What would you do in this situation?

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pupluv
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 7/1/2008 11:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Ok guys this may be kind of long....but not sure how to handle this. I have told you guys this story before, so I'm going to really try to keep it short. I was going to a great GI doc in Dallas that had treated me for years. We moved to Central Texas last year and I had to have a scope done by a diff doc. The scope was horrible. I was so sick afterwards(that is beside the pt). Anyway, I was told that I had low grade dysplasia and was sent to a CR surgeon. I was told my colon had to come out. Some of you may remember how horrified I was. I went back to my Doc in Dallas and got a second opinion. They sent my biopsies to their lab. Turns out that there was a floater mixed with my biopsy that was dysplastic. So, it turned out that I didn't have dysplasia. I was in hell for 3 mos while all this was going on. So many people told me that I should have sued, but I was just thankful for the miracle. This all happend at this time last year. I just got a bill for $120.00 from the surgeon that told me I had to have my colon out. I haven't even been back to that hospital since that happened. My question to you all is....Should I pay this and just be done with it? Or, send a letter explaining why I'm not paying the remainder owed to the surgeon and they are just lucky I'm not suing them. This has just brought back a lot of memories. And it sure did take them a long time to bill this out. What would you do?  
thanks!
Donna
 
Donna
Diagnosed with indeterminate colitis in 1992
current meds
4 asacol 3x's a day
Azathioprine
Rowasa enemas as needed
VSL3
Bunches of vitamins


jujub
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 7/1/2008 11:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Even though you ended up not needing surgery, you legally still owe the bill. If you don't pay it, the doctor's practice will likely turn it over to a colledtion agency and that can affect your future credit. The surgeon gave you an opinion based on the evidence he had at the time. New evidence contradicted him and you decided not to use his opinion. But you do still have to pay for it. Also remember, surgeons are trained to treat people surgically, therefore they're much quicker to recommend surgery than medical doctors are.

I'm in Austin, and I've had great luck with my GI. Sorry you've had such a bad experience.
Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from steroid therapy.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.


NMcP
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 212
   Posted 7/2/2008 12:32 AM (GMT -6)   
As Judilyn said, you are obligated to pay the bill. However, if you feel you were treated unfairly or if you feel there was any form of malfeasance or malpractice, contact your state medical board and state licensing agency and file complaints.
Age: 48
location: Seattle, Wa
Diagnosed with UC in June 2006
Medications: Asacol 2 pills 3 x/day, Canasa supps
Supplements: vitamins, probiotics
No. of colonoscopies: 1
Originally diagnosed with moderate UC, pancolitis


glamourgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 460
   Posted 7/2/2008 5:17 AM (GMT -6)   
I would write the letter and see what happens.  Many years ago I had a kidney infection which was misdiagnosed in Urgent Care as a pulled muscle in my back...duh!  I had to go to another doctor to get properly diagnosed.  I sent a letter to the Urgent Care facility and they ended up waiving the charges.  It certainly doesn't hurt to try sending a letter.  If they deny your letter, you should pay the bill but I wouldn't do it without a fight.  Sorry this happened to you.
Female, Age 37
 
Diagnosed w/c.diff 7/02 when pregnant w/1st and only child during 2nd trimester(wasn't on antibiotics)
C.diff flare within weeks of delivering baby 1/03
Diagnosed with UC 2/03
_____________________________________________________________
Current Meds:
75mg 6-MP
Entocort
Cortenema as needed
Ferrex Forte
Acidophillus
Sacchromyces Boulardii 


TraciZ
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 255
   Posted 7/2/2008 7:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Is the $120 worth all the aggravation of writing a letter and possibly opening a lengthy can of worms?
The $ may not be the point, but the principle of the thing. It stinks being misdiagnosed and suffering with the worry. That's over now. Like you said, just getting the bill brought back painful memories. Are you willing to possibly prolong your pain, or is it easier for you to just pay the $ and be done with it?

seconder
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 7/2/2008 8:18 AM (GMT -6)   

I would certainly write a letter explaining why you don't think you should have to pay, essentially, for their mistake.  That should take, what, 20 minutes?  Be polite but make sure you end on what rememdy you seek.

That said, if this is the first invoice and it's been over a year, I wouldn't feel any particular obligation to pay it.  Should you decide to pay, I would divide the amount due by the number of months they've taken to invoice you.


pupluv
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 7/2/2008 8:59 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for the responses. I think what upset me the most was when I had the second opinion, the pathologist thought something looked fishy right off the bat. He said that there was only one teeny, tiny cell that looked abnormal. So he sent it off to someone else. The next pathologist had said it needs to be DNA tested, because it looked so fishy. The first guys had said SURGERY...period. Just think it was strange that 2 other pathologists thought it looked weird enough to have it DNA tested. If I had not gotten a second opinion, I would have had surgery. Very scary.

You are right Traci, the money is not the pt at all. Its the fact that they caused me all this grief because they weren't thorough and I still have to pay a year later. But like you said, Shouldn't I just pay it and be done with it. I'm still so angry thinking about it.

Judilyn, it was a big hospital in Temple texas. That was the hospital I went to at the time because of insurance. I have better insurance now and drive to Dallas anyway. Not taking the chance ever again.

I will have to think about it.

thanks guys

 


Donna
Diagnosed with indeterminate colitis in 1992
current meds
4 asacol 3x's a day
Azathioprine
Rowasa enemas as needed
VSL3
Bunches of vitamins


AngelTT
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 7/2/2008 10:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Make sure to post comments about that doc and situation on some of the doc feedback sites. I so glad you got the second opinion - good for you!! Our guts might give us trouble but they're still usually right in making decisions! :)
34 year old female, Diagnosed Ulcerative Colitis 5 years ago
Current Meds: Remicade every 6 weeks, Prednisone 10mg (tapering), Prevacid, Sustenex, Lialda, Lexapro (anxiety), Synthroid, Iron, vitamins, Fish Oil
Expecting first child 12/08 via gestational surrogate!!!!


jujub
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 7/2/2008 11:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Okay, I know who you went to in Temple. They're essentially a big HMO, and you do have to check everything out. They also have enough money and legal staff to eat you alive if you don't pay them.

Your experience really illustrates the importance of always getting a second opinion before making life-altering decisions. And if you go to see a surgeon for anything, expect him or her to recommend surgery. It's what they know. A good surgeon should discuss all the alternatives, both bad and good. For example, the first time I saw my orthopedist, I had a stress fracture of both of the bones in my left lower leg. I'd been walking on it for a couple of months and it was well on the way to being healed, but it was crooked. She explained that one of the options would be to do nothing and let it heal on it's own. She also confirmed my suspicions that it would lead to knee and hip problems because of the lower leg being out of alignment. So she gave me all of the alternatives, even the ones she didn't think were good ones.
Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from steroid therapy.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.


bellski
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 499
   Posted 7/2/2008 11:47 AM (GMT -6)   
I know I wouldn't pay it. You should write the letter if that is what you feel. See what happens. In situations like this, my husband always stands firm for what he thinks is right, as far as credit being affected-- You should mention that you may sue them. Maybe I'm over-reacting. I just wouldn't pay it. Sometimes, if you have real good credit, but a doctor bill like that is the only thing wrong, people should understand. Tell them you want the charges reversed. Be careful how you write the letter. Maybe the seccond opinion people can back you up. MAybe you can write the letter trying to get out of it and see how they respond. Hope it works out O.K. Bellski
Lori (Bellski)-age 43 from Illinois
Diagnosed February 2008 with Ulcerative Proctitis,
Currently: mild symptoms / flare ?
Medications:  Asacol 400mg X 6, Canasa X 2 
Vitamins:  Calcium 600 + D X 2, Centrum, Citrucel caplets, Probiotics
High fiber diet
"I thank God that  I found this website!"
 


pupluv
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 7/2/2008 12:16 PM (GMT -6)   

Judilyn, you are correct about the big HMO thing and thank goodness i'm not part of that anymore. And I do know how surgeons are, but I still think they could have looked into it more closely. Even my GI doc thought the biopsy looked suspicious.

Well, I did call about the bill and said i would like to dispute it. So its on record as being disputed and I have to send my report stating that my biopsy was contaminated. I am also going to write a personal letter.

Ya know, I also had other bills to pay regarding that false biopsy, which I did.

I'm going to swing the bat and see what happens. If I have to pay, I have to pay. But I have to try.
 
Thanks
D
Donna
Diagnosed with indeterminate colitis in 1992
current meds
4 asacol 3x's a day
Azathioprine
Rowasa enemas as needed
VSL3
Bunches of vitamins


NMcP
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 212
   Posted 7/2/2008 12:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I'd write a letter as well, but try to keep it to the facts and not put in too much emotion. Also, the doctor has little to do with the billing, most of the time it's farmed out. This one may just have slipped thru the cracks. It seems like Doctor's offices have the WORST internal communication. The doctor probably won't even see your letter. It will probably go to Accts Receivable or maybe even to the billing dept (which again may have been farmed out).

It can't hurt to give it a try and writing the letter will probably make you feel better....at least you will have tried.

Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5190
   Posted 7/3/2008 6:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Would you feel comfortable mentioning the $120 bill for incorrect diagnosis to your original doctor in Dallas? Maybe he would write you a letter of support against that HMO. In the early 1990s I had a major crisis with UC & my gastro of 13 yrs insisted that med already prescribed would take care of it, even though I felt worse every day. I went to consult a gastro subspecializing in IBD, who found that my sigmoid colon was centimeters away from blockage! This doctor was so appalled to hear what the 1st gastro had said to me that, without my even asking, she wrote a letter to the 1st gastro commenting on my condition and explaining why I did in fact urgently need different medication! I decided to stay in treatment with the subspecialist. The 1st gastro sent me a bill for $150 about 9 months later, which I tossed in the waste basket. At least that doctor didn't set a collection agency after me-- but it was a hurtful experience emotionally & physically even so. I'm sure I don't have to belabor the point to you after what those HMO devils put you through. They deserve to be sued! / Old Hat (nearly 30 yrs with left-sided UC ... [etc.])

pupluv
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 7/3/2008 9:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Old Hat, I would feel comfortable mentioning this to my Dallas Doc. I am actually going to be seeing him in 2 weeks. I think he will be appalled. He is the one that made sure I got my path report ASAP. In fact, he is the one that made sure the reports were mailed to the HMO staff. He was very disturbed about what happened. So, I will mention it to him. I wish I were brave enough to throw the bill in the trash, but....I'm not. Thank you for your support.
Donna
Diagnosed with indeterminate colitis in 1992
current meds
4 asacol 3x's a day
Azathioprine
Rowasa enemas as needed
VSL3
Bunches of vitamins


Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5190
   Posted 7/3/2008 9:59 PM (GMT -6)   
You're very welcome, Pupluv! One of the reasons why I threw that $150 bill out was that my insurance had already paid something to that unhelpful doctor. Really, some medical staff are so shameless!!!!!!!!!! They mess up a patient's health & life, but still expect to be paid top dollar. Grrrrrrrr. It just galls me no end. They take an oath on graduating medical school not to do harm, which must go in one ear & immediately out the other for a lot of them! / Old Hat

UChick
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 7/4/2008 3:14 PM (GMT -6)   
I would dispute the bill too. The only thing that may go against you is that they didn't actually perform surgery. Good luck.
Age 18
Diagnosed September '01 : Remission since July '02
Asacol- 4 pills 3xday
Azathioprine- 75mg 1xmorning
Centrium A-Z multi-vitamin
Took Remicade 3 times, BIG FAN!!!!
Have Taken: Prednisone, Flagyl, Zantac (for acid reflex)

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