I had a routine medical procedure done early last year. It was preventative and thus completely covered under my policy. However, the MD inadvertently originally put in a secondary diagnostic code that was non-preventative. Almost a year later, I started getting bills, first for $2,962, then $4,252, then back to $2,962. Now, four months later and after many phone calls, faxes, letters to credit agencies telling them not to ding my credit should it go to collection, and much gnashing of teeth, the medical bill that would not die is finally dead, and my bill balance has been set to zero, as it should be. This cost everyone involved substantial time and money.
The problem, as it turned out,was the medical facility not the MD. It had been re-submitting the same bill with the wrong code repeatedly for months, even though it always got rejected as a duplicate. They may have been doing it deliberately, trying to force payment of money not actually owed to them. Or perhaps their collections department is populated by deranged trolls pushing buttons on computers at random, then cackling madly with laughter. I’m not sure.
My insurance agent finally solved the problem by calling in some big guns at the insurance company who overruled the hospital. Sue says this happens all the time and if I wasn’t so annoyingly healthy, I would have experienced such routine medical billing madness long ago.
Sue knows how to fight these things. I didn’t. I suspect many people don’t, and end up with mangled crdit or just give up and pay the bill. It took months to resolve it. If this is normal, then our medical system is dysfunctional in the extreme.