Sometimes resolving a negative situation depends upon finding the right person to talk to. That was my experience at our local hospital, recently. A friend of mine, who I assist with financial affairs, had an endoscopy procedure at the hospital last September. A month later, a bill arrived which indicated that Medicare had not paid […]

Sometimes resolving a negative situation depends upon finding the right person to talk to. That was my experience at our local hospital, recently.
A friend of mine, who I assist with financial affairs, had an endoscopy procedure at the hospital last September. A month later, a bill arrived which indicated that Medicare had not paid anything. Incidentally, the original bill had everything but the endoscopy procedure listed on it.
The bill decreased slightly with the next statement, about a hundred dollars, and the statement also showed that Medicare had paid. This time the actual endoscopy procedure had been added onto the billing statement.
For several months, the bill remained unchanged, even after multiple phone calls (and a visit or two) to the hospital's billing department. To me, it appeared that Medicare was denying the endoscopy portion of the bill, which had been added later.
In January, the hospital's billing department calculated what my friend's portion would be, after Medicare pays, and this amount was paid. At the end of January, however, came yet another bill, with the only change being in the amount paid on the account in January.
I let the hospital billing and the endoscopy departments know that we would be taking our business elsewhere if this billing issue wasn't resolved.
Not long after that, I had a telephone message on my home answering machine from Luke Kumberg, who oversees patient accounts at the hospital. I returned the call, and we met at his office last Friday afternoon.
Luke apologized profusely, stating that he had looked at my friend's account and that what was happening was rather 'bizarre.' He told me that this billing issue should have never happened. He said that it may take a little while to clear everything up but that my friend would not owe anything. He said if Medicare won't pay the remaining balance due it will be written off. He promised to send me a billing statement showing that no balance due.
Should you ever have a billing issue with the hospital that seems to be going nowhere, I would highly recommend calling Luke about this. The world needs more Lukes, people who can assess a situation and determine if something has gone awry, and, when it has, fix the problem.