Should I pay this bill?

Back in June I went in for a voluntary medical procedure. Everything went well, and three months later in August I went back in for a follow up.

When I was undressed and in my gown for the follow up was when they thought to ask me if I had an allergy to shellfish. I said, why, yes I do. They said, oh, the test we are doing, we can’t do for people allergic to shellfish. We don’t have the resources if you go into shock. We’re sorry. I say, what do I do now?

They rescheduled me for the same test in a hospital, where they could control a possible anaphylactic reaction. This hospital is about 15 miles away, so it’s no small hike, and on a working morning of course. So I go to the hospital. Same thing happens, I get disrobed and I wait, and wait, and finally the hospital tell me that my doctor - the doctor from the original clinic - is not there, so they can’t do the test on me and I will have to reschedule. So even though the clinic scheduled my appointment, they didn’t schedule my doctor. :confused:

Furious, I storm all the way back to the original clinic (thankfully my boss is understanding). I tell them straight up I’m angry and what happened.

The doctor, who is not incompetent at all and very nice, rearranges his schedule to do a couple of tests on me that are not exactly the same test, but accomplish more or less the same thing, without the danger of anaphylactic shock. I walk out the door, mollified.

Now I’ve gotten a bill for the procedures they did for me. It’s not a lot, only $40, so it’s not as though I can’t afford it. But they were incompetent all down the line, so I am resentful that I have to pay for a service I wouldn’t have had to have if they could have gotten their act together. I also never plan to go back to them for anything, ever. I kind of want to send an angry, if calm, letter.

On the other hand, it’s $40. It’s not a lot to stand on principle for. Maybe I should just pay it. Maybe I should pay it AND send the angry, calm letter.


So - you agree to some tests which are done and you are charged for the service you agreed to - and you don’t want to pay for them because…

Yeah, just pay the bill.

If you got the tests, you should pay the bill. The charges for the services rendered really have nothing to do with the misunderstandings or whatever happened before. You got tests, you pay for them. Deal with your anger in a separate way, by sending a letter, writing a nasty review on Yelp, picketing the office, telling your friends to never go there, or whatever, but pay your bill. If you don’t pay, they’re just going to send it to collections, and it will be a hit on your credit.

I’m confused. Gotten a bill from whom and for what?

Ok will do. I really just wanted to bitch about their incompetence, anyway. Thanks. :slight_smile:

To Gary, I got a bill from the clinic for doing the services that they did in a hurry when the hospital sent me back from them. Does that make sense?

Went to the hospital to have procedure A done
The clinic messed up the scheduling (for the second time)
Went to the clinic angry
They did Procedure B in lieu of Procedure A

I am now getting a bill for Procedure B.

Never mind. I had the same question as Gary T.

I have stood firm on principle on a $15 medical charge where I didn’t think the doctor had done the test. It’s probably still on my credit rating. I would have paid this charge but I would have also reamed out everyone within earshot for wasting so much of my time.

I think I’d pay the bill and send the letter. Their incompetence was pretty bad - you’d think they’d know what was required for a re-scheduling of a procedure.

Well, I’ve been working on building up my credit rating, so I don’t want to mess that up. I think I’ll pay it and send a formal, polite letter.

I thought this was going to be a classic case of double-billing. I’ve gotten those, where I get a complex notice from my insurance company that states “amount you owe” and pay it, and later get several notices from the service provider stating “YOU MUST PAY THIS NOW OR IT WILL GO TO COLLECTIONS” and elsewhere, in tiny text, “this is not a bill, please contact your insurance provider to determine if you owe anything.” It turned out I did not have to pay the second (and subsequent) invoices, and the service providers knew that; they were just mailing a scary-looking non-bill in the hope that i would panic and send them free money.

Apparently this is entirely legal for reasons I don’t pretend to understand.

Note that, since I have replied to your post, you owe me ONE MILLION DOLLARS and must pay immediately to avoid your account being sent to collection! Remittance envelope attached for your convenience.

This is not an actual bill. Please contact the SDMB to determine if you owe anything.

I once had an urgent care send me a bill after the fact for $150 in gonorrhea tests that I 1: didn’t need 2: didn’t request and 3: never received the results for (tmi: I went in for a UTI, but I could have told them backwards and forwards that there was literally no way I had gonorrhea! Plus, the doctor never even once mentioned it). I called politely enough the first few times, but once they dragged their feet on reversing it and I started getting more serious collection letters, I wrote a scathing Yelp review. Suddenly, they called back, reversed the charge, and issued me a check back for my original $150 fee to see the doctor.

So, squeaky wheel and all that.

Yeah me too. I thought you were going to be charged for the first time you went to the clinic and disrobed, and the time you went to the hospital and disrobed.

Find it kind of lucky that you were only charged for the procedure you actually had.

Do write your letter or whatever, though! Or even better be like Diosa and write a scathing review on Yelp! :slight_smile:

I’m confused about which, ‘theys’, are which, still.

‘They’ messed up, indeed.

Which ‘they’? The Dr who ordered the testing initially? The ‘they’ who didn’t ask about your allergy? The ‘they’ who didn’t schedule the Dr? The hospital who didn’t realize no Dr? Or are all of these the same ‘they’, maybe?

All I see, is that, in the end, ‘they’ accommodated you, and did a test. You seem to like and trust the Dr. Not entirely sure why you wouldn’t pay.

I’d have to agree with everyone else: pay.

A medical test isn’t like a free dessert if the waiter is slow.

You could contact them and say that they did a ridiculous thing and made you run all over creation and that you object to being billed. And then see what they say. Some places would give a discount under the circumstances.

It really IS like a free dessert if the waiter is slow, if the management wants it to be that way.

ETA: I don’t tend to do things like this unless they were really rude or offensive. A simple mistake doesn’t generally bother me too much.

Pay the bill. Call it a “lessons learned tax.”

Write your angry, but calm, letter.

Go on Angie’s list, register, and post a review of this office, detailing the incompetency you experienced.

I went to a shyster dentist after my regular dentist had a stroke and sold out his practice. You should see the accurate, but scathing indictment of this dentist on Angie’s list. :: devil horns ::

But if they had gotten their act together, you would have had procedure A done and gotten a bill for procedure A, no? I can understand resenting all the runaround and miscommunication, but I’m not sure I follow getting mad over a legitimate charge.

Now, if you still need procedure A on top of that, yeah, I’d be upset over having to pay for an extra test because they screwed up the scheduling rather than because of medical necessity.

If Procedure B is significantly more expensive than Procedure A, I might feel a bit rooked on the price of the procedure.

If the costs are essentially the same (and probably are since it’s only $40), your beef isn’t with the bill, it’s with your clinic’s incompetence that wasted a significant amount of your time. The remedy isn’t skipping out on your bill, it’s in never going back there. Pay the bill, write your letter, be calm and decent about it, be firm about not going back.

This is silly. It’s not like it’s a dreadfully personal thing that happened (well it is, but it doesn’t bother me). for anyone who cares, here is the full story. For the rest of you, I’m going to pay the bill. :slight_smile:

I went to CNY Fertility to get an Essure treatment. This is permanent sterility; it blocks up the fallopian tubes. Everything went just fine and like I said my doctor was wonderful. I was very concerned, it being a fertility place, that I would be made to feel bad since i was going to become sterile, but it was not the case at all.

At the time they asked me about what medications I was on, and one of the things I wrote down was “daily ceritazine (sp, I know) pill - 10 mg”. No one asked me what I was allergic to.

So three months after the Essure test, you have to get an HSG dye test to make sure the tubes are blocked. I scheduled my appointment; they did not ask me about possible allergies.

I came in for my test, and went through the waiting room and into the back and disrobed, and THEN she brought in a clipboard and said “Do you have any allergies to shrimp or iodine?” Well I guess the HSG has some sort of shellfish-y component. So now they can’t take care of me there because they don’t have the facilities to deal with anaphylactic shock.

THEY said they were going to take care of the scheduling. This was on Friday, and Monday was a holiday (Labor Day). I called back on Wednesday and asked politely. They told me they would call me back, and they did, the same day. They said I had an appointment at a hospital in Schenectady that same Friday.

I went to the hospital and I waited there, and they got me disrobed and into the room, and casually, the nurse mentioned “Dr. M. should be here shortly.” Dr. M being my doctor.

I said, “Doctor M. is coming? I didn’t know that.”

Well, apparently Dr. M. didn’t know that either. Fridays are the days he does egg retrievals and he was in a procedure back in CNY Fertility. So I was told, they couldn’t do it today. So sorry.

I drove back to CNY and complained. The receptionist disappeared in the back for 20 minutes. Then I got a consult with the doctor, who said they still don’t want to run the HSG test but they could do what they do in Europe - visually inspect the blockages with an ultrasound and also do a saline test. I said , sure.

Now he did reschedule himself to take care of me, so it was like my rage was a balloon that all deflated POP! I felt much better walking out the door. And you are right; they did do a procedure on me, so I will pay the bill.

And that, my friends, is the tale! The “they” I refer to is presumably whoever makes appointments at CNY, plus the nurses, who should have asked at the time of the Essure about my allergies so we would know ahead of time I couldnt’ get the HSG test.

Hope that makes it clear.

You paid for the services you received. You didn’t pay for services you didn’t receieve. You got jerked around by a bunch of incompetent medical personnel. Welcome to the rest of your life.