I am pausing from pre-Christmas prepping – which for me is a VERY fun marathon and sprint and 5K rolled into one – to complain just a little.
These days everyone has a position on healthcare – or at least on Obamacare. I try to be apolitical online and will refrain from too much proselytizing BUT I just got my statement of account – count it the thirty third – as related to my reconstruction adjustment end of August. So, to clarify, this is one bill, from one procedure. (I counted recently that I have had 8 surgical procedures thus far with the big C – this was #8)
For those of you who have been playing at home, I popped a stitch out of my radiated reconstructed left boob while cruising the lazy river with my family and friends. Because of the fear of infection from the oh-so-clear Hyatt Lost Pines pool I had emergency surgery on August 21st. Today I got a bill from Seton – the hospital where I went for aforementioned surgery.
The bill says patient name: Ward, Lauren. Statement date: 11/28/13, admit date: 8/21/13 (only 3 months behind – if I ran my family finances that way?? really??)
Discharge date: NONE. Meaning I didn’t stay the night. At all. Important for what comes next.
Total charges: $23,687.75
I’m sorry, but WTF? I was in an operating room for an hour, woke up in the room next door an hour later and it’s more than a car?
AHHH but it gets better:
Previous Balance $4576.12 – which implies that A – I either owe the hospital more than we pay for five people to go on vacation for a week AND DIDN’T KNOW IT or B – that I have received sufficient bills from aforementioned hospital that I just ignore them at this point and/or C – they are just making this SH(&T up as they go.
Now transaction dates and description
9/10/13 HMO ADJ – A $18,198.62
9/10/13 HMO ADJ – A -$18261.97
9/20/13 I99/Aetna(178209) $.00
9/27/13 I99/Aetna(178209) -$4,278.19
I have no idea what any of that means. Literally, figuratively, completely. Other than another really?! How mixed up are we that someone who is or was seriously sick now has to decipher a bill that looks like the WWII Enigma code books in Henry’s history project?
I recognize adj as either adjective or adjustment. Which do you think? Aetna – thank god for Aetna – is also familiar. Though I’m not sure what any of that means. Listed twice. Some positive. And with SUCH precision. AND ninety seven cents. Because that last cotton ball was two extra cents.
Then at the bottom with a big blue arrow: PLEASE PAY THIS AMOUNT: $238.68
I can’t really describe how I feel – frustrated that I have no idea what any of this means. Happy that we have this money in the bank and I can pay it. Pissed that I have to pay for something that was completely NOT my fault at all on so many levels. Sad that others receive these bills and can’t pay for it. Relieved and exhausted by reading the entire bill so that the final total seems like – WHEW dodged a bullet there.
Maybe that’s the strategy – overwhelm with paperwork, bills, numbers and codes. When did healthcare become so unhealthy?