In explanation – today I had to work on a bill that my Dad got for his home oxygen unit. He had a home concentrator and a portable for several years but seldom needs them anymore. I am not sure he ever really did but due to lung issues that were never fully cleared up he had breathing problem and the oxygen helped back then… anyway… some time ago my brother found and bought a home concentrator for when they had him at their place. He then shipped it to Colorado for Dads month out there. We thought why not get it home and send the rental one back. My sister brought it back and Dad got agreement from the Dr. that he should get rid of the home unit but keep the portable for those time he is out and needs an oxygen boost… The rental company gladly came and picked up the home unit. I get a bill that shows both…
I called to find out why and this , I swear to God, is the one I got: (note my comments are in quotes and italics).
The first call did not go well:
“This is _______ and I need to talk about my Dads bill that you sent me on his oxygen concentrator.” You are who? “I am ________”.
I am sorry I can not discuss this bill with you as you are not on you Dad’s medical list.
“Hum, who is on that list and can you check to make sure as you sent me the bill and I am taking care of all his financial affairs now.”
Yes I see that your sister ,brother and sister-in-law are all on the list but you are not there so I can not discuss this with you do to HIIPA requirement s.
“Ok, since you can send me the bill but I am not qualified to discuss this with you, I am not authorized to pay you either.” (I hung up)
They called back and said they had called Dad he said yes I was handling his financial affairs – so we proceed but I do have to take them a new power of attorney, which I am sure the old one had all our names on it as well but what ever… they continue after I have asked again about them picking up the unit –
Yes we picked up the home unit, but the portable is so expensive and to bill Medicare we have to also bill the home unit. I guess maybe we didn’t explain that to you when you wanted the home unit sent back?
“But we do not have the home unit anymore and you have to charge us for that and no you didn’t explain that to anyone that I can find that understands you will charge us eve if we don’t have the unit.
Yes but they are billed on code E1390 for the home unit and E1392 for the portable and we have to bill the E1390 to then bill the E1392.
“So, I have to pay, and Medicare has to pay, for a unit that we do not have and are not using just so we can get the portable unit and get Medicare to pay for that unit?”.
Well yes I think that is how it must work.
“If we have to pay anyway then I want you to bring back the home unit.”
I am sorry but we will have to get the Doctor to write up another prescription so we can bring that home unit back.
“This is ridiculous, not you tell me that we have to pay for the home unit but we can’t get it back until the Doctor approves it and then you can take it back to us so it can set and waste away as not one was really using it.”
I am sorry but yes that is how it will have to work if you want the home unit back. You will have to pay for both even if we do not get the Doctors approval and you want to keep the portable.
“Ok, I guess we will have to pay this month and see if we can’t find someone else that can supply just the portable unit that we wanted” (hung up)
Sorry but I was so frustrated on this that it just burnt up the rest of my day… I am sure they were working Medicare on this (legally) and I am sure it would be a huge hassle to get the unit back and get it paid for. I am also sure that no one ever explained that they would not charge for both as that would mean they had to change something on their end or what ever… I am also sure that Medicare is just as whacky in how they force these outfits and Doctors to do things, but damn this was off the charts stupid… and in my opinion bordering on dishonest. So I just happened to come across this letter I had saved some time ago, I have no idea who actually wrote it but is sure applies here:
Obituary of the late Mr. Common Sense
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years.
No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn’t always fair; and Maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.
Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch;
and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or a band-aid to a student;
but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses;
and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her
lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.
He is survived by his 3 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I’m A Victim.
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.
Thought for Today: Grandpa: My Homer is not a communist. He may be a liar, a pig, an idiot, a communist, but he is not a porn star.