Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My Only Consolation

Oh my GAH.

Recently, I received a bill for $420 from a doctor I saw back in February for a consultation on my fibroid issues. The doctor did not have a very good bedside manner and he did a really hard sell on a procedure which is still fairly new, for which not a lot of data on effectiveness is available. At the time that I made the appointment, the scheduler told me, "Yes, we accept Blue Shield [my insurance company at the time]."

Now, some ten months and change later, I get a bill from them. Apparently, they've been billing Blue Shield and Blue Shield will not pay them because they are "not a participating provider." When I spoke to a Blue Shield representative this morning, she explained to me that even though the doctor's office told me that they accept Blue Shield, all that really means is that they will try and bill Blue Shield for the office visit. Here is a transcript of our conversation:

Blue Shield Rep: They are not contracted with us. So in the future, what you need to do when contacting a doctor is find out not just if they accept Blue Shield, but if they contract with Blue Shield.

Mama Blah Blah: Wow. Okay, so but you can see why I feel a little bit like I've been scammed? I mean, they acted like all would be well and my insurance would cover it. I'm not saying that's your fault, I'm just saying --

BSR: [Nervous yet empathetic laughter] Yeah, it seems --

MBB: I mean, what recourse do I have now?

BSR: Well, you need to speak with the doctor's office and explain the situation.

MBB: I have a feeling that's going to go over well.

BSR: [Again with the laughter]

MBB: Well, this is a very expensive lesson.

BSR: I'm so sorry. Is there anything else I can help you with?

MBB: [To self: Yes, you can help me find my can opener because I am about to open up a 64-ounce can of Whup Ass on the doctor's office. To her:] Um, no thanks. Thank you for your help and have a great day.
And three phone calls later, with still no resolution of the matter, I find myself leaving a message with one of the medical billing specialists. Frustrated, I hightail it to the Internette, where I drown my sorrows by reading one of my new faves; I speak, dear friends, of Shoe Blog.

I am a big fan of shoes, in theory. I love, love, love them. In practice, my feet are extremely difficult. A shoe which looks great and fits well in the store quite often tortures my feet when truly put to the test of a full 8 to 9 hour day. This means that I tend to have to buy rather expensive (to me) shoes so I won't further ruin my feet. This also means that I don't buy a lot of shoes, much though I love them. I'm thinking however, that I may not be able to resist these:

I mean, come on. Throw these on with jeans and a bright top with a cool jacket and that is pretty dang cute. They also come in orange!

And for those days when you want a bit more sophistication:

Henceforth I think I will adopt this as my motto: New shoes beat the blues! I'm also enjoying NaBloShoeMo tremendously. It's making my heart go thumpa-thump.

Oh, shoes. I do love you so.


bridget in oregon said...

You need to read Manolo's Shoe Blog too. Very funny and lots to look at. (He even has a shoe blog for kids: Teeny Manolos).

Lisa Blah Blah said...

Mmm, yummy. This is my version of porn. :-)

Liz said...

That's RIDICULOUS that they are trying to make you pay that bill. I'm mad on your behalf. That's deceptive tactics on the part of the doctor.

I hope it works out in your favor.

Lisa Blah Blah said...

I know I rant about the health care system here a lot, but you can see why. The billing specialist left me a message Friday afternoon asking me to fax her all the claim information Blue Shield had sent me. This amounts to about ten pages of paper for ONE OFFICE VISIT and does not even include the lab work, which they outsourced (and which Blue Shield actually paid). Grrrr!!!

I'll let you know what happens. Thanks for the support!

Shomore said...

MBB, I was so touched that our humble blog offered you some solace. Thank you. As for Manolo's Shoe Blog, it's the best and I highly recommend it as well. Some posts will leave you roaring with laughter.

Best wishes on the health care bill. It pains me to hear about all the hoops you are jumping through.

-Shomore from Shoeblog

Jitterbug said...

I second Shomore's appreciation. It's always nice to hear that we're making people happy with our little corner of the vast interwebs.

Good luck with the insurance hassle. I've been there myself, and no matter how much I try to learn about it, there's always something around the next corner that seems to snag me up again.

--Jitterbugbaby (from Shoeblog)

Lisa Blah Blah said...

Oooh, I feel like I have been visited (virtually) by celebrities! Hello, Shoeblogians! I salute you and your fabulous shoe finds. I heart you in a totally friendly non-stalkerish way!