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Taking A Second Shot At Charging You

, , , , | Healthy | August 28, 2018

(I went to a doctor appointment, and during that appointment they were suppose to give me a tetanus shot. They gave me the wrong shot. So I had to go back into the doctor later to get the tetanus shot I was suppose to get the first time. When I went back in, I just got the shot, then left; no other service was provided. I then get a bill for the second visit, and this exchange happens when I call their billing department.)

Me: “I am calling regarding a bill I got. I don’t think I should be charged for this appointment because the only reason I had to come in was because of an error by the nurse.”

Billing: “I show here you had an appointment on [first date] and you paid your copay; is that correct?”

Me: “Yes.”

Billing: “Then I show you had a follow up appointment on [second date], and you did not pay your copay. That is why we are billing you.”

Me: “That’s why I’m calling. The appointment on the [second date] was only required because your nurse made a mistake on the [first date]. If she had not made a mistake, I wouldn’t have come in for that appointment.”

Billing: “I understand, sir, but since you came in for the second appointment, then we need to bill you for that appointment. Since your insurance covered everything but the copay, you have to pay that copay.”

Me: “Let me explain again. On the first appointment, your nurse made a mistake. She gave me the wrong injection. I had to come in for the second appointment only because she made a mistake. If she had not made the mistake, I wouldn’t have come back in.”

Billing: “It doesn’t matter; you still have to pay.”

Me: *getting frustrated now* “Okay, let me ask you this another way. After your nurse made a mistake the first time, I could have gone to a lawyer, or filed a complaint against your practice. Also, I could have filed a complaint with my insurance provider, since you have actually billed them twice for getting the same injection. I did none of those things. So your choice is to now credit my account for the copay, or my next call will be to the medical practice board, and then my insurance company.”

Billing: “One moment, please.” *puts me on hold for about five minutes then comes back* “I’ve talked to the doctor. We are going to waive that copay, but we will not do it again for any further visits.”

(After that call I found a new doctor. No surprise, his practice went out of business a few months later. I know people complain how everyone is lawsuit-happy nowadays. You’d think if you had a patient who wasn’t interested in going the legal route but just didn’t want to be charged for their mistake they would happily oblige. I guess not.)

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