Paul A. Cook, MD Reviews (1)
I received services from your company. At the time I had an individual private insurance policy with [redacted] and was also covered by Medicare (primary).
During that time I received and paid all balances due.
In August 2012 I broke my hand and opted to return to your business for services, since up to that time I had no reason to doubt your professional expetise or the ethics of your business practices. Within a week after my appointment I received this billing from 2007
and found it very puzzling. (I wondered if I would have ever received the billing if I had not sought services again, inasmuch as I have not moved or changed address since being your customer in 2007 and yet never received a bill prior to my seeking services in 2012.)
As result, I called your company and had a conversation with someone from your billing department, who disclosed that through an audit, it was discovered that your billing department had failed to notice an outstanding charge on my account and therefore had
failed to follow up and bill the appropriate vendor (the nursing home/for consolidated services - services received while an in-patient at the nursing home). resulting in the balance due.
Furthermore, I was told that the charge rightfully should have been paid by the nursing home where I had stayed for almost a month following release from the hospital. The billing staff person went on to say that the nursing home was being billed and that it
might help if I contacted the nursing home and encouraged them to step up and pay the charge. Lastly, your employee informed me that if the nursing home failed to respond, I, your customer, with extensive insurance coverage and Medicare (primary) in 2006-7,
would be responsible for payment.
First of all, I was amazed that you company is not accountable for its own mistakes. If I make a mistake as a staff member of my employer and, especially, if the error is not corrected for five (5) years! I can't imagine holding someone else accountable. It is just
good business practice. If you are never held accountable for your mistakes, why would
anyone be motivated to make fewer of them?????
Several weeks ago I called Medicare to inquire about your efforts to force payment from me as a result of your own errors. I was informed that first of all, you need to identify for me in plain English the date and time of the specific services I received and from whom
and in plain English the description of those services. In addition, I should seek proof that you have billed the nursing home and that you have billed Medicare and [redacted] for this nursing home charge.
Please send proof of those billing efforts with the necessary explanations in plain English.
Armed with this specific information, I will be able to contact Medicare myself and be reassured that these charges now resulting from your billing department's errors become my responsibility.
For your information, my very small nonprofit organization has an annual audit. We also
have a CPA who reviews our financials and prepares statements. If I don't catch an error
in the office, the CPA will catch the error. If the CPA does not catch the error, the auditors will catch the error. Errors would never linger for years. And as a matter of principle, I cannot imagine any circumstances where I would expect payment from someone after 12 months. As a matter of fact, I would not expect it after 30-60 days.
And although $94.28 is not exactly pocket change to my small nonprofit organization, I would think that canceling this long over-due charge (no matter who or what is responsible) in your large expansive company would be automatic, a no-brainer, and cause your large business no ill effects.
I look forward to receiving your information so that I can follow up my research with Medicare.
Thank you very much.
P.S. Your past-due letter refers to $300 past due, Please explain the reason for
$94.28 growing into $300. Or maybe it's $394.28. Please explain.