So I just got off the phone with the medical center I owe money to.
I’m not getting charged for the other patient’s medical bills but I did find out that she’s eighty years old, which tells me two things. One, she’s probably not going to be all that interested in giving the hospital hell and two, way to disclose more patient information there.
I am very frustrated with the whole situation right now.
For example, the pregnancy test that I wasn’t told about it, and I sure as hell didn’t consent to:
The woman on the phone tells me: “Oh, that’s required because of the medication we gave you.”
I say, “but I wasn’t told about it.”
She says, “If the woman is sexually active and we’re going to give her medication that can harm the fetus we want to make absolutely sure she’s not pregnant because sometimes women come in here and they don’t even know they’re pregnant.”
I say, “but nobody took a sexual history, or even told me about the test.”
She says, “It’s required, we just want to make sure that they take the best care possible of you when you go in the emergency room.”
And I’m not really sure how to respond to this. Laugh maybe, or cry? It’s so fucked up I don’t even know where to begin.
After fifteen minutes on the phone the woman is starting to get exasperated with me and she tells me, “Everything we’re billing for is something you received.” I fight my natural inclination to be cowed and I tell her “I’m being charged a large sum of money and I would like to know exactly what I am paying for.”
But there is nobody who can be held accountable. That's the problem isn't it? There is no specific person who fucked up everything, just an accumulation of minor fuck ups. A big, amorphous, systematic fuck up.
I’m not sure where to go from here. I can’t fight the fact that the price of just stepping foot in the emergency room is over $800 and I can’t fight the fact that my insurance was shit.
It’s been six months now and I can’t recall every detail of the care I received. And while I have a general sense of what is above board and what isn’t, I don’t really know specifics. As it stands, I have verified that a large chunk of the (my) bill is legitimate. After all, I can’t deny I went to the emergency room even if I find the cost criminal.
So, I can either take the hospital’s word on the necessity of the every test run or I can spend hours of my life trying to fight them. This means taking time away from the important things in my life like work, tutoring, and graduate school applications. This means sneaking into the break room and hoping there’s nobody there, or making calls from my car, since I leave for work before the offices open and I get home after they have closed.
It’s very tempting to bend over and smile for a quick fuck up the ass, courtesy of the health care system.