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Nance Crawford

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P.S. : How Not to Spend the Longest Day of the Year

Posted on August 7, 2013 at 1:40 PM

It’s been crazy. Still in emergency mode. Truly scary stuff. Everybody who hears about it says, “But this is America!” Yup. Geographically. But this is the West. The Wild West, in at least one place to our northeast. Gearing up to let you know. Still talking to lawyers.


Oh, just didn’t want to leave you hanging on the almost-denouement of the Adventure in Trauma Room 1.


Just got two Explanations of Benefits from my insurer, Anthem Blue Cross. I think I am taking back every single unkind thought that has flitted through my head while writing my monthly supplemental insurance check.


The bill submitted by Northridge Hospital totals $52,104.00.


Anthem has told them to go back to the drawing board and submit properly, under Medicare Guidelines. Anthem has told me I am not responsible for any part of the bill.


I should hope not - not even the three $.01 charges for Occupational Therapy (is that what they call going down the hall to the restroom?) or the $957.00 for drugs I don’t recall taking (maybe one of them knocked out the memory).


On the other hand, the Explanation of Benefits for the three instances of Cardiovascular Service totaling $610.00 were paid in full: $162.35. Anthem tells me I have saved $447.65 and owe nothing more.


 I’m still trying to recall three instances of Cardiovascular Service above the (billed separately) two charges for Nuclear Medicine (ten grand plus) and the MRI.


Ah, the glories of contemporary witch-doctory.


No charge for investigating a pinched nerve.




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Reply Nance Crawford
9:16 PM on August 11, 2013 
Hey, Pookie - Medicare is the U.S. Government program; Medicaid in California is the program for folks who have no insurance, at all, so the hospitals get something from the state of California, at least. I will be so glad when this all gets straightened out - and, to my way of thinking, the first thing that must happen is that all medical Insurers must operate as non-profits - Their executives would still earn a good salary, but they wouldn't be able to get away with the outrageous over-billing that makes doctors and hospitals liars, in order to get at least some percentage of what they have to claim they are owed. We've turned honest people into crooks, just because of the idiotic demands of the systems presently in place. Enough lecture. It's dinnertime and the chicken's about to blaze forth from the oven.
Reply Pookie
6:22 PM on August 9, 2013 
Wow, Nance. It sounds like a nightmare. Very scary! I'm so glad the insurance nightmare turned out fine for you.. I think I'm going to try getting on Medicaid, which I understand in CA is called Medical? I have friendson Medicaid and they pay nothing!!
Reply Nance Crawford
8:38 PM on August 7, 2013 
Yep. I'm beginning to think that any hospital visit is okay if you can leave under your own steam!
Reply Wendy
4:47 PM on August 7, 2013 
The bill reminds me of my March visit to the hospital for an out-of-control kidney infection, but I am happy to report, my emergency room experience was way, way better than yours.
Reply Tracey Bacus
2:43 PM on August 7, 2013 
Wow, Nance. It sounds like a nightmare. Very scary!