Friday, October 29, 2010

So the cats didn't throw up.

But I received a $587 medical bill.

I am stunned & outraged. I am so mad I am actually shaking.

Two weeks ago, I went into the doctor's office for a blood draw. (I started Lipitor about 6 weeks ago & they needed to check to make sure it wasn't doing anything wacky to me.) The head nurse said she was having a hard time finding a vein & asked if I was a hard stick. Nope. Never been difficult for anyone to draw my blood. She said she just couldn't do it (this was after she'd dug around in my arm with a needle. Never had THAT happen before, either.) and that "If I can't get it, we can just send you downstairs to the lab." (The office is affiliated with a hospital.)

At that point I'm thinking "I've been fasting for 16 hours. I don't want to drive all the way back here (took us 45 minutes to get there that morning, between distance and traffic). I just want this done. Sounds like they do this kind of thing all the time. Let's just get it done."

So, they write up the order, like they DO this kind of thing all the time, and I go downstairs and get the blood drawn, totally expecting a bill like my husband's had for the same service from this doctor's office. Nope. $587. It's TEN TIMES more expensive.

Now, here's the part that pisses me off. Because of this nurse's incompetence & lack of intelligence, *I* am being billed??! Not my fault that she couldn't draw my blood ... and I would've gladly have done it MANY other places or at different time or come up with a totally innovative solution had I KNOWN it would be FIVE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY SEVEN DOLLARS! Her blithe "Oh, we'll just send you downstairs" implies she has a working relationship with them ... and knows how much they charge ... and I believe it's HER responsibility to let me know its 10x what they would charge me. All she had to do was say "I could send you down to the lab, but I don't know what they'd charge." That's what *I* would've said.

I called this morning to talk to the hospital, to make sure the charges were right. And then I called the doctor's office & spoke with the head nurse. Her position is that it's not her responsibility to know what the hospital will charge me. My position is that it totally IS her responsibility if (a) it's a very routine test and (b) she's sending me as though she does it all the damned time.

GAH!!!!! Because you know we just have money laying around the house for just this sort of thing.


Mel said...


Ludicrous comes to mind.
I'd ring more than one person about that one. *sigh*

Anne said...

Hi there! I don't blame you for being upset! Definitely worthy of complaint! Goodness gracious!