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Borrego Springs, CA

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I’m a little ticked off tonight

I try not to get too upset by life’s little bumps in the road.  I’ve had a lot less stress in my life since I retired a little over seven years ago, and that’s the way I like to keep it.  However, once in a while something comes along that just gets me riled up.  A phone call I received late this afternoon was one of those times.  (Since it was a rainy dull day today, tonight’s photos are from my archives.)

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                                                         Crystal Crane Hot Springs, Oregon

It was another call from a collection agency in Texas.  Almost two years ago, (November of 2011 to be exact) while I was volunteering at Anahuac NWR, my back went out, and I ended up going to the emergency room in Chambers County to get some relief.  I was given a couple of shots by a nurse practitioner and a prescription, and then sent on my way.  That was before I was on Medicare, and the bills were sent to my medical insurance policy with Rochester, MN, Public Schools. 

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                                             Prescribed burn on Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR.

As those of you that live on the road know, it takes some time for medical bills to catch up with you.  Let me say that I always pay my bills as soon as I receive them, and I thought that I had done so.  Well, jump ahead to February of 2013, and I received a call from said collection agency stating that I have not paid my bill with Chambers County Medical Services.  Okay, so I asked what I owed.  The amount was $389.25.  I immediately wrote a check and sent it in.  I also verified that this was the total owed to pay the account in full.  I also stated that I had not received any bills in the mail previous to this saying I owed any money.  I heaved a sigh of relief that I was finally done with this after 14 months.

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                                          Short-eared owl hunting on Red Rock Lakes NWR, Idaho.

Then I received the call this afternoon that I owed an additional $140 some dollars to Chambers County Medical Service, and when was I going to pay it?  WTH?  I went round and round with this women for fifteen minutes about my verifying in February that I had paid the bill in total at that time.  I must have told her at least ten times that I would not pay another cent until I had a hard copy of all charges and payments sent to me before she finally said she would send them. 

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                                                     Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah.

I’m not sure if this is some kind of scam or what.  I’ll be making a trip to Rochester at the end of the month for my checkup at Mayo, so I’ll be sure to stop in at the Rochester Public Schools insurance office to verify their records on this claim.  Between taking a couple of deep breaths and ranting here, my stress level is coming down once again.  Thanks for listening.

Perhaps, I’m just dealing with a bunch of turkeys over the phone…

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                                                                              THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

36 comments:

  1. That would be so frustrating. And dealing with collection agencies is worse than dealing with the IRS. They are the worst of the worst. I'm glad you're going to check with your insurance company and that you demanded a complete break down of the bill.

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  2. Looks more like turkey asses to me. ;)

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  3. I have read that when dealing with collection agencies, you should require a written (or e-mailed) statement saying what the total amount due is, and that the amount will be total and final payment for the debt owed. That might help with additional requests.

    Good luck!!

    Mark

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  4. I think you did the right thing, I wouldn't pay another cent until I had the charges and payments, from you and your insurance company, in writing. You DO have a mailing address, so if there had been charges, wouldn't they have been mailed there after the insurance company paid it's part of the bill.

    One other thing, if I received a call from a collection company, the first thing I would do is pull a credit report to make sure they didn't report the collection. That could affect things in the future for you, even insurance costs. If they DID report it, I'd fight them to the finish and insist they have it removed before I sue them.

    I hope this turns out to be in your favor, and you never hear from them again.

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  5. Had a similar incident with that internet company which starts with a "V" a few years ago. Told the collection folks to send a bill proving what I owed. Never heard from 'em again. Hope that's what happens for you.

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  6. Our experience has been that we do not pay any medical bills until we receive a full statement and a report from our insurance that they have processed the claim. We have found huge inefficiencies to down right fraud in the billing process. In one case our daughter had, the insurance paid in full for a hearing test. Over a year later a person claiming to represent the company claimed the bill was never paid. She is also a school teacher and after calling her insurance determined that it had been paid in full a year before. It turned out that the harassing phone calls were from a fired employee who apparently took some files with her when she left. We never did hear if anything happened to this crook or not.

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  7. we had the smae problem when Sharon broke her wrist in Portland Oregon, thought we paid the bill - got the call, verified it, paid the bill and we haven't heard back form then since... yet!

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  8. I agree with Barbara ... I didn't know I had a charge until we bought this house 3 years ago. Six years ago!!! I had ordered AT&T internet at an apartment I was renting at the lake... they could NOT install it.

    I received a bill... wth... it took me two or three weeks talking to every known human being form the telephone company to AT&T to the POTUS and I was going to the SCOTUS ... said everything was fine not to worry... ok

    Got a collection letter ... oh so on and so forth LIVID ... $49.30 ... no ever installtion nothing zip zero nada... dammit I'm riled up just thinking about it no... WENT TO MY CREDIT REPORT... I have stellar credit ~ I... nevermind.

    check your credit report and start the junk you have to do to get that off... insanity!

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  9. I think it is a definite scam, Judy. Just ask them to send you the actual billing information and they'll make up some excuse as to why they can't. We had the exact same situation about 4 years ago when Paulette had to go to the ER in Palm Springs. The bill was paid by our medical insurance but about a year later the phone calls started. After a few calls, I just started calling them idiots, jerks and scammers then hung up on them. They would not agree to send a bill. It kept up for a while but we haven't heard from them in over 2 years now.

    Tell them to send a bill and hang up! Call 'em a few choice names first!

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  10. Be careful. I had a similar incident with a medical bill. Didnt know a thing about owing anyone anything until I got a call from a 'collector'. told him I wanted an itemized statement of owed and paid, and a letter from his company with it. Never heard another word. as far as I'm concerned it was a scam.
    there are so many scam artists out there trying to steal from those of us that have worked hard
    for what we have.

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  11. I'm not sure what is going on but gosh...wouldn't this be the ideal set up for a scammer? Never thought about it before but ...I wouldn't pay another cent until I got to the bottom of it.

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  12. I don't blame you for ranting. Hope you get it all straightened out. If you don't follow Gypsy and Mariner, here's a link to their post tonight. The last picture is definitely for you!! http://shadonrv.blogspot.com/2013/08/last-day-in-door-county.html

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  13. Did your insurance not send you an EOB(explanation of benefits)? We have never had to pay anything over what the "EOB STATED" we might owe to a provider. Be sure to follow up with your insurer.

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  14. Dealing with claims and medical billers can be so frustrating. They always seem to have the upper hand in the situation. Rant away if it helps relieves your anger. Everyone understands.

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  15. This must be the new norm, no bills just bill collectors. I got one for $3.68. not to long ago REALLY! I cost more to higher this pests than what I owed and I still never quite understood what it was for.

    Ranting does help, so go for it.

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  16. A bit of ranting on your blog is good stress relief. It also reminds us that life is not perfect, even on a Wildlife Refuge.

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  17. Amen Merikay! Its just awful that issues like that have to zap our energy! I think you handled the call very well...quick on your feet as my mom would have said!

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  18. We had a similar thing just happen to us. Paul had back surgery in 2010. We paid our share...$4000.00. In 2012 the hospital starting bugging us that we owed an additional $11,000.00. Then we started getting harassing phone calls from the collection agency and terrible letters. I called the insurance company every month asking what they were going to do about it. Finally, this past April I got an agent at the insurance company that knew what she was doing. It turns out that the insurance company wrote off $11,000+ too much. Just last month the insurance company sent the hospital the correct amount.

    I hope you get this all straighten out, and the bill has already been paid in full.

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  19. That is really frustrating and I agree that it sounds like a scam.

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  20. Isn't it great to vent and get it all out?? My stress level has steadily been rising the past 2 years and my BP shows it..I got spanked at the cardio doc and have to have a stress echo on the 24th..don't let stress do that to you!!! But..How the Heck do you STOP it from getting to you????

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  21. I heard recently that 85% of medical bills have an error on them.

    Following Len's hospitalization earlier this year we got a bill from the lab for blood work on a day he was not there. He had been there the day before and paid the bill at time of service. He saw the doctor later that week for the results. It made no sense that he would have gone for blood work between having it done once and seeing the doctor. They insisted he was there. They kept calling insisting he was there. We asked for a copy of the papers he would have signed. No further response. YET!

    Reading the above comments, you and I join a long list of people who have had to argue our cases sometimes to deaf ears. Frustrating indeed!

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  22. Hope you get it all straightened out. Frustrating for sure. Ask for a bill and a letter of explanation as to why you owe what you do. Recently our insurance company changed their explanation of benefits..it practically takes a lawyer to figure it all out..or an accountant. :(

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  23. About a year after one survey I received a bill from a Doctor whose name I didn't recognize. Very official looking bill for over a thousand dollars--services not covered by insurance. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was for except that it told me it was for some sort of tests. I ignored it. Not too lng after, I got another bill with a self addressed postage paid envelope to a PO Box (for my convenience). This time it had all kinds of warnings and threats as to what would happen if I didn't pay it, and how I could avoid additional late charges if I paid. I called them. I don't remember…it's been too many years, but I think I had to find the phone number on the internet. I asked the woman who answered the phone who the doctor was, where he practiced, and what hospital he was affiliated with. I told her I wouldn't pay the bill because I thought it was a scam, then braced myself for an argument. She said, "Okay".

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  24. We have online access to our insurance company (BCBS) and I always check the EOB's online before paying an additional bill from the doctor. It's much more reliable than waiting for the printed copies to find us somewhere. I agree. There is nothing so frustrating!

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  25. A good rant when the occasion calls for it is good for your health. Made me glad to see yours.

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  26. Honest to God these kind of callers have a script and no matter what you say they come back to there same point until you do what they say. I just hang up after the third try...:)

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  27. Been there, done that, unfortunately. I wouldn't pay another cent, much less a dollar, till I had a copy of Chambers County Medical Services billing. Phooey on the collection agency....

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  28. ALWAYS good to vent to your peeps... :-) Great advice from everyone...We're annoyed and angry that they are bugging you! Hope it all works out to YOUR benefit!

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  29. I agree with everyone else ... sounds like a scam to me. Wait and see if you get a bill before you pay anything further.

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  30. I wouldn't pay any more until I thoroughly check the invoices against what you've already paid. Don't let them victimize you.

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  31. Enough said by the others. Don't have a stroke over this, glad you vented and now sit back and relax, maybe polish your wheels to get your mind off it... :c)

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  32. You've got to have a way to vent your frustrations for sure. That's what we blogging friends are for. Certainly sounds fishy to me. You've done the correct things in my book....including the ranting----it takes the edge off of the frustration.

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  33. I can certainly see why you are upset. These medical facilities can really screw up the bills. I don't know how they get so many errors with using the same system but they do. I would fight tooth and nail not to pay either. We had a similar incident with my mom and we paid her bill and received notification we owed it multiple times. We finally threw them in the trash and said sue us. That was the end of it. I don't know if they are honestly making mistakes or like you said a scam. Either way you were very wise in handling your way. Good luck.

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  34. Ugh!! I don't blame you for being ticked off!! Hope you are able to get things cleared up quickly!

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  35. This happens all the time. We fought for over a year with a hospital over a bill they sent our 98 year old aunt. It all should have been covered, and they couldn't even tell us what it was for. Not such a big deal for HER, as she's not worried about her credit. Bigger issue for you. The whole thing is just stupid. Hope they settle down and you can get it figured out. I wouldn't pay it either if they can't tell you what it's for.

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  36. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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