay for surgery - and then for the anesthesiologist - and then for post-care - and maybe separate for any medication and so on. I hate hospitals.

BUT - my wife is having work done on her knee, and I checked the cost of the knee brace, and my total came to about 200. Just a tad under. Yep, there it was. And to be honest, that's not far off from what I was told, and what I expected.

What SURPRISED me was, how much they billed insurance, and how much insurance PAID. Damn. Well over a THOUSAND. For a knee brace. A KNEE BRACE.

The other EOB was for the consult. A ten to fifteen minute consult. Yeah, same thing. HUNDREDS. Like six or seven. HUNDRED.

Yep. Wrong business.
 

Chris0nllyn

Well-Known Member
I got bills from the hospital almost a year later because they changed payment vendors and their system was down for a few months.

How does one budget medical bills when they show up randomly and despite my multiple efforts, never received an actual breakdown of costs?

It's incredibly frustrating.
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
I got bills from the hospital almost a year later because they changed payment vendors and their system was down for a few months.

How does one budget medical bills when they show up randomly and despite my multiple efforts, never received an actual breakdown of costs?

It's incredibly frustrating.
I easily place hospitals as the worst - I've received collection agencies for bills that I haven't actually received in the mail yet.
I know this, because when they DO arrive, the dates on the bill show they were processed only a short time BEFORE.
I often go to sites giving advice for out of pocket medical costs - because it doesn't matter HOW MUCH you pay in insurance, some perfectly normal procedures are going to cost a lot - and what they OFTEN WARN is, expect lots of completely separate billing - because hospitals somehow bill that way and remain in business.

Now - I generally trust doctors, themselves. Most doctors won't sugarcoat things, won't try to make you feel better about dire stuff and won't give you "estimates" on what a patient's "chances" are. They also won't scare the hell out of you unnecessarily and can be astonishingly thorough. But one thing is true of most of them - they have no idea what the costs are going to be. MOST of the time. Not their department. They can't tell you how much the drug is going to cost even with insurance. They can't say how much physical therapy will cost, although they might know how long you will need it.

Again with hospitals - I've received bills YEARS later. As in about five years. And it hasn't gone into collections or anything, they just got around to it. When it is THAT LONG out of date - I take years to respond. It's only fair.
 
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