Just like this ...
Arizona man billed for surgery he never had after name, birthdate mix-up
Written by Kelly Gooch | September 06, 2018 | Print | Email
An Arizona man was billed thousands of dollars for gallbladder surgery he never had because his name and birthdate matched another patient's, according to a KTVK/KPHO-TV report.
Jose Angel Perez began receiving late notices from Tucson, Ariz.-based Banner Health South Hospital earlier this year, the report states. The late notices were for gallbladder surgery he never had, and he continued to get medical bills, totaling about $3,000.
Mr. Perez told KTVK/KPHO-TV that his insurance already has paid part of the medical bills, so media contacted the hospital to investigate.
Mr. Perez discovered that another Jose Perez with the same birthdate should have received the bills, and the issue was resolved.
Banner Health South Hospital told KTVK/KPHO-TV: "Upon learning about the inaccurate bills received by Mr. Perez, we launched an investigation into the issue. The error that caused the issue has been resolved, and we have recalled the inaccurate bills sent to Mr. Perez. Mr. Perez currently is in good standing with Banner Health, with no collections or financial notations in his patient record. We regret the confusion this may have caused."
Just don't win the battle but lose the war. Gotta be careful about revealing pre-existing conditions. Could affect health insurance and life insurance in the future.
If the healthcare organization is not responsive or unwilling to work with me on the bill, the media is one outlet I'd consider reaching out to. Any business should expect what they say to their customers to end up in the news or on TV. With the laws in the US so skewed towards powerful interests, public shame in the media is one of the only options an average person has to fight with.
Would definitely not be my first choice, but as a last resort it's better than bankruptcy. So far I've been able to challenge and remove billing items that are clearly inappropriate, but what do you do if the billing folks refuse to clean up errors?
Already have used that approach and leveraged it effectively . Know you facts, prepare your facts, and share them with others so that all can benefit. When my wife had a hip replacement, w/o complications , and the net charges were 2x of the local competition, 2.5X what the facility accepts for a Medicare patient , put the the pen and paper ( keyboard and email ) to the task. Bottom line- fees reduced , perhaps humbled the facility, for a moment.
The lack of transparency is appalling in healthcare, where competitive choice is removed and one only knows how damaging the bill will be after the fact.