My boyfriend had to go to the ER after a accident, and he got a truly ridiculous bill back. I offered to fight the bill for her because I've done it before, and he said sure. I went all-out, because honestly if we were out 5 grand, after insurance, that would fuck up our holiday plans pretty bad.
1. had him call the hospital and authorize me to handle his bill and access his medical records.
2. got an itemized bill and compared the prices for each code to the fair prices
3. called billing to dispute the bill, but was told that billing only collects bills, I'd need to contact admin to dispute
4. bounced around a call center for hours trying to get someone who was actually qualified for bill disputes, and getting nowhere
5. google and linkedin searched for the hospital board of directors and upper management
6. got 30 emails of the most influential people at the hospital, plus the hospital's investors
7. every day would send a few emails, working my way up the chain, and writing an (increasingly long) email describing how they billed my 'client' at 7 times over the fair price for services rendered, and how their billing department, customer service department, and the growing list of management I'd emailed, had failed to address the issue.
8. escalated the emails until I was writing the director-level staff with the entire board of directors and a number of outside investors CC'd, asking for a written statement regarding their justification for billing at a rate 7 times higher than the national average, for commensurate services to what is available at other hospitals.
And sternly laying out the failures to appropriately respond, at every level of the company.
Well, once I'd done all that (which was honestly only like 15 minutes a day) they reduced the bill... From $5000 to $26. Yep, twenty-six f**kin dollars. Well, I told my boyfriend the good news, and he was at first overjoyed and blown away, like literally jumping up and down and hugging me and saying I was literally a Christmas miracle.
But then when he asked how I did it, I said it wasn't too hard, I just had to send a couple emails each day. He was curious what I'd said, and I handed him my phone. He started to get stressed, and flipping back through other emails. Which there were like 60 of.
He told me I went way too far, he was expecting me to dispute through their billing department or something normal and reasonable like that, not internet stalk every single manager and board member and investor and harass them into dropping the bill.
I was frustrated because I'd just saved us 5 grand, actually made it possible for us to afford a nice Christmas and save some money, and he was mad at me because I'd been a bit of a hardass?
I was furious, and he was also mad at me, saying he authorized me to dispute a bill, not basically threaten and harass a whole damn hospital for weeks.
AITA for how I got my boyfriend's medical bills dropped?
Here's what people had to say:
You are a friggin' rock star and should be a damn professional advocate for those who get ripped off in healthcare like this. Your boyfriend is so unappreciative and is clearly clueless on how diligent you need to be to challenge an erroneous bill.
When the hospital, doctors, and insurance companies are unwilling to help you resolve their errors, what else are you supposed to do? So many people just quit and either pay the massive bill or go into debt. Tell your boyfriend this is the only Christmas gift you're giving him. Clearly NTA.
Leave him and marry me. I'm a woman and already married but my husband would understand.
Literally he's so ungrateful. I'd die if someone did this for me. The hospital billed me wrong several times and it takes months for them to fix. Honestly you're totally NTA and he's a huge AH.