Unexpected Hospital Invoice

February 5, 2016 at 11:44 am | Posted in arthrits, arthrits, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, joint pai, rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 9 Comments
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I got an invoice in the post yesterday from the hospital, ‘Charge for prescription fee’. I haven’t had a prescription fro the hospital – what the heck are they on about? Then I thought, ‘Aha – it’s probably for my appointment on 8th Feb – the injection’ so I phoned finance and pointed out that I had a pre-payment certificate, expecting a whole load of argument about, ‘Oh, we don’t deal with those’, but no – it went very smoothly and she processed it through with the pre-payment certificate- all fine.

Then I took another look at the invoice for some reason – not sure why – and read it properly. ‘Charge for prescription fee 17.01.16 – as no credit terms are offered, please remit by return. If no payment is received within 30 days the invoice will be passed to our debt collection agency.’

Now I was pretty riled and slightly confused – but imagine how some poor little old lady would feel receiving that – OK, it’s not a large amount of money but the aggressive tone is enough to give you palpitations if you’re that way inclined. (I’m not, luckily – it just made me cross!) So I phoned the finance department back and said, ‘Oy, what’s this about 19th of January. I wasn’t there on the 19th of January.’ only (slightly) more politely. ‘Just a moment, I’ll check …’ <Hold music> ‘Yes, that’s right, it was processed on the 19th of January.’ Deep breath … ‘Yes, I know that … but I wasn’t there on the 19th of January so what is this for?’ ‘Oh … er…. we’ve only got the same info that you have – we’re just asked to process the invoice. So you didn’t have an outpatient visit?’ ‘No.’ ‘And you didn’t visit A&E?’ ‘No …’ Did I not just say I wasn’t there? Was that not clear enough? Obviously not. ‘Oh … well, would you like to check with pharmacy?’ So she gave me the pharmacy number and said, ‘But don’t worry, it’s processed on your per-payment certificate anyway.’ And I’m afraid that riled me even more – typical number-cruncher attitude – it doesn’t really matter what it’s for as long as the numbers balance. But I didn’t say anything except a polite thank you for the pharmacy number.

So I phoned the pharmacy – ‘Oh yes, it’s for an injection – it was sent to your GP on the 19th of January.’ ‘

‘It better not have been – because they can supply their own quite handily I believe – they don’t need them sent from the hospital. Are you telling me I’m being charged for something I’m not going to get because my next appointment is with the hospital, not the GP? Or is it perhaps a dose that’s been sent to the hospital rheumatology department, because I do have an appointment with them on 8th February.’ And of course that’s what it was. Hurrah.

Is it really that hard to put on the invoice ‘For hospital methotrexate injection on 8th February’ and take out the whole ‘You are an evil person who hasn’t paid instantly for something you didn’t even know about’ bit? Apparently so. Grrr …

And that only took 20 minutes to sort out and was a one-off. A very intersting post from Carla over at Carla’s Corner, on the time needed to cope with a chronic illness. I have a tiny weeny fraction of what she has to cope with and it still gets me grumpy and slightly stressed.



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  1. Very annoying for you to have had to deal with that.
    I remember years ago when my youngest was 3 or 5 or whatever, that it was a good thing I was a housewife or else I wouldn’t have had the time to sort everything out relating to her disability. Bloody nuisance!

  2. Oh heavens – as I said, this is one piddly little thing, but if you have to deal with a whole raft of them, like Carla, or like you must have had to for your youngest, it’s a complete nightmare – and it shouldn’t have to be. It’s jobsworths like Mrs Finance Woman that make it more like that than it needs to be!

  3. Bunch of monkeys they are :). Like you said, if it had been my grandma who’d had that letter, she would’ve worried herself sick about it.

  4. How aggravating! I remember years ago at a new doctor asking to pay my portion at the time of the appointment. They refused to accept payment, saying that it needed to go through insurance first and they would bill me (as if they had no idea how much insurance would pay, even though I told them what my insurance would cover). I waited and waited and finally phoned insurance to find out why it was taking so long to process. Then one day about 3 months after the appointment I received a notice from a collection agency and the next day in the mail received my first and only bill from the doctor’s office. I was livid! Walked payment into the doctor’s office immediately and gave ’em what-for, and haven’t been back since. I’d rather drive a ways to a good dr than be stuck with people who are that incompetent. Glad you got your billing problem all sorted out!

  5. Hello Polly,

    I came across your blog recently and have to say I’m a fan! Glad to hear the flare is over too 🙂

    Anyway I admit I’m getting in touch with you for a specific reason. You see I have recently developed a product which was inspired by a problem many people with arthritis have, that of opening plastic food and drink packaging! (Do a few examples immediately spring to mind for you when I mention plastic packaging?)

    The product is called Nimble, it’s a thimble-like device you can use to cut open all sorts of plastic and paper packaging with just a swipe of one finger, no need to faff around with knives, scissors or teeth!

    I was wondering if you could give me your thoughts on Nimble and see what you think? Is it something you or people you know would use?

    Here’s a short video of it in action to save you reading any more – https:// “youtu.be/7j4ZzbCnFZw”

    When you have a minute or two I’d love it if you could get back to me with your thoughts.

    Thanks and nice to meet you!


  6. Hi Polly: I just got a $350 bill from last June. I called and asked them about it and they had been sending it to the wrong insurance company for the last six months! Of course, my insurance company changed January 1 and I didn’t have all the information on the old one to give to them. (The information was on the back of the card which I destroyed at the end of the month.) Sheesh! It’s always something … Glad your situation worked out. Good luck with the methotrexate training next week! Hopefully it will go splendidly and (like me) you won’t have any problems or side effects!

  7. Hello, good to hear from you Socks! awful story though – I don’t blame you for never going back and well done for giving them an earful! I am going to make a complaint because this is presumably routine and it must be REALLY worrying for some people.

  8. Hi Simon, yes that plastic packaging is a nightmare and your slightly lethal looking nimble thimble looks like a good solution … Provided it lives in some sort of case or has a safety mechanism to protect kids and people being stupid!

  9. Oh Carla! It really is never-ending, isn’t it? Life would be so much easier if at least 70% of people actually did their jobs right! Thanks re the MTX – I hope so too!

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