Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bills: Explained (sort of)

So I went over the new batch of IVF bills last night. Looks like we'll have to pay - the bills are for all of the Progesterone blood tests my wife had during the days leading up to embryo transfer. I'm guessing the delay in receipt of these bills was caused by our insurance company, so shame on me for bad-mouthing IVF Michigan. I wish they would have told us about this though, or at least provided some clear documentation from which I could learn about our liability ... there is no way I could interpret our statements to correctly identify that we still owe money for our procedure. Perhaps I'll scan these documents and place them up here so you can all see what I'm talking about (but I'm sure if you're reading this, you're very familiar with the issues I've described ... and furthermore, I'm sure you have no interest in reading about some other dude's insurance paperwork. If you are interested in this sort of thing, you clearly have too much time on your hands and should find something better to do - if this is the case I encourage you to stop reading this blog immediately)

From here on out I will not leave a medical appointment without a clear understanding of the procedure cost, the amount to be covered by insurance, when reconciliation between insurance and provider will happen and when the patient responsibility portion will end up in my mailbox. I will need all of this in writing before leaving the office. Medical receptionists are going to hate me - but like most things in life, you have to take these matters into your own hands. If you can't trust Doctors, you certainly can't trust the morons that occupy their front desks and billing departments.


Anonymous said...

calm down...everything will be okay.

Anonymous said...

That last comment was from your wife. I forgot my user name and password. I love you!

Tracy said...

When I read your post from yesterday, I knew exactly what happened. When you get their procedure cost form initially, *I think* there's a little "clause" somewhere on the form that says your insurance will be billed for all ultrasounds and blood tests, and in the event they don't pay, you're charged a flat fee of I believe $1,300...I could be wrong.

The whole time we went through our first, then second cycle, I was holding my breath hoping and praying my insurance would pay that stuff...it seems to take them FOREVER.

Sorry you got nabbed with the bill. :(

Joe said...

In addition to the $790 in last night's mailing, we owe an additional $485 that is still pending insurance review. Fantastic!

Oh well - not really IVF Michigan's fault. And the lady from billing was really nice in spite of my temper being right on the verge of giving way.

Lesson learned. I've decided I'm going to write a letter to IVF Michigan ... and it will be filled with recommendations for improvements. I'm hoping our experience can be avoided for anyone deciding to go there in the future. The list of recommnendations starts with "Doctors shouldn't answer their cell phones during post-IVF failure consultations."

Isn't my wife sweet? Poor thing - she'll have to endure my probing questions targeted at every medical receptionist that crosses our path from here on out.

nancy said...

Well that sucks. NO other way to say it.

orodemniades said...

I cannot believe they didn't give you all the costs up front - wth?? Good grief, even if they do pass it along to your insurance, there's no reason not to include the prices in the total package.

I know I've said it before, but I am really unimpressed with IVF MI.

PJ said...

Giggling at "anonymous"!

I'm glad things were at least explained. It'll all be worth it in the end.


Anonymous said...

I have long been a terror of Doctor's office support staff morons. Though, my big pet peeve is not so much the billing and the 'messages' that don't get passed on to the Doc's thereby delaying replies.

Hang in there!

Duck said...

That sucks, i can't believe that they do it all in little drips like that. Sounds like the medical system is really complicated down there in the states. For our IVF we just paid 5 grand the day i went in for my baseline u/s and stims. That covered everything, tests, ultarsounds, transfers and all the other stuff, except drugs.

The drugs we get from the clinic, the pharmacy charges the insurance company for their 80%, and our credit card for the rest.

It would be really stressful if they price kept increasing all the time like that.