I Have A Steaming Cup of STFU For HCA/Centennial

[UPDATE]:

Oh, God. It’s worse than we thought. I just heard two stories from people in my same insurance group that are as bad if not worse — both involving emergency care. One at Vanderbilt hospital.

Let me repeat: we all have excellent insurance. We have an HRA which pays 100% of the deductible. I’m not out one penny and the hospitals aren’t footing the bill for anyone. You will get your money from us. Leave us the fuck alone.

It appears the entire hospital system is trying to harass and bully fully insured patients into paying more/sooner. Hey fellas, if you have a beef about payment, take it up with AHIP. Patients shouldn’t be put in the middle of this.

More suckitude from the “best healthcare system in the world.” Baaah. I don’t know why we have to put up with this bullshit.

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Dear HCA/Centennial: I am beyond tired of you dicking me around on payment for a goddamn mammogram. You do this every year. The creative lengths you go to wrest payment from me, the patient, instead of waiting for BlueCross-BlueShield to pay you, as they do every year, has grown old.

You will get your money. You always get your money. You have never not gotten your money. I have top-notch insurance for a reason, one of them being so I don’t have to deal with some hospital billing office calling and sending me invoices when they haven’t even given my insurance company sufficient time to process payment. I’m just sick of it.

So this year I go in for services at the end of May, they billed insurance on June 3, and they sent me a bill on June 8. That’s barely time for BlueCross-BlueShield to receive the bill, let alone process it. I called the billing office and they apologized saying it was “a mistake” and I “shouldn’t have been sent a bill this soon.” Gee, ya think?

Thing is, a similar thing happened last year. I blogged about it here. That time it wasn’t “a mistake” but an “option.” I could pay now “if I wanted to” and have HCA pay me back when they got their payment from the insurance company.

Why the fuck would I want to do that?

Let me add, a neighbor of mine was in a horrific bicycle accident last year and got a whole bunch of diagnostic imaging services at HCA-Centennial. He told me they got the same “pay us now, if you want to” harassing phone calls. Followed by bills they knew they didn’t have to pay because it was covered by insurance. They wanted to know what that was about, too. They thought it was weird, too. It’s not just me.

You guys have to cut this out. It’s obnoxious and unnecessary. I”m sick of it.

I’m going to call my doctor and ask if someone else does mammograms in Nashville so I don’t have to deal with it anymore. I’m done with you people.

20 Comments

Filed under health insurance, healthcare

20 responses to “I Have A Steaming Cup of STFU For HCA/Centennial

  1. Catherine D.

    Isn’t HCA cat killer Frist’s old outfit? Hell, they should be able to the mammogram by watching a videotape.

    • LOL. Yes, and if you go into Centennial hospital you see that smarmy “Good people beget good people” quote in ginormous silver letters in their lobby. Absolutely insufferable.

  2. Moira macGaothin

    Report them to the state insurance commission. I am willing to bet that they collect your payment, then the insurance payment. And hope that you don’t notice they were paid twice. And if you do notice, you will have to harass them to get your money back. Without interest or penalties, mind you. Sounds like a scam operation to me.

    • I’m sure if you pay them they don’t cut you a check for reimbursement. You have to call and hassle and threaten to sue before they do their due diligence.

  3. Eykis

    Beale,

    Go to Heritage Medical – they are excellent, everything in the same building. Efficiency, no billing errors, great and caring doctors and staff. I’ve been with them for two years – only paid one co-pay for an office visit and my visit was my fault for not listening to the dermatologist.

    Address: 222 22nd Avenue North, NT, 37203
    heritagemedical.com
    615-425-5293

    I have never received a bill or phone call or been asked to pay one red cent for anything and everything that is covered. Stress test, mammogram, colonoscopy, yearly physical, NOT A DIME.

    • Thanks for the tip, I will check them out. They should be in my network, right? Sigh.

      • Eykis

        Probably in your network. It is the only med provider around here that operates as efficiently as the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale – seriously. My sister had a liver transplant at Mayo last year, they are efficient.

  4. Hey, Catherine, you have found the truth. HCA IS and always has been owned by Dr. Bill Frist and his family. Also back in the late 1990s, they partnered with FL. Crooked Governor Rick and his rip off corporation and formed ‘Columbia HCA’. It had to pay the largest Medicare fraud case at that time in US history…in Florida and here. But Bill Frist was a Senator under GWB and it was understood that as a Senator, he could not be indicted or punished for a crime WHILE IN OFFICE. His brother almost went to jail, BUT no one involved had to serve time. And you see where they all are now? Still ripping off consumers big-time. HCA also now owns “Tennova”, which owns about 25 hospitals in TN and are the largest corporation that has FOUGHT against the ACA…even the Governor’s ‘Insure Tennessee”. There you have it.

    • Well, IIRC it was actually Janet Reno who let Rick Scott off the hook … I think this was all well before Frist was in the Senate, no? Anyway, it was part of a Clinton-era crackdown on Medicare fraud. Here’s a really great run-down of what happened. Still amazes me that Rick Scott was rewarded by being named Governor of Florida. If he were a Democrat he’d be in jail! Republicans are Teflon, Democrats are glue …

      • No, SB, it was while Dr. Frist was in the Senate and that was the reason his brother didn’t have to go to jail in Florida. In fact, after reading this article, NO further mention is made of the HCA Frist brothers total involvement in this fraud scheme. And the fact that HCA continued to run its hospitals and its ‘Family Trust’ was not touched long-term by this scandal is outrageous. Frist is still making money from this ‘hospital group’ and also his not-for-profit SCORE which involves promoting charter schools, vouchers and virtual online schools. And apparently he is still personally doing heart transplants at Vanderbilt. That is a scandal that stands alone.

      • OK well I thought most of the investigation and indictments were handed down well before 2000. I will say this, why Frist wasn’t indicted for securities fraud for pulling a Martha Stewart has always been a puzzler.

  5. Hospitals are one of those things that really shouldn’t be for profit. Thankfully I haven’t had to visit one *as a patient* in a number of years. IIRC Michigan is the only state that requires it.

    And don’t even get me started on the freaking ads hospitals run on the TV and radio.

  6. I used to do billing for a doctor’s office….the insurances do this all the time, and THEN blame the doctor’s office for the “mistake”. Then they play games with them for such things as “wrong CPT code, or wrong ICD9 code.” It’s all a ploy. I used to tell all our patients DO NOT pay a cent until the insurance acknowledges they have paid their part, then WE balance bill if required.
    If YOU pay….just try to get your money back. Better yet, read John Grisham’s “The Rainmaker” to see what the insurance companies are up to.
    SINGLE PAYER, people.

  7. Ginny

    Move to the UK, sweetheart! We have a National Health Service.🙂

  8. greennotGreen

    I notice you mentioned Vanderbilt. I have been a way-too-frequent patient, including ER, at Vanderbilt for three years since I was diagnosed with cancer, and I have never been harassed to pay a bill before insurance paid.

    Re: Centennial. I think there are other reasons not to go there besides billing hassles. I had to have outpatient surgery, and my doctor at the time had admitting privileges at Centennial. First, they told be no water after midnight for a procedure that was to take place midday, but then it was delayed by a few hours. I was miserable. Why no water after midnight? Because, I was told, it was easier for the nurses than their actually having to tell the patients “no water 8 hours (or whatever time) before your procedure.” I finally went into a room, got knocked out, probably got wheeled somewhere else for the procedure, came back to the same room and woke up to a spray of blood across the wall! I don’t know if that was my blood or someone else’s, but ewwww! Clean it up! That did not give me confidence in that hospital. Admittedly, that was 24 years ago.