winterhold (winterhold) wrote in bad_service,

Bad Medicine

I have insurance (PacifiCare).  It is lovely insurance, it will cover my office visits in their entirety, if the doctor bubbles in the code as an office visit.

So, here I am , getting to be waaay past  my due date, into the time period in which the danger to my health is starting to increase. 

I call up my doctor to discuss the possibility of inducing labor.  The receptionist goes on and on about how dangerous it is being past the due date, and lists the complications that could arise from the baby simply being too big.  So I try to schedule the appointment.

The receptionist informs me they can take me tomorrow.  'Great' I respond.  Then she drops the bombshell.  They want $500 cash up front before they will see me. 

I inform the receptionist that I am insured, if they bill it as an office visit the insurance will cover the appointment in it's entirety, without even a copay.

'Oh, we can't do that, we can only bill prenatal service globally', she responds.

I point out to her that they previously billed my insurance as an office visit, and offer to fax her proof of that.  She repeats that they will need $500 cash up front before they can see me.

Realizing I am getting nowhere, I hang up, and call the hospital directly.  Unfortunately, before they will perform either C-section or labor induction, they require a doctor's orders.

I call the receptionist back.  We have the same conversation all over again, with me telling her that I have insurance, plus a medi-cal application pending.   She insists on $500 up front. 

I finally got frustrated and hung up.  I handed the phone to my husband to see if he could get anywhere. 


He has the same conversation.  In spite of repeatedly telling her that we have insurance, they just have to bill it as an office visit (which it is) it will be covered in full, she insists on $500 cash up front.  Out of frustration, my husband tells her 'You are putting my wife's life in danger here!  Don't you give a damn about your patients?'

She responded by promptly hanging up.

If you get pregnant in Riverside County, avoid Valley OB/GYN in Hemet.  Insurance won't stop them from blackmailing you with your health and the health of your child at stake.
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