Day by day it becomes clearer to me that the biggest obstacle to healing is the billing practices of doctors and hospitals. Nature and modern medicine will take care of the body's needs, if stress and worry can be held at bay. Unfortunately, in today's world, doctors and hospitals are rabid dogs intent on getting their money before the patient dies, lawyer's up, or gives all of his or her resources to some other nefarious medical provider.
I am so sick and tired of medical bills.
Today I received a bill from the hospital where my surgery was performed. I chose the hospital for the angiogram which ultimately led to the surgery. I did not choose it for the surgery, but had it selected for me by the physician who did the angiogram and whom I learned later is on the board of directors of the hospital. At the time I thought it was an independent community hospital and made no objections to being directed into their care.
Today I received a bill from that hospital saying that I owed a few pennies less than $180.00. There was absolutely no explanation on the bill as to what it was for. The bill stated that the original amount was nearly $6,000, insurance had paid nearly $1,300, and the rest, minus my $180 had been written off.
The bill said that my hospital was an affiliate of a company in Birmingham, Alabama (so much for community). I called the toll-free number and talked to a very polite young man. He said that he could take my money over the phone and email a receipt - and he could also send a detailed accounting of the bill by regular mail, but not by email. The kid (okay, he was a really young man) told me, in answer to a very direct question, that he was based in San Antonio, Texas, with a company that owned Baptist Hospitals - of which my hospital was one.
So, not only did I not get to choose where I had major surgery - it was not in a community hospital, but in a conglomerate creature that is based either in Birmingham or San Antonio and is run by Baptists. Freakin' Baptists!
I guess I'm getting better because my blood's really starting to pump!
And the Baptists have their $180 - Praise Jesus!