Home > Uncategorized > And Then The Hit From the ER Billing Department

And Then The Hit From the ER Billing Department

(This is another post about my biking accident on 8/11/09, when a truck hit me while I was riding my bike.)

There must’ve been a rash of wheelchair thefts occurring at this hospital.  Earlier they couldn’t find one to help get me back to the bed (and instead used an office chair), and now it took a nurse forty-five minutes (forty-five minutes!) to locate a wheelchair so they could release me.

When she returned with the wheelchair, she also brought a couple of sheets to cover the lower portions of my body.  (I guess they didn’t want me inadvertently flashing anyone on my way out of the hospital.  Not that I would’ve cared at the moment.)  While the nurse helped me settle into the wheelchair, Angela left to bring the car to the designated pick-up location.  The hospital staff weighed me down with crutches, a stack of papers about my injuries some silver sulfoxide, and a plastic bag containing all my essentials that had been collected at the scene of the accident.

“Do you want to take your clothes?” the nurse asked again.

(Did I want the bloodied cycling shorts and jersey that had been cut off me?  Are you kidding?)

“No, thanks.  You can trash them.”

(What good were they to me?)

“All right.  We’ll just need to stop at the billing department on our way out.”

(Of course, we can’t forget the billing department.)

I didn’t have my glasses to read the papers the billing clerk shoved in front of me, so reading them proved nearly impossible.  (At the moment, I didn’t care what they said.  I wanted to leave.  I would’ve agreed to and promised anything to get out of there.)

“Sign here.”

“Initial here.”

And then she handed me the last form.  (After I had signed all of the other forms.)  “We don’t accept your health insurance, so sign here acknowledging that you are responsible for payment for all services rendered.”

(Excuse me?  What?!?!)

I did my best to smile at her and her forms.  She didn’t make the policy, she just delivered the news.  But (BUT!), are you kidding me?  Not only did I get creamed by a vehicle this morning, not only have I had to argue with their doctor about the extent of my injuries, but now this from the billing department.

(Could this day get any better?)

(Note:  This should not be taken as a lack of appreciation for the work of the hospital staff.  I am grateful for all their efforts.  It’s not her fault that the higher-ups couldn’t negotiate a contract with my insurance company- one of the largest insurance groups in the state.  Still.)

I grumbled and mumbled as I scribbled my signature where she pointed.

For the time being, I put the financial burden out of my mind.  It would be something I could (and would) deal with later.  (At this point, I had no information on the accident.  I didn’t know who’d hit me, if they’d stopped, or even if they had insurance.  I knew nothing.)

The nurse and I then waited for Angela to find us at the appointed location.  I stared into the blurry parking lot while I tried not to let the full extent of the day bear down on me- physical pain, financial pain, and a turmoil of emotions.  I stared straight ahead and tried not to engage the nurse in conversation.

“Do you see her car?” she asked.

I scanned the parking lot, and located her white Toyota Avalon.  (Or someone else’s white car.  I couldn’t make much out.)  “There it is,” I said, pointing with my left arm.  (Wow, that hurt.  A lot.)

Angela stopped in front of us.  The nurse opened the door and helped me into the front seat.  (I think I managed to avoid flashing anyone.)

“Take care,” the nurse added.

“Thanks,” I answered as she shut the door.  Then I turned to Angela and said, “Let’s get out of here.”

************
Waiting To Be Released From The ER
The Wrong Way To Diagnose a Broken Leg
The Upside To A Possible Head Trauma
Dazed, Confused, And A Stupid Question on the way to the ER
If…If…If… (Or The Day A Truck Hit Me While On My Bike)
Minor Accidents

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