OMG! I had a beautifully written blog ready to post, I clicked “save”, the screen went blank and a dialogue box saying the file no longer exists popped up.
I shall persevere with a brief synopsis of that splendid blog now lost to the great digital abyss (digibyss?).
I wrote the following letter to a collections agency disputing the charges.
August 21, 2015
Texoma Emergency Physicians
PO Box 8775
Fort Worth, TX 78124-0775
Re: Account #Wouldn’t you like to know
Dear Madam or Sir,
The above referenced account is for an emergency room visit on February 10th, 2015 for symptoms that were ultimately caused by an implant malfunction in my spine. Insurance refuses to cover it because I had already been to the ER that day.
I returned due to the fact that the treatment they administered (a pain pill) was having no effect and I felt like I was brushed aside as if I was merely trying to get a fix (an assertion made more credible by the fact that the doctor who referred me is a physical medicine/rehabilitation doctor who specializes in pain management).
If you were to check my medical records in the weeks after that ER visit, you’d find a surgery to correct my implant malfunction and a visit to my neurosurgeon in Dallas to discuss a small hemorrhage that resulted from complications due to the malfunction of the implant.
I recount all of this to show that I knew something was wrong, but was not given the attention I deserved on the first visit. Indeed, I gave the hospital a scathing review when they emailed me asking about my visit – concerning that critique, they’ve not contacted me. The only attempts at communication have been when they call to collect money, indicating their true interest, my bank account, not my health.
Frankly, I don’t think I should have paid the first ER bill – if I got that kind of service at a restaurant, I would have asked for the manager and left no tip. Unfortunately, TMC’s management doesn’t seem to take a customer centered approach when they find out you have insurance (I use the term “customer” as a slight, as I was never treated as a patient).
Please consider this appeal for the $425 balance of the above referenced account, and prove me wrong – that hospitals and those associated with them aren’t just out for the contents of my wallet.
You see, insurance refused to pay because the bill was for my second visit to the ER that day. Given the fact that I received the brush off, guy looking for a fix treatment the first time, I went backand was upgraded to a bed in the hallway! This is an upgrade because EVERY member of the ER staff saw me. Twenty minutes later they saw me leave again.
That 20 minutes in the hallway might cost me $425!
I wanted to share this with you because:
a. Doctors might know more about THE body, but you are the expert concerning YOUR body.
b. I rarely get the chance to write formal letters, and I write them real good 🙂
Great post. You are right, patients know their own body. One of the problems today is that everyone in healthcare is so worried about the bottom-dollar. No excuse, I know, but nonetheless, that is the truth. We want to give patient valued care, but we have so many patients that know how to work the system for what they want, we have become an industry that is paranoid and constantly questioning. Sometimes that is good, and in your case it is not good.
Agreed. I can honestly say that this is my first negative experience. It might be due to the fact that they didn’t know me (which is a conviction of the fact that they didn’t come at me like a patient). I really don’t ever have trouble because I don’t venture out of my circle of medical people often.