This letter is being sent to document the reasons why I am disputing the hospital’s charges for services rendered during my recent visit to CMHospital’s Emergency Room (ER).
On March 3, 2013, my wife took me to the ER for severe pain associated with the passing of a kidney stone. Here is the timeline of that event:
1:30 PM: My wife and I arrived at CM ER. I was immediately checked in and had my vital signs taken. When asked my pain level, I said it was about a 6 or 7. They directed us to go back out into the waiting room and we’d be called, shortly.
2:30 PM, 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM: My wife and I took turns going up to the front desk and asking, “When we could expect to be seen by the doctor?” They assured us that we were on the list and coming up soon. In the meantime, countless other people were ushered into the back room. It’s almost as if the ER room changed it’s population a couple of times while we were waiting.
IMPORTANT: I had NO PROBLEM giving up my position to accommodate anyone in a more life threatening condition, i.e., lady in a wheelchair rushed in looking like she was completely passed out, or the little baby that kept crying painfully. In short, I was cognizant enough to know priorities and had no problem giving up my place for another’s needs. What we didn’t understand was how the ER process was conducted. Why were we still in the waiting room at 5:00 PM?
6:00 PM and 7:00 PM: Went through a shift change, and again approached the front desk for some type of explanation. The new receptionist assured us we were on the list and would be called back, shortly. When asked, “Why it was taking so long?” she said that my case was serious, and would take a lot of time for the doctor to handle. They had to block out the right amount of time and resources for my condition.
7:30 PM: I was called back to a room. Once there, I was hooked up to an IV for fluids. I strongly protested because I was NOT ABLE TO URINATE, AT ALL, and knew this was going to put me in further crisis and pain.
9:00 PM: Finally the doctor came by to access my condition (kidney stone was at the very tip of the urethra tube). He instructed the nurse to give me a morphine shot, and to take me for a CT Scan.
9:30 PM: I’m wheeled down the hall for a CT Scan*.
* For a 74176-26 CT ABD & Pelvis Scan - Apparently without contrast
10:15 PM: I am given another morphine shot. It has NO EFFECT on me at all because the pain is over-the-top from having no relief ALL DAY LONG. And now I have a constant and painful urge to go to the bathroom, but I can’t because of the kidney stone.
10:45 PM: The doctor comes back in and says he can’t see any problems on my CT Scan. Being unable to deal with my specific problem, he recommends a urology group he wants me to see on Monday. He writes me two prescriptions and sends me on my way.
11:30 PM: We finally leave the ER and head out to find a Pharmacy open at night.
Points of Dispute:
1.) When I received your statement, I was astonished by the amount due of $7808.25 for the services rendered. Granted, the insurance
adjustment brings the charges down to $4632.63. But before the insurance deduction, the hourly rate I was inline to pay was $1,952.06 per hour x 4 = $7808.25
2.) If one looks up the Healthcare Blue Book for pricing on Facility Services In Emergency Department, Level 3—it shows $1,511* for a moderate problem.
* This is the Healthcare Blue Book’s recommended price for health care services. The Blue Book price is based on the typical fee that providers in our area accept as payment from insurance companies. This is the fair price I should have to pay, even if Methodist Health System charges more.
3.) Mission Statement on wall of room I occupied posted this commitment —
“Our goal is to make you feel better.” Note I left feeling worse then when I arrived despite the fact that I’d received: (2) morphine shots, (1) bag of glucose, and (2) prescriptions for the kidney stone I still had.
Additional Costs Beyond Hospital Facility:
Addendum F: Note the charges from MedSolutions XRAY for another CT Scan needed by Southwest Urology Associates because the CT scan taken at the hospital didn’t have the “contrast” the doctors needed to read my current kidney condition.
7.) Addendum G: Monetary impact of my Kidney Stone health crisis.
Summary: I am not willing to pay $4,632.63 for services that rendered me NO relief. Instead, I request an opportunity to discuss my dissatisfaction with the hospital’s billing department after my case has been reviewed. The Medical Center Billing Dept. came back that I own the full amount of $4,632.63. 1) I have no statement showing what I am being charge for. 2) I feel like we have been over charge. 3) How can I handled this?
Your help and consideration of my position is greatly appreciated.