Oh, this is fun! I work as a hospital biller. Unless one has worked in said situation, one cannot IMAGINE the BS that billers get daily. I am the first person in patient accounting that any patients get to talk to. I get yelled at daily because of the following:
A.) Medicare sucks. In 1998 in hopes of lessening amounts spent by Medicare yearly, they made budget cutbacks. One of the main cutbacks was that they will deny any and all "self administered" drugs on an outpatient basis. This basically means if someone who has Medicare (maybe you should know the main qualification for Medicare is being 65+ years old) comes to our Emergency Room and has a pain pill, that pain pill is going to cost $28 (or, ya know, they could have a 500MG antibiotic that is $120 per pill) and Medicare isn't going to pay for it. A pill, patch, cream, inhaler, some injections - ANYTHING Medicare deems "self administered", you're going to pay for, because even if you pay out the butt for a secondary like AARP, secondary insurances will not pay for anything denied by the primary. So I get pissed off 93 year old men calling me and telling me I'm lying and pocketing their money myself and threatening to sue me. Because yes, I can screw Medicare over and pocket that money. I'm JUST that good.
B.) Our prices are high. Okay, and? I don't see why people seem to think that they let ME, the girl who answers the phone, set the freaking prices. Really, I just sit down and say "Hey, this person had an albuterol inhaler! Let me charge them $75!" And then "Oh, and THIS person TOO had an albuterol inhaler, but their last name sucks, so I'll charge them $100!" Yes. I have been accused of this. OR I get the asshats who decide to tell me that if they were Mexican, they wouldn't be paying for it. And people think that we have different prices for different folks. Example:
Patient: So you're telling me it costs $300 to put a splint on my finger!?
Me: Yes, sir.
Patient: What if I didn't have insurance?
Me: What do you mean?
Patient: What would you charge me if I hadn't had insurance.
Me: *confused* Er... $300.
Patient: And if I had Medicare?
Patient: And if I had Medicaid?
Me: THREE. HUNDRED. DOLLARS.
IS IT REALLY THAT HARD OF A CONCEPT TO GRASP? We don't make up different prices for different folks. It's all the same!
C.) We have NOTHING to do with what you end up paying. Absolutely nothing. We bill your insurance, they process the claim, they send us an Explanation of Benefits telling us what they paid and what to charge you. So if you paid your $100.00 co-pay in the ER and now are being billed by us for $200.00 more, thats your INSURANCES fault. No, we can't fix it. Take it up with them. They're generally as big of jerks to us as they are to you.
D.) I get people every single day to tell me their sob story and ask me to write off their bill. "I'm not working right now, I'm living off of child support, I have no money to pay this bill." And what do you want me to do about that? YOU are the idiot that came to the ER for something as stupid as a headache or toothache or congestion, you got treated, you pay up. There is no if and or but about that situation. I'm not going to just ERASE the bill because you're sitting in front of me with your designer purse and your nails done because you aren't working. Cry about it.
I love my job, really..... ;-D.