It Takes More Than Money To Clear A Bill, Part 2

, , , , | Healthy | December 30, 2017

Several years ago, I started to receive bills at my home in Nebraska, from an insurance agency on a policy that I no longer had, denying payment for psychiatric care/services. When I got the first bill, I called the number listed for the practice — in North Carolina. It turns out that they had a patient with the same name, down to the middle initial, and the same birthday. The doctor’s office agreed that I was not their patient, but said that it was up to the insurance carrier to sort out.

Three weeks after I contacted the insurance company letting them know I was not the right person, I got a letter in the mail telling me that according to their records, I *was* the right person, and could I please pay the bill. So I contacted them again. I was assured that it would be straightened out.

Sure enough, I got another letter in the mail from the insurance company telling me that their “investigation” is complete, and that I am the “right” person after all, in spite of living half-way across the country.

This back and forth with the insurance company went on for SIX MONTHS, each time the insurance people coming back telling me that I had made these appointments for psychiatric care, and increasingly nasty demands for payment.

Finally, I contacted a college buddy who was a lawyer for [Insurance Company], where upon he taught me the magic words: Violation of HIPAA.

Finally after nearly seven months, the magic words did the trick. I later found out that the insurance billing department was looking up patient information by name and birth date instead of social security number, and that my name was apparently the first one listed, in spite of the fact that my policy had been cancelled over four years prior due to a job change.

It Takes More Than Money To Clear A Bill

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The Odyssey Has Wooden Characters

, , , , , | Learning | December 27, 2017

(This story begins in my English class when we are reading the Odyssey. We are at the part when they are getting ready to stab the cyclops, and run a staff over a fire to harden it.)

Teacher: “So, Odysseus will do what he has to do, to harden his wood.”

(Class bursts out laughing.)

Teacher: “Oh, my god, I just realized what I said.”

(Calls another teacher to tell what she just said, then laughs hysterically.)

Teacher: “He said that you need wood to be hard before you poke someone in the eye.”

Classmate: “You should never poke anyone with hard wood.”

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Bad Customers Are Their Own Rewards

, , , , , | Right | December 19, 2017

(At our store we ask everyone for their phone number so we can pull up their rewards club information when ringing them up. We are encouraged to get everyone’s number or sign new customers up. By being signed up, customers get access to extra coupons and free store credit for just shopping with us.)

Me: “Find everything okay today, miss?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “All right, can I get your number for the rewards program?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: *checking to make sure she doesn’t already have one* “Are you sure? You get free money for having one, and it takes two seconds to sign you up.”

Customer: *annoyed* “No.”

(I just give up and go to ring her up.)

Me: “Your total is—”

Customer: “I have a coupon.”

(She hands me her phone, showing a coupon she could have only gotten by being a rewards member. Thanks for ruining my stats, lady.)

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Talking Turkey About Gluten

, , , , , | Right | November 23, 2017

(A man approaches me, holding out his shopping list.)

Customer: “Can you read what this one is? J-U-S…”

Me: “Oh, fusilli. It’s a type of pasta, the corkscrew shape. We have some organic here, whole-wheat over here, and gluten-free right there.”

Customer: “Oh, no, I don’t have anything to do with gluten! Let me tell you: I bought a turkey breast that was gluten-free, and it was the worst mistake I ever made! It was cut up into pieces! Just terrible!”

Me: “Well, any turkey breast should be gluten-free, since—”

Customer: “This turkey breast, it was gluten-free, and it was just terrible! All cut up into pieces! Terrible! I don’t have anything to do with gluten; it’s just terrible!”

(He bought the gluten-filled organic pasta.)

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Corn Has You Torn

, , , , , | Right | November 23, 2017

(A customer is looking lost near our refrigerated section, so I approach her for help.)

Customer: “Yes, I was looking for the vegetarian tamales you advertised.”

Me: “Oh, you’re in the right place; they’re right here! They’re really quite tasty.”

(I hand her a package, and she proceeds to study it.)

Customer: “They do look good, but I wish they didn’t have corn in them. It’s so bad for you, you know! You can’t digest it, and it makes you fat. It’s really just so bad for you, so I’m trying to not eat it. But I guess I can pick the kernels out when I eat these.”

(The outer portion of tamales is, of course, corn masa. She added the tamales to her basket, which contained only one other item: corn tortillas.)

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