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Medical Bills Burst my Dam - A Deluge of Anger, Sadness & Failure
Agent 99
Posted: Thursday, August 11, 2016 5:34 PM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 2166

 So I've been getting physician practice bills for my sweeties final stay in the hospital for months.  Every month I call the billing office and explain that such and such charges should be billed to palliative care and that I don't have to pay them.  Each time the person tells me something that makes no sense but that they will do xyz and nothing changes.  The bills keep coming.  So today I spoke with someone and I finally figured out what happened.  First the internal med bills were not palliative or hospice doc.  It was the for the internal medicine service that admitted him and saw him each day even after it was clear he was going to die because he did not want a feeding tube. Then I get palliative care bills not for a doc but it turns out for a nurse consult,  WHen I met palliative nurse and it was clear my sweetie was dying she told me that they would take care of him through that service in the hospital because he was not stable enough to go home.   I had already spoken with 2 hospice providers and then told them he was going to be taken care of by the hospital.  

NOw I learn that there is a separate hospital hopsice service not linked to palliative care.  It was no question that he was dying in 3 days.  WHY DIDN"T THEY HOOK US UP WITH HOSPICE?????  In retrospect I now understand some of the BS that went on with the morphine, and the way he was treated or wasn't treated on his dying day.

I called the palliative care office today and asked why didn't you refer us to hospice?  I dunno.  I called hopsice and asked why didn't the internal medicine doc or palliative care refer us to you?  I dunno.  Why would the palliative care dissuade me from going forward with the outside provider?

 For the first time in 7 months I cried my eyes out today.  I mean the money is just a pimple.  It's the process that I want to understand and everyone has blinders on.  

What the f-  was internal medicine going to do for Rich on his deathbed?

I'm really upset by this.  First I feel he may have suffered more than he should have.  I feel I failed despite me knowing everything about what should have been done and what I should have done.  Like when I OCD a purchase and read consumers, etc and go buy something I didn't even research.

So now the hospital hospice had the grief counselor call me to get me to come to the once a month meeting.  

I just want to know why and prevent this from happening to another family.  I'm thinking of writing a letter to the hospital president.  

Now I know I can and will cry.  It's been a long time since I gushed like I did this afternoon and I didn't know what to do with my stuffed nose.  I'm just going to pay the friggin bills and be done with it.  It seems there is always another f- up no matter how diligent one is.  It's so depressing.

Sea Field
Posted: Thursday, August 11, 2016 6:18 PM
Joined: 8/5/2012
Posts: 1872

Lisa,  I am so sorry.  What a nightmare - one that you do not need.  Yes, please cry. For everything, and anything and nothing.  I can only imagine how frustrating all of this has been.

If you feel at all inclined to go one step further, I would encourage you to wait to pay the bills until after you write to the hospital president.  Perhaps you will get some kind of response from him/her.  If nothing else, maybe their procedures will be clarified to help ensure this does not happen to anyone else.

You have been such an amazing advocate for your dear Rich.  Perhaps one step more.  But only if you feel like it.

Blessings and hugs and kisses to you.  And some for Chaos too.   Cynthia

Agent 99
Posted: Thursday, August 11, 2016 6:36 PM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 2166

Thank you Cynthia.  I will never forget your "upper half Monty" you did for DH in his doctor's office.  In that light, my 13 yo nephew, Rich's son and the rest of us, giggled about Boobies the day before he passed.  Rich always said every ailment was due to lack-a-nookie!  

I hope the boobie men are enjoying each other's company!

I'm following in your footsteps with love and admiration.

Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2016 1:10 PM
Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 1747

Yep... be upset, while remaining calm, cool and collected... At some point your brain will know if winning this war is worth the battles you are fighting.

For your peace of mind, ask yourself, "How would Sweetie have handled this. And for how long?"

 I've been there dealing with bureaucratic F... ups. For me, it was the tax bureaucracy and inheritance. Big bucks. It took me almost a year to have it solved and corrected.

 The first year of my mourning and grieving, I was battling the tears of my heart, I was screaming at bureaucrats' rational brains, while at the same time, I was trying to comprehend my guilt for not being a "perfect" care-partner. At one point, I said to the gods, "For Christ's sake, leave me alone. Stop playing with me and let me die. I have had enough!"

It is okay to gush out tears. Those tears will help you cleanse your mind and your heart. Come healing of the mind. Come healing of the heart. Come healing of the spirit.

 Do not use kleenex. Use an old soft cotton handkerchief. It will make your nose less sore.

Love ya.

By the way, your Rick was right about not getting enough nookie.


His Daughter
Posted: Monday, August 15, 2016 12:42 AM
Joined: 6/25/2014
Posts: 2270

Agent 99,

   You have every right to sit down and cry.  The bureaucracy of health care is ridiculous!  It's all big business, and it never ends.  

  I know you are frustrated and angry.  But take a couple days off before you write any checks.  Then make certain that your complaints are heard and acknowledged.  We should expect and demand better.  And it will be exactly the same for others coming after, unless we demand that things change.   

Ya know, my Dad always said that things were much better, before insurance companies got involved.  You dealt with the doctor yourself, and the charges were clear.  But the minute a third party became involved, things dramatically changed.  
You've got a lot of support here.  I'm sorry that at this time of grief the medical community can't be something other than a racket.

Posted: Monday, August 15, 2016 5:03 AM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 3048

The health care "system" in this country is a crime.  I can tell you we DID have hospice for a year prior to my mother's death, but because she died on a Sunday--guess what?  NOBODY FROM HOSPICE SAW HER.

She was in a nursing home and the hospice had their staff tending to my mother.  Rest assured though that they BILLED FULL CHARGES because the weekend nurse called in on Saturday and Sunday to check.

I was SO  disappointed.  Also disappointed that there was NO support for me because the social worker deemed me "too far" to come to support groups they had.  I got 1 phone call and a couple of cards in the mail.  That was that.