During the night of the January 31/February 1st, my son had an ear infection and our medical provider recommended us to go to the Lake Mead Hospital- 1409 E Lake Mead Blvd. North Las Vegas, NV 89030).
Exactly that night the hospital changed owners and due to that ownership transfer out waiting extended to nearly 5 hours.
My son was seen by the doctor, antibiotic was prescribed and we have been on our way.
We paid I think $35 in the hospital, and later received a bill on $50 that I have paid. I knew that adjusted balance was still to come.
I was in shock when I received hospital bill on $334- for 5 minutes of doctor's intervention. My insurance paid it their part, $334 was my portion.
I asked for the itemized bill.
Doctors charge (code 450) was $159.40 what was fine, but,
(Code 460)- Pulmonary Function Oximetry X1 (single) was $345.75. I was confused- my son didn't have any problem with lungs, what they have been talking about???
I called the hospital and they explained to me that 460- Pulmonary Function Oximetry is actually placing of plastic peg on the finger that reads level of oxygen in blood.
Can you imagine that placing of that plastic bit on a top of a finger coasted nearly double then doctors visit?
Oximetry is routinely done (done to me many tines and to my kids as well). I have never been charged for that service such an extensive amount, it is usually charge, so small that you don't notice it in the body of a bill.
It was clear RIP OFF!
I wrote a fax to the hospital and send it on 04/13, explaining that I though that that price was extensive. I send them some opinions like the opinion from AAHAM- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management web site- which places oximetry in the same bracket with price of use of electronic thermometers, and AAHAM recommend not charging for that service at all. On some other web sites I found that that service is never charged more then $35.
I followed by phone call and was told that the account will go into auditing.
As nothing happened for some time, I called them again on 05/12/04 asking what was happening with the auditing. They didn't have any idea, no one knew about my fax from AprilI was asked to re-send the fax, what I did. I followed with phone call and was told that they didn't have any available auditors by the end of June and that I should follow up in July.
In June I had a phone call from a man from the hospital (unfortunately I don't remember his name), who called me to apologies for what was happening with my account. He told me that mistakes in pricing were inherited from the previous owner and that they have been going through all pricing adjusting it. He also said that the rooms have been overpriced for nearly 30% and promised that my account would be promptly dealt with and the mistake in pricing fixed up. I was glad that someone cared and hoped that the case would be sorted out soon.
I called again in July, to be told that auditing would be done in August.
I called again in August and was told that the case was with an auditor. For me it was a good sign, I wanted it rectified as soon as possible.
Then in September I received another $334 bill. I reacted immediately. I wrote a fax to the Lake Mead Hospital enquiring why it was happening while the case was in auditing. I followed by phone call. They consolidated me by explaining that it was how the system worked and that I should just ignore any other bill that I receive until the auditing would be finished.
I STRESSED my concern that I didn't want my account to go to collection, and they reassured me that it couldn't happen. The lady (Shirley or something like that) from the other side promised that she would put another note enquiring about results of audit.
AND WHAT HAD HAPPENED TODAY?
I have just received notice from NCO Financial Services (9009 Corporate Lake Drive, Suite 300-BD, Tampa, FL) that Lake Mead Hospital has placed my account for collection.
It HURTS!!! I have done everything possible to resolve the problem.
I have written faxes, regularly called, expressly asked for confirmation that the account would not go to collection until the audit is finishedand nothing helped.
I have FICO over 730 and I don't want to destroy it. But in the same time I don't want to be a victim of Lake Mead Hospital RIP OFF.
Who knows how many people have been financially damaged?
What kind of administration and management is in Lake Mead Hospital when things like this happen? I think that they deserve to be investigated. Is this incidental or is this deliberate Rip Off?
I'm scared to even think what might be happening with patient's files and documentation if things like this are happening in accounting..
PLEASE, tell me what can I do to protect my right in this situation?
Van Nuys, California
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on NCO Financial