Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Health and Money Update

Because those two things are inextricably linked.

Tracy and I were having a contest to see which of us could get sick and die first. She's been beating me since I've known her, but I thought I nearly evened the score. My blood pressure is down so I'm off that medication and my kidney problems haven't resurfaced, but I have another open foot wound and my diabetes is getting worse so I have to see two new specialists, one today and one next month. (when you live in the obese bible belt, it's not easy getting an appointment with an endocrinologist) Then Tracy decided to start having seizures which I thought was going to totally throw me out of the race, but while I was typing this my bunny-referred doctor's office called and said my bloodwork shows liver problems and so I have to meet with yet another doctor, so I'm back in the running.

For added fun, Deathstar Hospital and Billing Inc. is taking another run at getting money from me. To summarize the latest round of drama, I was sent to them by my former doctor (recommending them is part of why he is former), I survived their "treatment" (seriously, all they did was extend my recovery time and bill the shit out of me), they sent me many bills, I paid all but the biggest, I attempted to set up a payment plan on that one but they hid behind their phone system (it leaves you on hold for five minutes, you leave a number for them to call, and then they don't), and in the interim I sent them all the money I had at the end of each month. After three months and thousands of dollars in payments, they quit billing me. Part of why I filed for bankruptcy was because it seemed to be the only possible way to get them to stop, so I filed and my bunny lawyer sent notifications to all of my creditors (including two hospitals) informing them of my intent. Every creditor EXCEPT the hospitals ceased at that point - the "good" hospital sent me a new bill revised to look like an initial bill (which wouldn't be covered by the bankruptcy), and Deathstar turned my account over to a collection agency. Then the courts sent out the official cease and desist order after my meeting at the courthouse, which stopped the other hospital and the debt collection agency. So now, two months later, Deathstar decided they really would like their final $350, so they contacted yet another collection agency and "forgot" to mention the bankruptcy.

And, yes, that is illegal, but no, I can't sue and automatically win millions of dollars. Given their track record, it would be nearly impossible to prove that they did it maliciously instead of through sheer incompetence, I would have to pay my lawyer to go to court, and the most I'm likely to get is an official court order telling them to quit. On the advice of my bunny, I'm writing the new collection agency a letter to inform them of my filing which should get rid of them. That still leaves Deathstar open to try again in the future, but there can't be too many lawyers / collection agencies in America, ね?

SJ was right - the proper way to deal with medical billing is to burn down the hospital after your treatment is finished.


Captain Dumbass said...

I think you and Tracy should just do a cage match to the death.

Jay said...

Damn, you sure are competitive.

Whitemist said...

Fight club did not have it all wrong, did they?

SJ said...

Aww man I don't deserve such praise. *Blush*.

Grant said...

Captain Dumbass - having to go up the steps would wear me out. Can't we just mud wrestle?

Jay - nobody out-sicks me!

Whitemist - no, Fight Club is a completely accurate documentary.

SJ - Obama needs an idea man like you.

Kerry said...

congrats on being back in the running!!! (not really :P)

But, I do agree that you should burn down the hospital after treatment, however you know they probably back up their records off-site and they will bill you anyways :( jerks

Tracy Lynn said...

I am SO gonna win.

Avitable said...

I'd watch that reality show: Grant/Kaply Deathmatch.

April said...

I like what Captain Dumbass said. Then you could charge everyone money to watch the match. You guys could fight and then both play dead. Then take the earnings from the admittance fees and pay off your medical bills! Or, fly to Figi and live happily ever after.

I hope your medical problems get under control. And for what it's worth, I'm sorry you're dealing with this shit again.

Robin said...

Just reading about the bullshit you are going through raises my blood pressure.

Grant said...

Kerry - if only there was a way to burn down the billing offices and leave the hospitals intact. The billing is the most heinous part of our healthcare.

Tracy Lynn - you're in the lead for now, but we'll see what the judges, I mean doctors, have to say to me over the next two weeks.

Avitable - I'm not sure you'd want to see Tracy's sinuses and my power sharting in high def.

April - Fiji is close, but not quite bunnyland.

Robin - ironically, we discovered that my blood pressure is now down.