• Report: #733120

Complaint Review: Heuser Hearing Institute

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  • Submitted: Wed, May 25, 2011
  • Updated: Thu, September 01, 2011

  • Reported By: DawgMom — Clarksville Indiana United States of America
Heuser Hearing Institute
111 E Kentucky St # 117 louisville, Kentucky United States of America

Heuser Hearing Institute Billed for services they didn't tell me cost anything and which they have no signature or agreement to pay louisville, Kentucky

*Author of original report: Heuser Hearing Institute Billing Practices

*UPDATE Employee: Heuser Hearing Institute conforms to appropriate billing practices

*Consumer Comment: Don't

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I am hearing impaired and disabled and have been receiving assistance from Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation (IVR). Heuser Hearing Institute, where I've previously received testing that was paid for by IVR, have also provided me with hearing aid cleanings at no charge for about (or over) a year. In the past, they had always gotten pre-approval from IVR for anything that needed to be paid for so that they could be reimbursed.

Two months ago they asked me to come in for testing and I did. Last week I received a bill for $131.00. When I called, I was told that I needed to pay for the hearing test they asked me to have because IVR wouldnt. I told them that I had no idea I needed to pay in the first place or I wouldnt have had the test. Since they had been cleaning my aids for free and they told me I needed to have the test (but made no mention of cost) it didn't occur to me that I would be billed. Furthermore, I wasnt informed of the fact up front or given a statement when I left. I was told I "should have known."

They also sent (by postal mail) a copy of a document that was signed in 2007 when I was referred by IVR that I signed at that time and again in 2010, however, the signature appears below the original and I think it may have been added. Regardless, I signed that original paperwork as a IVR client and that was the context in which it was presented to me.

The service dates on the bill are all for 03/11/2011 (and I wasn't billed until 05/06/2011). I never signed any documents to say I would pay for those services as I do at any other physician's office on the day of service. I do not feel I should have to pay for a bill because Heuser Hearing Institute assumed IVR would pay and when they found out otherwise, are attempting to manipulate and pressure me into paying for those services.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/25/2011 01:43 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Heuser-Hearing-Institute/louisville-Kentucky-40203/Heuser-Hearing-Institute-Billed-for-services-they-didnt-tell-me-cost-anything-and-which-733120. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 2Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Heuser Hearing Institute Billing Practices

AUTHOR: DawgMom - (United States of America)

It is true that this matter was resolved... after an inquiry from INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE. When I called your Chief Financial Officer and Director I was bullied and told I "had to pay the bill." It was never about your billing office not responding in a timely manner but they were rude and tried to bully me into paying for their mistake. 

While you may not discuss fees upfront, your office requested a hearing test at the time of a hearing aid cleaning, made no mention of cost at that time, nor when I came for the appointment. I did not sign anything that day to agree to payment nor get a receipt that day. A bill came 2 months later - after VR refused to pay because your office had not gone through the appropriate steps. You told the states attorney that you saw me 23 times - many for the free aid cleanings, others for testing, etc., NONE of which I personally paid for - so your office knew full well I was a VR client. It was on my records because you also told the attoney general that once the doctor who saw me realized that I was a VR client, he ended the appointment. 

As for this online forum, the original complaint was written after I tried to reason with the CFO and Director at Heuser. I did not "malign" anyone. As I said, I was told by more than one person that I "had to pay the bill." Period. And, I wouldn't say that treating me as you did was a "good deed.. unpunished" - it's more like KARMA. I work in the nonprofit industry and find your reminding everyone (including the attorney general's office) the Heuser "is a nonprofit" in very poor taste. Heuser is not a victim, although you've tried very hard to make it appear that way.


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#2 UPDATE Employee

Heuser Hearing Institute conforms to appropriate billing practices

AUTHOR: Heuser Hearing Institute Business O - (United States of America)

To whom it may concern:

The following information contains no personally identifiable information about any patient of Heuser Hearing Institute:

Our hearing impaired patients are typically reminded, via phone call or mail, when it is time for them to come in for their annual hearing test.   It is made clear that the resulting appointment is for testing, which is not done free of charge, as the patient is scheduled with one of the doctors.   If the patient is only coming in for a servicing of their hearing aid, which is provided free of charge for the life of the hearing aid, that service is provided by one of the audiometric assistance, not an audiologist.   When a patient sees their medical doctor for an appointment, the medical office does no discuss the fees up front with the patient and neither do we, except in the cases where the patient has questions because of a lack of insurance.   Medical offices do not counsel each patient that there will be a charge for the service provided during an appointment made by the patient as it is accepted practice to assume that any reasonable individual understands the principle of services for fee.   There is no attempt to "manipulate or pressure" patients into paying for service provided on their behalf.   Our patient billing forms make their responsiblity to pay clear.

Regarding signatures on patient billing information forms:   We periodically confirm the information that is on the patient billing form we have on file, asking the patient to review for accuracy and sign/date below the existing signatures.   The form says, among other things, "I understand that I am responsible for and will pay any amount not covered by insurance including collection costs and reasonable attorney fees if referred for collection."   We frequently will have multiple signatures and dates on the same patient information form if the patient receives service over a period of time.   It is always the patient that has signed the form validating their billing information and the legal commitments contained on the form, it is not "added" by any other individual.  

We send out statements to patients at various intervals after the date of services.   Our system shows that we printed patient statements on 5/6/2011.     The accounts for all patients for whom services were provided on 3/11/2011 were reviewed to determine if any of those patients had made inquiry about or had contested charges for services performed on that date or any other.  One patient, who received a 5/6/2011 statement (the only statement mailed to that patient), had the full remaining balance on their account credited on 5/31/11.   This write-off resulted from Business Office doing research on the account following phone conversations that occurred on 5/12 and 5/23.    

We believe that the Business Office of Heuser Hearing Institute resolved the matter on behalf of the patient in a very timely manner.   As a nonprofit organization which provides a large volume of unfunded/underfunded services, we have very limited support staff.   However, we try to respond to patient billing concerns as quickly as we can and it is apparent we did so in the case of the patient account described above.    There were no other accounts for patients seen on 3/11/2011 that had inquiries associated with the billing charges.   If the patient who posted the comments is currently receiving statements for charges they believe they should not owe, then they are not the patient described above, and should contact Heuser Hearing Institute immediately and ask to speak with the Chief Financial Officer.

If the individual who posted the comments is the patient associated with the billing account described above, it is really unfortunate that they would chose to malign our organization with an on-line posting less than a month after receiving the one and only statement mailed without allowing us time to resolve the issue.  Our organization provides services to many patient populations that the area's commercial audiology companies will not service because of the lack of profitability.    While the adage that "no good deed goes unpunished" may apply in this case, we are happy that most of our patients are appreciative of the way we fulfill our mission of providing excellent hearing health care to a diverse population, furthering hearing research, and providing financial support for the education of deaf and hard-of-hearing children at the Heuser Hearing & Language Academy (formerly called the Louisville Deaf Oral School).
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#3 Consumer Comment

Don't

AUTHOR: mr rik - (USA)

Dont pay em.
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