Working Moms

mickstinator
Hospital Bills Make Me Want to Pull My Hair Out
February 14, 2013 at 12:52 PM

My 5 year old son broke his leg last month while at home with his dad. We immediately took him to his pediatrician, who then referred us to the radiology lab at the hospital for x-rays. 

The radiology lab took the x-rays and then (without asking) transferred him to the ER while we waited to find out if his growth plate was also fractured. A fractured growth plate would have required surgery. Thankfully, he only had a fractured tibia and the growth plate was left undamaged. After 4 hours, we went on our way home with a splint and a referral to an orthopedic doctor for a cast. 

At our appointment with the orthopedic doctor, we found out that the angle of the fractured bone was too off to grow back correctly, so we scheduled an outpatient procedure at a children's hospital to re-align the bone before casting it. 

As you can imagine, all of these visits are adding up. My biggest problem, however, is with the ER transfer on the night of the fracture. 

I got the bill from the hospital. Pre-insurance for radiology was $1200. Pre-insurance for the ER was $1000. After insurance, they are asking for $1100. I am pretty upset about that. There was absolutely no reason for us to even be transferred to the ER. The only thing they did was give him a tylenol elixir and put a splint on his leg once we found out the growth plate wasn't fractured. The ER doctors that consulted us told us they were not experienced to know how to handle it, so they didn't do anything. We basically used it as a waiting room while radiology figured out the state of his leg. 

Here's my question. Can I call the hospital and contest the ER charge? Do I even have ground to stand on? The bill doesn't even list itemize anything. It just says "emergency room services."

Also, I pulled up the info online through my insurance company and the amount they say we will owe is a lot less - $500. I got the bill from the hospital, so I'm uncomfortable just ignoring it. What do I do?!


Replies

  • rissarin
    February 14, 2013 at 12:58 PM
    If you're uncomfortable I would say call. It never hurts to check things out. Especially with medical charges! Most places will find a way to charge you an arm and a leg for minimum work. Sometimes arguing charges can work. ;)
  • deccaf
    by deccaf
    February 14, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Call the hospital and ask for an itemized bill.  It can't hurt to contest.  You can't know if you don't try. 

  • LyTe684
    by LyTe684
    February 14, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    The hospital needs to send you an EOB.

  • adamsmom0116
    February 14, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    I would print out the insurance info that you looked up online, and then call the hospital to ask why there is such a difference.

    Good luck - medical bills are terribly confusing, even when they are correct!

  • leahbeah143
    February 14, 2013 at 2:02 PM

     call them! they are more likely to work with you as long as you keep in contact with them.

  • iansmommy9
    February 14, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    You're probably going to get tagged with at least the ER bed fee. Call your insurance company and talk to them about the claim. I've had a facility not follow the per-negotiated insurance contract price. Aetna was awesome about calling billing for me and getting things right. 

    Also sometimes hospitals bill before all claims have been paid. Insurance can walk you through this too.

  • cjsmom1
    by cjsmom1
    February 14, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    I would call the hospital and ask them why the bill is so much higher then what the insurance company is saying.

  • allyn9
    by allyn9
    February 16, 2013 at 1:08 AM

    Definitey call the hospital and explain it just the way you did here.  

  • Loveplusmama
    February 16, 2013 at 9:24 AM
    I agree with this...it sounds like the hospital may not have credited you for all of the insurance payments. Get all your paperwork for insurance, date claims were paid and call the hospital billing. Start with your insurance company tho bc they may do it for you or at least help you with language. I wouldn't pay until I saw an itemized bill and insurance credits for both radiology and the ER expense.


    Quoting iansmommy9:

    You're probably going to get tagged with at least the ER bed fee. Call your insurance company and talk to them about the claim. I've had a facility not follow the per-negotiated insurance contract price. Aetna was awesome about calling billing for me and getting things right. 

    Also sometimes hospitals bill before all claims have been paid. Insurance can walk you through this too.


  • aimesnyc
    February 16, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Call the insurance company.  Anytime I get a hospital bill, I call the insurance company and more often than not, I am not actually reponsible for the hospital bill.  The insurance company will let you know what you will actually owe and what needs to be done to notify the hospital.


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