Kelly (kellyjoy) wrote in bad_service,
Kelly
kellyjoy
bad_service

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Hospital Billing Service Suck

I got into a car accident on Easter and had to go to the hospital as a result. About a month later, I received a bill for about $1,400 for services rendered. I called the number of the bill (which leads to their billing service) and gave my car insurance information along with my primary health care insurance information in the event that Geico would not cover any or all of the amount. The rep I spoke with told me that they would contact Geico, and if they rejected the claim or if there was still a balance due after Geico paid, it would go to Cigna automatically. However, I would still receive bills once a month during this time.

I did receive a bill once a month, and I also received phone calls from the billing service wanting to know why I hadn't paid yet. I always explained that they were waiting on Geico to accept or reject the claim, and then it needed to go to Cigna. The rep would always say something along the lines of, "Oh, right. OK." and then hang up.

It apparently took Geico forever to reject the claim, and then finally in July, I received a bill from the hospital with a zero balance, explaining that Cigna had covered the cost. I stopped receiving bills from the hospital.

This morning, I got a call from the billing service, demanding to know why I haven't paid my bill yet. I explained about the final bill I had received from the hospital, saying that Cigna had covered everything (which, to my dismay, I discovered that my shredder-happy husband has probably disposed of) and that I hadn't received a bill since then. The woman said that they don't communicate directly with the hospital, as they are a third party service, so she can't verify that I received this final statement from the hospital. Instead, she wants me to fax her a copy of the canceled check Cigna had used to pay the bill, which I obviously couldn't possibly have. Her tone of voice implied that she didn't believe me at all, and she was about to end the call, so I asked to speak to a supervisor.

The supervisor also sounded dubious - she said they would "try" to contact the hospital and let me know within two weeks whether or not I owed them any money. Otherwise, I would keep getting phone calls until I paid the bill.

Not satisfied with this, I called Cigna myself, hoping that they could fax the proof of payment to the billing service. The rep at Cigna had no clue what I was talking about.

As it turns out, neither the billing service nor the hospital sent the claim to Cigna for review. The rep explained that if they had paid, I would have received a statement of benefits explaining exactly what they covered. Now that I was thinking about it, I never got anything like that. I was just so happy that Cigna was covering the cost, I never thought twice about it.

So instead of calling me and talking to me like I'm some kind of deadbeat trying to invent lame excuses about magical statements absolving me of any financial responsibility, how about you do your job and finally contact Cigna? Or perhaps contact the hospital and find out why they seem to think Cigna paid this claim? I'll be more than happy to pay whatever balance is remaining after you finally contact my insurance company, which you should have taken care of months ago. I'm not giving you a red cent until then.
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