This is another blog inspired by the struggles of my own life; this time it’s about the lack of transparency in medical billing. There has been a number of situations over the past 8 years where we have received large unexpected medical bills due to a lack of cost transparency (read: lies) on the date of service.
This issue concerns Via Christi Home Medical and their blatant lies about contacting our insurance carrier to confirm pricing. My wife received a CPAP machine from Via Christi, we were told on the date of service it would cost $200; 2 months later we receive a bill for $973, a 386% increase on the quoted price.
I paid that bill on a credit card knowing I had plans to consolidate our credit cards. Now we are being threatened with our balance being sent to collections for a second bill for CPAP supplies, this is for another $438, we were told that our medical insurance would cover 100% of the cost of these supplies. So, Via Christi is either incompetent or they’re consistently lying to patients, either way, it’s unacceptable.
At this time, due to having a single income, we’re unable to pay this balance. I have to keep a roof over our heads, food in our mouths, I don’t give a fuck about whether a rich medical organization doesn’t get their $438. Via Christi claims to be a Catholic organization with Christian beliefs claiming “Service of the Poor“. Yes, they will treat you, but will also send you a huge bill, then threaten you with collections and try to refer you to high-interest loan companies so they get their money, very Christian, right?
Ultimately, if Via Christi Home Medical wants to send our balance to collections, go for it, it won’t change the situation, WE DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO PAY THIS BALANCE WITHOUT SACRIFICING ESSENTIALS OF LIFE. My family’s needs are far more important than the wants of any business.
Basically, from what I can see, these medical companies can make up prices that have no basis in reality or bring in the services of external resources without telling you. For example, during a hospital visit, an external specialist consults with you, however, you are unaware that a separate bill is coming your way until you receive a bill months later, this is another personal experience from Wesley Medical Center.
In this case, Via Christi gave a price, based on most medical insurance, however, this is not made clear, they give you the impression they have checked with your insurance and the price they quote is the price you pay. If these providers said, most people pay this amount, but you should check with your insurance company to confirm your actual costs, most people would check before accepting the service.
This is a systematic problem, not a specific problem with Via Christi or Wesley Medical. This is a symptom of our corrupt system of governance where companies are people and money talks. These medical companies spend millions of dollars each year to create laws and regulations that benefit them at the cost of the American people. And it will only get worse under the Twitter troll President, Donald Trump.
UPDATE [Mar, 2 2017, 17:54]: It seems that this blog has attracted the attention of Via Christi, we received a financial assistance form and a letter thanking us for our feedback, see below.