I felt brave. Put it off for a long time. But, Today! A telephone day. A day of reckoning. Of explanations. A day of degrading frustration with a little success.
I spent over 2 hours on-hold while making calls to various medical providers regarding billings and statements I’ve received, to find out about some payment plan. All I can say is thank goodness I kept the land-line. Though most are local calls, a few offer toll-free calling. A few extend no phone option at all. Just send the damned check and go away, already! The cellphone would have given up the ghost half way through the morning.
On the phone since 8:30 this morning; successful in reaching the offices of 10 providers. Two were even helpful. Two others were rude as all get-out, 2 will call back, and another office remains closed for the holiday. Yes, even today! I didn’t know we recognized the Boxing Day holiday in the US...
Aside from the 2 closed offices, I was put on hold by every other provider. And only 2 offered to return my call instead of forcing me to endure elevator music and frequent updates of the current waiting time ‘until the next available service representative would take my call.’
I took a break for lunch, then went right back to it. It’s now after 3 pm and I doubt any more calls will be taken, (these offices seem to enjoy banker’s hours) I’m getting tired and confused by all the language and TLAs tossed around me. I think it’s time to call it a day.
For all that, the imposing stack of statements has been reduced by 10, so that is quite a day’s work, to say the least. By the 10, I mean 10 different medical entities who provided care during these past 4 months. Labs, ER staff, other tests, x-rays, MRI and CT scans, medications, blood products, hospital rooms, attending physicians, etc. I had no idea things were handled this way. Talk about a convoluted and wasteful system!!!
Seems billing is done separately by individual providers. Matching the dates of service with the statements is a nightmare. I think I’ll keep better tabs on each one in the future.
I have yet to hear from the state assistance outreach program, which I hope will be retroactive - if approved at all - to the filing date in October.
Mission Accomplished? No, not by a long shot. Oh, and a few items to get tossed were actually duplicate statements, so the stack has been reduced substantially. (As he heaves a great sigh of relief.)