Thursday, February 12, 2009

Why a doctor's bill makes me happy.

Doctor's bill. Happy. One of these things is not like the other.

Let me give some background. Early December, my baby came down with what I knew was an ear infection. Unfortunately, doctors just aren't keen on mom's self-diagnosing their kids and insist on a visit in order to get those beloved antibiotics.

My baby seems to have extremely waxy ears. Gross, I know, but he just does. The doctors always have to take that little doohicky thing and get a little wax out. This time was no different. A 2 second "procedure" and the doc had swiped the outside of his ear and could see clearly into the canal. I assumed it was all part of the visit. (We all know what assuming makes us, right?)

A month later I received a notice from my insurance provider saying I would be billed for my baby's minor surgery.

Excuse me? I don't remember this minor surgery taking place. Usually mothers remember this sort of thing. I put it aside, waiting for the doctor's bill, thinking wires were somehow crossed and it would hopefully be taken care of. A few days later, I received a bill from my doctor's office saying we owed $84 because our insurance only covered $12 of procedure XYZ.

Again, excuse me?

I spent hours on the phone with the insurance and doctor's office. I eventually asked to speak with the doctor himself. I realized he wasn't aware, couldn't possibly be aware that when that code for wax removal is put in, that they charge the patient $112. I filled him in, respectfully of course. After all, he was a very nice man. He said he'd talk to the office.

And that was that.

I assumed (again, with the assuming!) I had been brushed off, that more action on my part would be needed, and my anger rose to mighty high levels.

Yesterday, I received this pretty piece of blue paper, also known as a bill. I realize the minuscule print is probably impossible to read, so I'll clarify it for us all.

It says there's been an insurance adjustment. It says I only owe my copay. My copay! The doctor actually took care of what he said he would take care of! What the billing and coding departments said was impossible!

This is why a doctor's bill makes me happy. Oh, so very, very happy!


Emily said...

See, it NEVER hurts to ask. NEver. Good job for doing what many of us wimp out and DON'T do...

Michelle said...

($112 for wax removal :-O good grief!)
That is wonderful that your doctor took care of it - what a relief!