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Hospital Sticker Shock


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#1 Hines

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 07:55 AM

I mentioned this in another thread several weeks ago, but my daughter had to spend almost a week in the hospital last month.  She had a skin infection, long story short she is almost over it.

 

I've started receiving bills.   She had to be admitted through the ER (dermatologist couldn't admit her directly), they ran some blood tests 3 times, skin cultures twice, and administered IV antibiotics a few times per day each day.  She physically saw 1 doctor once, then nurse practitioners the rest of the time.

 

As I said, bills are still coming in at this point.  Before insurance, we are roughly at $19k right now. 

 

HO LEE SHiZZ

 

I honestly have no idea how some folks can keep their head above water if they have a chronic illness.


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#2 glassonion

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 08:08 AM

 

 

I honestly have no idea how some folks can keep their head above water if they have a chronic illness.

 

They pay a very small fraction of the payments every month and keep doing so until they die, at which time their estate is sold off to pay for outstanding debts. Or they don't pay at all. Then the hospital will turn over the delinquent bills to the state tax enforcement division and they garner any state taxes until the debt is paid or the person dies, at which time their estate is sold off to pay for outstanding debts.


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#3 Hines

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 08:14 AM

At one point, my wife worked in an area that handled some billing.  She told me they would give an "uninsured discount."   That blew my mind, but the hospital knows they aren't going to get paid from some folks, plain and simple.


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#4 the_stain

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 08:17 AM

Back in NY my wife and I knew a girl who worked with us who had no insurance and had to have emergency gallbladder removal surgery and then there was some complication and she had to stay a couple days in the hospital afterward.  She said the bill was around $65k.


No idea what she did about it, if anything.


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#5 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 08:25 AM

Before insurance.

 

I don't even bother looking at the EOBs. Wait for the actual bills.



#6 AspenLeif

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 10:32 AM

Before insurance.

 

I don't even bother looking at the EOBs. Wait for the actual bills.

Why not?  It's all driving the cost of healthcare, and insurance.  

 

At one point, my wife worked in an area that handled some billing.  She told me they would give an "uninsured discount."   That blew my mind, but the hospital knows they aren't going to get paid from some folks, plain and simple.

 

What's even worse, is they can never tell you the cost of a procedure before you get it.  Quite a few years ago, I was told to get an EKG and ultrasound to check for an arrhythmia.  I wanted to know the costs before I did it, since I had a higher deductible and hadn't touched any of that yet that year.  It took getting passed around for 3 days to get an 'estimate'.  That was complete bullshit.  I ended up calling the doctor and asked if there was an alternative to the ultrasound, since it was going to be $4,500.  Oh, yea, you can probably wear a halter monitor for cheaper.  2 more days to get that price....$700.  That's the route I went.  It's retarded that you can't request a price.....because the price is based on how good your insurance is.  


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#7 Hines

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 11:21 AM

in the early 90s, didn't they call this the "Fleecing of America?"


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#8 idajack

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 09:19 PM

They pay a very small fraction of the payments every month and keep doing so until they die, at which time their estate is sold off to pay for outstanding debts. Or they don't pay at all. Then the hospital will turn over the delinquent bills to the state tax enforcement division and they garner any state taxes until the debt is paid or the person dies, at which time their estate is sold off to pay for outstanding debts.

Not the case in my experience.
You can end up in that spot if you agree to sign up for county or state assistance here or you can a) negotiate to pay a cash one time for around 30-50% or you can say “bill me” and suck it and it’ll drop off your credit in about three years.
I’ve chronicled my soon to be ex wife’s dealings. 30+k negotiated down to less than half cash payout.
I’ve since discussed with others who just stiffed the hospital.
I’m sure there are a few who pay out the max but they’re idiots. Hospitals are generally a non profit organization and the losses can be counted at their max claim on the bill and as such they almost coach you to take the three year credit smack.
And your insurance co. Already has a prenegotiated lower payout.
Medical billing is probably the biggest scam in the nation.
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#9 Brownbeard

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 05:08 AM

Insurance companies depend on the mystery. It's how they avoid paying.
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#10 Promega

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 05:12 AM

 

As I said, bills are still coming in at this point.  Before insurance, we are roughly at $19k right now. 

 

 

Even before it is settled with insurance call the hospital billing dept., negotiate, and request a walkthrough of the charges.  A lot of people don't know they can (and should according to some hospitals) do this link and link2.

 

One thing we found is often screwed up is the testing (multiple dipping, wrong coding, etc.), because more specialized tests are often sub-contracted, and this will of course vary by institution.  


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#11 Brownbeard

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 05:32 AM

Also make sure they used the right coding for every procedure, so it doesn't get denied coverage.
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#12 AspenLeif

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 05:44 AM

Also make sure they used the right coding for every procedure, so it doesn't get denied coverage.

That a serious issue too.  I had a PT consult for my shoulder.  One visit, one hour.  I've hit my deductible for the year after ACL surgery and rehab.  I get the bill....$582.  WTF!  Call up the PT's office and ask what the hell is going on.  Their hourly cash rate is $120.  They ask what would be my preference, to which I say...well, I really don't want to pay over your hourly cash rate!  They recode it and send it in...new bill $0.  

 

I am still scratching my head about that one.  


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#13 Brownbeard

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 06:10 AM

That a serious issue too. I had a PT consult for my shoulder. One visit, one hour. I've hit my deductible for the year after ACL surgery and rehab. I get the bill....$582. WTF! Call up the PT's office and ask what the hell is going on. Their hourly cash rate is $120. They ask what would be my preference, to which I say...well, I really don't want to pay over your hourly cash rate! They recode it and send it in...new bill $0.

I am still scratching my head about that one.

That is the bulk of my wife's job. Negotiating the insurance system. She actually specializes in PT. It's a nightmare sometimes. The insurance companies work very hard to deny coverage.
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#14 AspenLeif

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 06:12 AM

That is the bulk of my wife's job. Negotiating the insurance system. She actually specializes in PT. It's a nightmare sometimes. The insurance companies work very hard to deny coverage.

Well, apparently and to charge 5x cash cost.....because I have descent insurance.  That's bullshit.   


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#15 Brownbeard

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 06:19 AM

Well, apparently and to charge 5x cash cost.....because I have descent insurance. That's bullshit.

All negotiated to make health insurance necessary.
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#16 Hines

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 10:21 AM

This hospital is for profit. Will try when official bills come in.
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#17 BeersBeers24/7

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 01:05 PM

This hospital is for profit. Will try when official bills come in.

Which hospital?
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#18 Hines

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 05:57 PM

Harris (Sylva), less than pleased to be honest.
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#19 BeersBeers24/7

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 06:21 PM

Harris (Sylva), less than pleased to be honest.


That’s what I was thinking. Sorry to hear that.
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