doctor's billing: do i HAVE to pay what his invoice is showing?

  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Nov 22, 2011 11:34 AM GMT
    sorry for the long thread; but i don't know how to condense it more than i have.

    last may, i was hospitalized because of an oppertunistic, severe, life threatening MRSA staph infection that entered my knee after orthoscopic meniscus repair, thru the 2 ortho slits cut into my skin.

    i was in that meat grinder of a hospital for 6 days, in severe pain, dangerously high fever and pumped full of antibiotics and pain killers. i received the Last Rites (even though i am southern baptist?), was having calm conversations with deceased relatives, in total isolation....truely in a bad way!!

    my orthoscopic surgeon was in attendance, as was an infection specailist doctor...and perhaps other physicans were also consulted? i seem to recall several other doctors by my bed side...or was i dreaming this....those days are a blurrrrrrrr of severe pain, many, many pills, injections, IV drips, meds and high fever.

    also in attendance was another physician who was called in (without my knowlege or consent) because of my (at the time) out of control diabetes.

    since this MRSA staph infection was the result of a work related slip/fall/injury, Workman's Compensation took care of all my hospital bills and at home daily antibiotic infusions after i was relased from the hospital.


    or so i thought.....


    the "Diabetes Doctor", whose only contribution was to give me a bottom line diabetes testing meter, no med changes from what i was already taking, has mailed me a H U G E invoice for his professional services.

    i called his office, inquiring about this invoice, was told that this doctor does not accept workman's comp insurance,that his treatment of me would not be coverd by the WC insurance, that this invoice is his bill for what my private insurance (blue cross/blue shield) will not pay for.

    my question is: do i HAVE to pay this doctor's usery high, outrageous bill?

    i didn't request him to examine me....i recall waking up in the hospital, in a fog of pain and inadequate pain killers, to find this diabetes doctor at my bed side.

    it was like the old expression "woot...there he is!"

    Medical Experts here, wadduathunk? do i have to pay his bill?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 22, 2011 11:45 AM GMT
    well, he did save your life... service rendered!
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    Nov 22, 2011 11:46 AM GMT
    Peopole tend to forget that we DO have free healthcare...if you simply don't pay.

    Yeah it'll put a mark on your credit rating; but if you know how to save and use cash, that's a non-issue and will be off your record in 10 years.

    Not that I know that by experience or anything. icon_wink.gif
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Nov 22, 2011 11:56 AM GMT
    TheChrisGuy saidwell, he did save your life... service rendered!



    NO, this "Diabetes Doctor" did NOT save my life! other than to hand me a cheap diabetes testing meter, he did NOTHING for me! no additional meds, no change in what i was taking before the injury for my diabetes.
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    Nov 22, 2011 11:59 AM GMT
    I dunno. You may need to get a consultation from a medical malpractice attorney in Louisiana.

    When "C" was in critical care for 12 days 2 years ago, almost losing his leg to gangrene, there were about 7 doctors who appeared at his bedside over the course of his treatment, most of whom we didn't know. That seems to be the routine in US hospitals.

    The total cost approached $400,000 for those 2 weeks, the pharmacy bill alone totaling near $88,000. Thank gawd I could cover it, not all that much with his health insurance.

    I think you need to get a legal reading in Louisiana, as to whether this diabetes specialist was permitted to see you, and why your workman's comp won't cover it. Sounds fishy to me.
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    Nov 22, 2011 1:12 PM GMT
    I dunno about malpractice. There was no duty breached in his care, even though it's questionable whether the care was needed in retrospect.

    In most hospitals, it's up to the primary medical team (attending residents) to consult other specialists, WITH the consent of either the patient or the family, unless it's an urgent consult (i.e. if immediate action was not taken there could be serious consequences).

    In the hospitals that I work at, the consult request sheet usually requires the patient's (or family's) signature or verbal consent (if they can't sign), unless it's an emergency consult.

    As a subspecialist, the first thing I do when I see the patient is to ask them if they know why I was consulted and see if that jives with what I know, and if they have any objections, I talk to the doctor who requested me and tell them the objections before proceeding further.

    To "do" something in medicine is often to render intellectual content. I.e. even though nothing "physical" is done like surgery. E.g. the infectious disease specialist did "nothing" but think and tailor antibiotics (most likely he/she just approved of what your primary team did). The endocrine doctor may have just approved of the insulin regimen you were already on, but if it had been needed, he would have added additional advice.

    The best thing I would do is to talk to the doctor's office again, tell them that you did not know why the doctor was consulted, and you could not have known their policies on workman's comp and that you cannot pay the fee. They might work out something for you, but ultimately if you don't pay, it will hurt your credit rating. They may eventually write the bill off, but not before they call collections on you.
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    Nov 22, 2011 1:18 PM GMT
    $5.00 a month. Send at least that amount in and they probably can't touch you.

    Reminds me of when my Father was in the hospital 5 years ago. After surgery, we're standing around his bed, cheering him up. Some Doctor (who knows who it was) sticks his head in and says "How are you doing?" My Dad says "Fine, considering..." and the Dr darts back out the doorway.
    Dad says "Cha-Ching! Consultation Fee!"
    icon_rolleyes.gificon_lol.gif
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    Nov 22, 2011 1:19 PM GMT
    BTW: Ombudsman. Find out if the Hospital has one.
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    Nov 22, 2011 1:50 PM GMT
    While this is only an internet forum, here's my take. Its doubtful you will have to pay. Assuming your DM was not just diagnosed and was under control before all this happened, all the admitting doc would have had to do is order any meds you take( oral / Injection) and it would be a part of your stay and covered under WC. Its quite common for people with DM to have problems with glucose regulation when they are sick due to the stress and many of the meds we give skrew with it as well. I would suggest you talk to blue cross and let them know and they will fight with WC and prob WC will just pay. If worse comes to worse; and you don't feel like hiring a lawyer, pay em 1 buck a month. Its not that the Doc cant take WC its that he does not want to cause it involves a lot of paperwork, and frankly sounds like he/she is just trying to strong-arm you outa cash( which will be more then he will get if WC pays the bill).
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    Nov 22, 2011 1:59 PM GMT
    rnch said
    TheChrisGuy saidwell, he did save your life... service rendered!



    NO, this "Diabetes Doctor" did NOT save my life! other than to hand me a cheap diabetes testing meter, he did NOTHING for me! no additional meds, no change in what i was taking before the injury for my diabetes.


    Well that sucks... I have no advice, but man what a douche.
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    Nov 22, 2011 2:41 PM GMT
    Have you submitted your bills to Workmans Comp yourself?

    I had an employee who was on workmans comp and had to go to the hospital for pretty much the same thing as you. He had some bills that were not paid as one of the doctors who treated him did not bill workmans comp. I collected all the bills not paid and sent them in for him and they paid them all in full. I was told by the workmans comp people that anything that was billed by a doctor while on workmans comp should be paid by them as long as it has to do with the injury that was suffered. In your case it was as you were there for something that was initially caused by a work related injury and all of your other bills were covered by them.

    I would consult someone who is well versed at this a soon as possible before it hurts your credit though. I went through a social worker at the hospital who told me to consult with W/C and submit the bills.
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    Nov 22, 2011 3:37 PM GMT
    Here's another problem with health insurance. For treatments where you are awake (maybe not in your case but for others), you should be told what EVERY procedure, pill, etc. costs AND have the decision to refuse it. This may not be practical in some cases, but for outpatient services people need to be told. They do it for car repairs.
  • JP85257

    Posts: 3284

    Nov 22, 2011 3:56 PM GMT
    You are not liable for this if he was brough in without your concent. He made the choice to not accept payment from WC thus he performed this service on his own free will HOPING that you will pay this yourself.

    I suggest you tell the office that this is a WC claim and WC will pay for it otherwise he wont see a red-fucking-cent from you. I also suggest you turn the bill in to you WC adjuster and explain the situation to them. They are supposed to fight on your behalf.

    (I am a WC expert FYI)

    The DR was brought in when in all likelyhood your own Doc should have been.

  • mybud

    Posts: 11829

    Nov 22, 2011 3:57 PM GMT
    rnch said
    TheChrisGuy saidwell, he did save your life... service rendered!



    NO, this "Diabetes Doctor" did NOT save my life! other than to hand me a cheap diabetes testing meter, he did NOTHING for me! no additional meds, no change in what i was taking before the injury for my diabetes.
    Send back the meter... In writing....tell him you don't have the means to pay...Kick back...See what happens...
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    Nov 22, 2011 4:00 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidI dunno. You may need to get a consultation from a medical malpractice attorney in Louisiana.

    When "C" was in critical care for 12 days 2 years ago, almost losing his leg to gangrene, there were about 7 doctors who appeared at his bedside over the course of his treatment, most of whom we didn't know. That seems to be the routine in US hospitals.

    The total cost approached $400,000 for those 2 weeks, the pharmacy bill alone totaling near $88,000. Thank gawd I could cover it, not all that much with his health insurance.

    I think you need to get a legal reading in Louisiana, as to whether this diabetes specialist was permitted to see you, and why your workman's comp won't cover it. Sounds fishy to me.



    I dont understand how drastic your move is. In his scenario, there was no harm done and no negligence involved. Just pay the damn bill!!! This is a complete example as to how litigious the American culture is. What if I'll take off my white coat.....try to fit it on you?
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    Nov 22, 2011 4:10 PM GMT
    ER_RNMD said
    I dont understand how drastic your move is. In his scenario, there was no harm done and no negligence involved. Just pay the damn bill!!! This is a complete example as to how litigious the American culture is. What if I'll take off my white coat.....try to fit it on you?


    I hate clients who nitpick my bills, too, but let's take the OP's facts and analogize. You hire a contractor to remodel your kitchen for $20,000. He decides that you need to replace all of your ceiling insulation - something that you just had done a couple of years ago - brings in an insulation contractor without your consent, who takes a look and decides it's fine, and sends you a bill for an additional $10,000 for providing his expertise. Or maybe the better analogy to here is, he takes a look, decides it's not fine, and gives you a leaflet telling you how to fix it yourself.

    Would you pay it? Of course not.

    The comparison may be a bit facile, as critical medical care involves different considerations, but you can't use that as an excuse to be a rip-off artist. A medical practice is a business, and needs to be treated as such. "Just pay the damn bill" isn't always the right response.
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    Nov 22, 2011 4:30 PM GMT
    I dont know US law.. what are the "Last Rites"?
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    Nov 22, 2011 4:43 PM GMT
    GreenHopper saidI dont know US law.. what are the "Last Rites"?



    The "Last Rites" is ain't a law in the United States. It is a service rendered by a pastor of whatever religious denomination you are in. For us Catholics, this is what we call the "Anointing of the Sick"

    .....The special grace of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has as its effects:

    1. the uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his own good and that of the whole Church
    2. the strengthening, peace, and courage to endure, in a Christian manner, the sufferings of illness or old age
    3. the forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the sacrament of penance
    4. the restoration of health, if it is conducive to the salvation of his soul
    5. the preparation for passing over to eternal life. (SOUCE: Wikipedia)
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    Nov 22, 2011 4:46 PM GMT
    showme said
    ER_RNMD said
    I dont understand how drastic your move is. In his scenario, there was no harm done and no negligence involved. Just pay the damn bill!!! This is a complete example as to how litigious the American culture is. What if I'll take off my white coat.....try to fit it on you?


    I hate clients who nitpick my bills, too, but let's take the OP's facts and analogize. You hire a contractor to remodel your kitchen for $20,000. He decides that you need to replace all of your ceiling insulation - something that you just had done a couple of years ago - brings in an insulation contractor without your consent, who takes a look and decides it's fine, and sends you a bill for an additional $10,000 for providing his expertise. Or maybe the better analogy to here is, he takes a look, decides it's not fine, and gives you a leaflet telling you how to fix it yourself.

    Would you pay it? Of course not.

    The comparison may be a bit facile, as critical medical care involves different considerations, but you can't use that as an excuse to be a rip-off artist. A medical practice is a business, and needs to be treated as such. "Just pay the damn bill" isn't always the right response.





    There are no fine prints in the consent for treatment. A clause in that consent includes a statement which says....."treatment includes the services by physician(s) in my team".

    Yours truly,

    YOUR DOCTOR

    PS: pay the damn bill if services were rendered
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    Nov 22, 2011 4:58 PM GMT
    GreenHopper saidI dont know US law.. what are the "Last Rites"?
    It's a religious ceremony, not US law. In a nutshell, the doctors thought that mch was not going to make it. Luckily he pulled through though.
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    Nov 22, 2011 5:01 PM GMT
    ER_RNMD said
    showme said
    ER_RNMD said
    I dont understand how drastic your move is. In his scenario, there was no harm done and no negligence involved. Just pay the damn bill!!! This is a complete example as to how litigious the American culture is. What if I'll take off my white coat.....try to fit it on you?


    I hate clients who nitpick my bills, too, but let's take the OP's facts and analogize. You hire a contractor to remodel your kitchen for $20,000. He decides that you need to replace all of your ceiling insulation - something that you just had done a couple of years ago - brings in an insulation contractor without your consent, who takes a look and decides it's fine, and sends you a bill for an additional $10,000 for providing his expertise. Or maybe the better analogy to here is, he takes a look, decides it's not fine, and gives you a leaflet telling you how to fix it yourself.

    Would you pay it? Of course not.

    The comparison may be a bit facile, as critical medical care involves different considerations, but you can't use that as an excuse to be a rip-off artist. A medical practice is a business, and needs to be treated as such. "Just pay the damn bill" isn't always the right response.





    There are no fine prints in the consent for treatment. A clause in that consent includes a statement which says....."treatment includes the services by physician(s) in my team".

    Yours truly,

    YOUR DOCTOR

    PS: pay the damn bill if services were rendered


    That's really the question, isn't it - whether services were rendered and if they were, whether they were of any significant value to the patient.

    As an intelligent, educated person, if you took the tack with me that I could not ever question your judgment - and in particular, that I had to pay whatever was charged for whatever you threw at me, whether I really needed it or not - you wouldn't be my doctor much longer. I'd fire you before you could fire me.


  • training_guy

    Posts: 270

    Nov 22, 2011 5:22 PM GMT
    Here every hospital has a PALS - Patient Advice Liaison Service. Which is free. Maybe you could ask there advice?
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    Nov 22, 2011 5:25 PM GMT
    showme said
    ER_RNMD said
    showme said
    ER_RNMD said
    I dont understand how drastic your move is. In his scenario, there was no harm done and no negligence involved. Just pay the damn bill!!! This is a complete example as to how litigious the American culture is. What if I'll take off my white coat.....try to fit it on you?


    I hate clients who nitpick my bills, too, but let's take the OP's facts and analogize. You hire a contractor to remodel your kitchen for $20,000. He decides that you need to replace all of your ceiling insulation - something that you just had done a couple of years ago - brings in an insulation contractor without your consent, who takes a look and decides it's fine, and sends you a bill for an additional $10,000 for providing his expertise. Or maybe the better analogy to here is, he takes a look, decides it's not fine, and gives you a leaflet telling you how to fix it yourself.

    Would you pay it? Of course not.

    The comparison may be a bit facile, as critical medical care involves different considerations, but you can't use that as an excuse to be a rip-off artist. A medical practice is a business, and needs to be treated as such. "Just pay the damn bill" isn't always the right response.





    There are no fine prints in the consent for treatment. A clause in that consent includes a statement which says....."treatment includes the services by physician(s) in my team".

    Yours truly,

    YOUR DOCTOR

    PS: pay the damn bill if services were rendered


    That's really the question, isn't it - whether services were rendered and if they were, whether they were of any significant value to the patient.

    As an intelligent, educated person, if you took the tack with me that I could not ever question your judgment - and in particular, that I had to pay whatever was charged for whatever you threw at me, whether I really needed it or not - you wouldn't be my doctor much longer. I'd fire you before you could fire me.





    We were trained as General Practitioners in medical school. Any doctor could treat an MRSA infection more so Diabetes Mellitus just like the OP's case. Since the medical practice is so specialized, a surgeon for example is compelled to seek consult from other medical specialist because better care could be rendered by these professionals. The bottom line is, the lead of his medical care viewed him as a whole being.....a human being whose wholeness is the sum of its parts. The surgeon treated his bad knee. An infection/complication occurred after the procedure that needed the intervention of an Infectious Disease doctor. He has underlying Diabetes, though it is stable as he described it yet his blood sugar needs to be monitored.

    If you were my patient and would come to my practice with this kind of attitude....sorry you got into the wrong door. There is a quack next to me....he can give you a discounted rate.
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    Nov 22, 2011 5:36 PM GMT
    ER_RNMD said

    We were trained as General Practitioners in medical school. Any doctor could treat an MRSA infection more so Diabetes Mellitus just like the OP's case. Since the medical practice is so specialized, a surgeon for example is compelled to seek consult from other medical specialist because better care could be rendered by these professionals. The bottom line is, the lead of his medical care viewed him as a whole being.....a human being whose wholeness is the sum of its parts. The surgeon treated his bad knee. An infection/complication occurred after the procedure that needed the intervention of an Infectious Disease doctor. He has underlying Diabetes, though it is stable as he described it yet his blood sugar needs to be monitored.

    If you were my patient and would come to my practice with this kind of attitude....sorry you got into the wrong door. There is a quack next to me....he can give you a discounted rate.


    I don't want a discounted rate. I often pay cash for care and practitioners that are not covered my insurance. But I want a partner in medical care who treats me as a person, listens to my concerns and doesn't dismiss them with "pay the damn bill."

    As a fellow professional, I know that smacking a client with a large, unexpected bill is NEVER a good idea. And it is even a worse idea to refuse to talk about it. Your insurance carrier will tell you, that is the kind of behavior that leads to claims.
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    Nov 22, 2011 5:43 PM GMT
    ER_RNMD said
    showme said
    ER_RNMD said
    showme said
    ER_RNMD said
    I dont understand how drastic your move is. In his scenario, there was no harm done and no negligence involved. Just pay the damn bill!!! This is a complete example as to how litigious the American culture is. What if I'll take off my white coat.....try to fit it on you?


    I hate clients who nitpick my bills, too, but let's take the OP's facts and analogize. You hire a contractor to remodel your kitchen for $20,000. He decides that you need to replace all of your ceiling insulation - something that you just had done a couple of years ago - brings in an insulation contractor without your consent, who takes a look and decides it's fine, and sends you a bill for an additional $10,000 for providing his expertise. Or maybe the better analogy to here is, he takes a look, decides it's not fine, and gives you a leaflet telling you how to fix it yourself.

    Would you pay it? Of course not.

    The comparison may be a bit facile, as critical medical care involves different considerations, but you can't use that as an excuse to be a rip-off artist. A medical practice is a business, and needs to be treated as such. "Just pay the damn bill" isn't always the right response.





    There are no fine prints in the consent for treatment. A clause in that consent includes a statement which says....."treatment includes the services by physician(s) in my team".

    Yours truly,

    YOUR DOCTOR

    PS: pay the damn bill if services were rendered


    That's really the question, isn't it - whether services were rendered and if they were, whether they were of any significant value to the patient.

    As an intelligent, educated person, if you took the tack with me that I could not ever question your judgment - and in particular, that I had to pay whatever was charged for whatever you threw at me, whether I really needed it or not - you wouldn't be my doctor much longer. I'd fire you before you could fire me.





    We were trained as General Practitioners in medical school. Any doctor could treat an MRSA infection more so Diabetes Mellitus just like the OP's case. Since the medical practice is so specialized, a surgeon for example is compelled to seek consult from other medical specialist because better care could be rendered by these professionals. The bottom line is, the lead of his medical care viewed him as a whole being.....a human being whose wholeness is the sum of its parts. The surgeon treated his bad knee. An infection/complication occurred after the procedure that needed the intervention of an Infectious Disease doctor. He has underlying Diabetes, though it is stable as he described it yet his blood sugar needs to be monitored.

    If you were my patient and would come to my practice with this kind of attitude....sorry you got into the wrong door. There is a quack next to me....he can give you a discounted rate.


    I have a feeling you arent going to be around very long as a doctor. In any client service, whether that be medical, financial, and so forth, you need to treat people as individuals. If all you care about is "paying the damn bill" you will never elevate yourself to a higher level. Then again, its not like doctors ever learn people skills in life. Le sigh,