Thursday, February 28, 2013

I Can't Make This Stuff Up!

The other day, I was just lazing about the house, (ha!) when I received an unexpected phone call.  Let me preface this by saying that as a rule, I am not unkind to telemarketers.  Don't rush out to give me a medal or anything...I mean, we don't actually have a home phone, so I have limited exposure to them.  But as a group of people, I feel a bit sorry for them.  I picture them sitting in a cubicle somewhere, looking all morose and pasty in the florescent lighting...craving a nicotine fix, all the while dreading the next awkward phone call.  I mean, really! Is there a more hated population out there ( maybe besides serial killers and people who open fire in public places and of course, AL-Qaeda)?

Sorry...I got distracted.

The phone call I got was as bad as a telemarketing call; it was the dreaded hospital billing department.  I will now try to reenact the ridiculous phone call for your reading pleasure.  

Billing Guy: Hi ma'am, may I please speak with Savannah (my six year old daughter)?

Me: Uh, no, you may not because she is six years old and is not allowed to take phone calls from strangers.  (I said this in the nicest way possible).

Billing Guy: Oh, sorry! Yes, that would be strange. I am calling from (the hospital's) billing department.  (I am protecting their privacy, assuming that not everyone who works there is this idiotic).  I'm calling in reference to an E.R. visit that Savannah made in January?  

Me: Oh, yes...she was really sick with strep.  

Billing Guy: Yes, ma'am.  You currently have a balance of $240.00 for that visit.  If you are willing to pay in full, the hospital can offer you a discount!  You can pay just $190.00.

Me: Oh! That sounds good.  Could you just give me a breakdown of what we're paying for?

Billing Guy: Well, I see that you've already paid a copay ($75) so after what your insurance has paid, you owe $240.00 for two doses of acetaminophen administered by the nurse.

Me: Um, are you serious right now? You want $240.00 for Tylenol? 

Billing Guy: Uh, yes, I believe acetaminophen is a form of Tylenol.  

Me: No, buddy it's not a FORM of Tylenol.  I don't care if it can sing and dance!  It's still Tylenol!!  (I start cackling loudly).  

Billing Guy: Um...let me see here.

Me: First of all, it was one dose, unless you think the hospital overdosed my child? We were only there for two hours.  Second of all, 7.5 ml of Tylenol is not worth $2.00, let alone $200.  Surely, you must know that you will not be getting that money?  

Billing Guy: I will have to check with the head nurse about the two doses, but that will not change the cost of one dose.

Me: The $75.00 we've already paid you, plus what insurance has covered, should take care of the 7.5 ml.  I think we're done here, don't you?

So! What do you think the Tylenol cost before the insurance paid out?  Like $500.00?  Hey, forget dealing crack!! We need to get into the Tylenol business!!

You just gotta laugh, right?  I don't think that this is the last I'll be hearing from my buddy in the billing department.  We may become good friends, the billing department and I!  But, alas, they may never recoup from the loss of the 7.5 ml of liquid gold.

Maybe, later I will swing by and drop them off a bottle!  





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