So here’s the story. My wifes family, her entire family (her, brother, both parents, all four grandparents as well as all included cousins) all use the same ENT. He is a very nice person, nice enough that I’ll bet a good chunk of his patients would consider him a friend, or at least something more then an aquintence. On top of that, my MIL being in the medical field herself seems to have an even closer connection with him. So when I was in need on an ENT I saw him. I really do like him, he’s a very nice person. After the first appointment he told me to come back in three weeks. Before those three weeks were up, I received his first bill. I think it was about $150. I made a $75 payment on it. At the second appointment. I explained to him that I’m on an HDHC plan with an employer funded HSA. At the time, my employer was putting $150/mo into my HSA which had to be split several ways. I told him all this and then told him that if his appointments are going to be $150/mo either we need to space them out to every 5 weeks or so (rather then every three) or we need to talk about getting a lower price since I simply couldn’t afford it. He mentioned that the first one was expensive because it was an initial consultation, but the rest would only be about $60. Phew. So each appointment I got a bill, and each time I got a bill I paid $50-$75, whatever I could afford that month with what I had in my HSA. This has been going on since January with no problems. In June he gave me “three months off” and I have to see him again in September. When he said that, I joked that I’d have him paid off by then. So I get a bill in June, I send in my check. For some reason though, the check hadn’t cleared my bank yet. In fact, I was going to call on Monday to see what’s going on with that. But today I got a statement from them, on it they circled “Last payment 5/21” and wrote a note that said “3rd notice, Avoid collection.”
Now, I can understand that something happened between me writing the check, and them receiving it. Maybe I lost it, maybe they lost it, who knows, who cares. But it seems to me a call would be in order. This “avoid collection” note seemed rather out of line. And on top of that, I would hardly call this the “3rd notice” I suppose my May bill/statement was the first, my June statement (no appointment that month) was the second, and this, my July statement, was the third. But what she wrote on there was kind of a slap on the face.
I just wrote a check for the entire outstanding amount, but my question is, do I send a letter in with it explaing how I feel, do I just show the handwritten note to the doctor and tell him how insulted I am, or do I let it go?
I should also mention that even though I don’t pay the bill in full each month, I do pay prompty EVERY month, I have never gone a month without making a payment, and they’ve never had to call me to ask when they’ll be getting their payment. I would think that if the way I was paying was an issue, they would have mentioned it to me sometime in the last 7 months, nicely. Not like this.
For example, my wife saw a doctor quite a while ago, the bill was several hundred dollars. I sent in about $50 and got a note back saying “Full payments only, to make a partial payment please call this number and set up a payment plan.” There that was easy.