While I was Wandering I was on the Phone

Well, some kick-starts get delayed. I thought I was back on track, but I’ve been on the phone since my last post.

Of course, I haven’t been on the phone all the time, it just feels like I have!

Like a lot of people, our health insurance changed on January 1. Now, this was a subtle change — the card for 2019 looks like the 2018 card. It has the same logo, but the network changed. You will notice this when you read the very very small print on the back of card.

Each time we visit a doctor we get asked if we moved or changed insurance. We dutifully report the new insurance. The cards are scanned, we fill out approximately 4275 pieces of paper noting the change, and bills are sent.

Then the bills come to us. Denied, Denied, Denied.

I call the billing company. After being told it is my fault the bill is denied and that I should read my Explanation of Benefits documentation before calling I explain I did not receive any Explanation of Benefits documentation. At that I get told to call the insurance company since the problem surely is not on the billing end, but on my, the patient’s end.

I call the insurance company. They look through my account and see the denials. They explain it is not my fault, but the fault lies on the billing end. They billed the old network.

I wonder “How did they bill the old network? I filled out 4275 pieces of paper on my visit with the new network and they scanned my card.” The insurance representative tells me this happens every January.

I call the billing company back. I admit I was a little gleeful in telling them it was their fault and that they should read my insurance information before being jerks to me and bill the correct company for a change.

The bill is now pending with the correct insurance company.

I hate dealing with medical offices. We’ve had appointments cancelled with no notification, Doctors change with little or no notification, and billing issues. They always come from the angle that whatever happened was the patient’s fault. It is not always our fault. We didn’t cancel the appointment and not call us. We didn’t ask to have five doctors in one office in four years. We didn’t change insurance and not tell you. We did everything right — except make an appointment with your office it seems.

Maybe if the medical offices came from a more customer-friendly approach we wouldn’t be angry when we walked in and had to tell them AGAIN we have new insurance. We wouldn’t have to call three times to get a refill or referral. Where is customer service in the medical field? Patients are not the enemy. We did not create an overly complicated insurance system. In fact, we have learned to navigate it better than medical offices have because we have to sort out the messes they make when they are lazy and don’t read the back of our insurance card and make assumptions that since the logo is the same the insurance is the same.

One day I’ll go to a medical office cool, calm, and collected. The visit will run smoothly. They will have my appointment on the books. The Doctor will still work at that practice between when I made the appointment and when I show up. They will bill the proper insurance company. I will get a bill for the proper co-pay.

Until that day I’ll be on the phone.

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