Every Day

Never Give Up

I hope you all had a wonderful three day weekend. We sure did.

Today I want to summarize a struggle with an ambulance bill that we did not owe. A year ago when Hubby’s kidneys were failing, the hospital he was in transferred him to a hospital in our area that was better equipped to take care of him. The smaller hospital took care of all of the paperwork and called the ambulance. He was taken to the better hospital.

A couple of months down the road, we got a bill for $2443.32 for the ambulance. Hubby called our insurance company to find out why they didn’t pay it. The company informed him that the ambulance company billed it as a non- emergency. Believe me it was an emergency. The lady he spoke to also told him that he should call the hospital that had him transferred because this bill should have been taken care of by the hospital.

So Hubby called and talked to them and they told him that he needed to call the receiving hospital. So Hubby called the larger hospital and talked to a woman there. She informed him that he never should have gotten a bill from the ambulance company. That they should have billed her hospital directly. She told Hubby that he needed to contact the ambulance company billing department and have them send the bill directly to them and they would take care of it. 

So Hubby called and talked to the ambulance company’s billing department which is outsourced to another country. Just trying to explain to these people left Hubby exasperated. The room they were sitting in had constant telephones ringing and was very noisy. Finally the woman he spoke to said she would take care of seeing that the bill was sent to the hospital.  A few months later, Hubby got another bill. He called the billing company again and they agreed that they messed up and would send the bill to the hospital. 

the meantime, we started to get harassing calls from both the ambulance
company and a collection agency. We did not know that it was these two
places harassing us because we don’t answer our telephone if we don’t
recognize the telephone number. And of course, when they get the
answering machine, they hang up.

starting tracking the telephone numbers that were showing on our called
ID and after researching them figured out that it was the ambulance
company and a collection agency. They were calling all different hours
of the day and evening. It really got very annoying. 

after 244 calls, Hubby started doing some research on the ambulance
company which is a nationwide company. He found a telephone number of
the CEO. He called that number and got an answering machine. He left a
short message and asked the person to call us back.

few hours later a very nice man called us back and told us that he was
no longer the CEO of the company but he gave Hubby the new CEO’s name
and his telephone number. This man didn’t have to call us back but he
did and he helped us. We are grateful that he did.    

Yesterday Hubby called the CEO’s telephone number. Of course he wasn’t available. However his assistant said that she could help him. She told Hubby that even if the CEO was available, he would ask her to take care of it anyhow. 

So Hubby spent a lot of time on the phone with this woman explaining about the bill and all he had done to get it corrected. She listened very patiently to everything on the incorrect billing. He also told her about all of the harassing telephone calls(all 244 of them) that we had been getting from both the ambulance company and the collection agency that we had tracked. He told her he wanted them to stop.

He informed her that we have never had an overdue bill ever and he takes bills that come to him seriously. However he told her that he does not owe this bill so he was not going to pay it. He told her it is not his fault that their billing company is incompetent.
She told him that if he would give her three hours, she would look into all of this and get back to us. Finally Hubby felt like he got to the right person and that the bill would get corrected and sent to the hospital.

She called back in less than 2 hours and informed Hubby that all telephone calls would stop and that we now had a zero balance on the bill.

She told Hubby that one of the numbers that had been harassing us was American Medical Response. She had no idea how they got involved but that they and all of the other numbers had been taken care of. We would no longer get any calls from any of them. She gave Hubby her direct number to call her if we got another call so that he could let her know and she would take care of it. We have not gotten one call from anyone since they hung up yesterday. So it is looking like they have ceased, hopefully. It is the first peace we have had in over a year.

Hubby asked the CEO’s assistant to e-mail us a new bill with a zero balance for our records. She said she would send it as soon as they hung up. She did and we now have it in our records.

Hubby hates to have to go up the ladder at a company to get things corrected. But after exhausting other options, it was the only one left. Thankfully we got the right person.

It isn’t the first time that we have had to fight over medical bills. There seems to be a lot of incompetence in insurance companies and billing departments these days. But we were not going to pay $2443.32 for a bill we didn’t owe no matter how long it took to get it straightened out.

So don’t ever give up and just pay a bill that you know isn’t correct because it gets to be too much of a hassle. Fight for what is right. We have had a few seniors tell us that they get tired of the fight and just pay it. I can understand that attitude. It is very aggravating to get things corrected. However, it’s your money so respect it and don’t pay what you don’t owe.