It Wasn’t Necessary to be RUDE!!

I have several medical bills from my recent hospitalization.

Shortly after I got out of the hospital I was approved for the Oregon Health Plan.

I was told by the receptionist at my medical clinic that the Oregon Health Plan will go back 2 months from the date of eligibility.

I was also told by the hospital financial department that most of the providers would waive my expenses once the hospital processed and approved my application for assistance.

I found out yesterday that everything I was told was wrong.

The Oregon Health Plan won’t cover anything before my official eligibility date, which was August 17, 2010. The services in the hospital (emergency room doctors, Bend Memorial Clinic doctors, and the ultrasound) which are billed separately were on August 8th, August 9th, and August 10th.

*And at least one of the providers won’t waive their fees under any circumstances.*

What really frosts my butt about *this bill* is that it is for a totally unnecessary ultrasound of my bladder and kidneys while in the hospital.

I had to have another abdominal ultrasound last Wednesday (September 15, 2010) for my liver (and they don’t do just the liver, so they had to look at everything including the selfsame bladder and kidneys). So I’ve had two ultrasounds in 37 days–and one of them was not needed at all.

The first ultrasound was performed solely because some nurse or nurses’ assistant didn’t read my chart where it was stated clearly that I was having my period; she freaked when she saw blood in my urine and ordered this totally unneeded ultrasound.

Now I get to pay for her mistake, over $300.00 — I am tempted to call the hospital and see if they will talk to the provider since the ultrasound was not needed at all.

Now I truly do understand why the Oregon Health Plan doesn’t backdate eligibility or bills.

But I still don’t see why the billing department at Bend Memorial Clinic and the billing department at Central Oregon Radiology had to be stupid, rude, condescending, insulting, deaf, and inconsiderate when I called them (this was before I knew that the Oregon Health Plan would not cover their bills).

The charming so-called lady at Bend Memorial Clinic was rude from the minute she answered the phone. She treated me as though I was retarded for even asking the question. Well, one medical provider tells me that Oregon Health Plan does go back approximately two months from eligibility date so how would I have known any different??

And then she felt compelled to explain to me that I was talking to the billing department at Bend Memorial Clinic, not the Oregon Health Plan customer assistance. Well, duh, rude condescending insulting nasty inconsiderate hateful so-called lady, I knew that already!!

If you are in a customer service position (and yes I consider answering the phone in the billing department of a medical provider to be a customer service position) you are supposed to be polite EVEN if you privately think the person you are talking to is the most stupid person in the universe. When I worked customer service jobs (both face to face and telephone), if I’d treated my customers the way this lady (and I even hesitate to call her a lady) treated me I would have been written up, warned, and possibly even fired.

Then when I called Central Oregon Radiology I guess the woman there had temporary and very convenient deafness when I told her three times (maybe more) that I couldn’t even afford the $15.00 monthly payments she was trying to squeeze out of me. She also told me that it didn’t matter what St Charles Medical Center had told me about any of the providers waiving their fees, because they do not write off bills ever.

I hung up on Bend Memorial Clinic after telling them the only way they will get any money is to bill Oregon Health Plan.

I hung up on Central Oregon Radiology after telling them that I should have just died and saved everybody the inconvenience and expense of saving my life.

I do realize that these women were just doing their jobs (doing them badly IMO but nonetheless doing them). Explaining policies and procedures to patients is fine. However, it needs to be done tactfully and with courtesy. Neither of these women would recognize tact or courtesy if it came up and socked them in the nose!!

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