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Weekly Expenses-ER bill November 20, 2009

Posted by Admin in Blog Math, Diary, Health Insurance, Money.
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The other shoe finally dropped. Remember my visit to the emergency room (ER)  in October?  Yesterday I received three actual envelopes in my mail-two out of the three were health care related. You can tell that the health care business is important to the Postal Service.

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One envelope was the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) for the hospital charges from my 3-4 hour visit to receive IV antibiotics for an infection (cellulitis), treated as if it was MRSA. This was the balance of the charges.

The bill (before the PPO adjustments) was $1282.13. This is in addition to the charge (previously noted) for the physician.  This was for the second visit in one day for a cellulitis (skin infection) that was treated as if it was MRSA. I was in intense pain, which probably was nerve pain from the inflammation.

Part of my bill was .23 for pharmacy services. I do not recall what that was. I may spend more than .23 in someone’s time and query the company as to what that was for.

I think that if the burning, sharp, recurrent pain in my head had been described differently by me, (and interpreted differently by the physician) that I might not have needed to go back to the ER, because it would have been treated correctly on the first visit-7 hours before.

My share of the bill is $149.09 (after the $100 ER co-pay).

Weekly Expenses: $149.09

Weekly Expenses and Musing About Procedures October 24, 2009

Posted by Admin in Blog Math, Diary, Healthonymous, Money.
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Money, Money, Money. This week some of the ER expenses came in from my visit on Oct. 5th (see blog post)-the fee for the examining physician there  was $266).  Plus I was billed for mail order meds-a prescription I take daily. I don’t think I am saving much money. $23.31 for three months for pills picked up in person and now $19.91 for meds in the mail. A savings of about 14%-ok maybe that is some savings! Plus not going to a pharmacy three times is a timesaver.

(One thing I hate about keeping up with these bills is the paperwork):

  • first the papers from the office visit and the receipts for parking etc.
  • the EOB’s or Explanation of Benefits (sometimes it feels like Exclusion of Benefits). These are the gross numbers (pun intended)
  • finally the provider and facility charges giving you the net due.
  • File, burn or shred?

However, this diary is helping me keep track of things in a way that I haven’t before and that is– what could I and the medical establishment have done differently? Should I expect better from them and from myself?

  • Should I have gone to the ER at all?
  • Why did I receive medical advice from 5 different providers in one week for one problem (either staph caused MRSA suspected cellulitis or shingles)
  • How does that affect continuity of care?
  • Will there be translation errors (on my side or theirs) like the old game of Telephone with so many people involved?
  • What if I wasn’t a persistent person and didn’t have a person to fetch my meds and drive me around?
  • What if I didn’t have paid sick leave?

Prescription meds: $19.91, my four visits the week of Oct 5th were billed at $1001-before the negotiated discounts, less my co-pays of $160. Net bill TBD

Keep reading for more thoughts on the issues. Maybe not all the answers, but I can sure ask a lot of questions!

Weekly total: $19.91

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