Saturday, September 12, 2015

Hospital Billing Practices, My letter to the Hospital. Don't stand for this!

Red Bud Regional Hospital
Business Office
PO Box 503891
St. Louis, MO 63150
Cc: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Red Bud Chief Executive Officer Shane Watson, Chief Financial Officer Ben Wells

September 12, 2015

Dear Business Administrators of Red Bud Regional Hospital,

I am writing to you asking for consideration to modify your billing practices so that your rates reflect your actual costs are not such a financial blow to the average household. I understand that these billing practices have been in place for many years and those insurance companies have in large part set the rates, holding us all hostages to their policies. Whatever the case, the reality is inflated charges which bury the average patient with impossible charges.
I went to the ER at Red Bud July 5th with abdominal and leg pain, worried it could be a clot, appendicitis or kidney infection. I spent 4 hours which included a CT scan, blood draw, urinalysis and antibiotic IV drip. The bill I received was for $12,421. I’ve researched the hospital’s probable REAL cost and came up with approximately $2000 MAXIMUM.  The hospital has been paid $6,828 by my insurance (which is in itself a mortgage payment at $900+/month for our family of 6 to have catastrophic insurance). 
Now Red Bud Regional Hospital wants me to pay IN FULL $5,567 MORE. Now.  Really? Who can do this? Can you? How is this inflated billing even legal? How can any of you, in good conscience, send out bills like this which could mean financial ruin to most people, knowing the bill does not even come close to representing your true cost? At this rate NO ONE will be able to use our excellent emergency room system. I know I’ll have to feel like I’m dying if I ever go again, which will most likely mean I COULD. No wonder people panic when they think about going to the ER. That is unless they are on Medicaid and it’s all paid for by the government (ie us).
I have a family, a mortgage, kids in school and financial obligations, like 99% of my fellow citizens. There is no way I can pay $5,567 IN FULL now. How can anyone? How can you even ask me to after you’ve already received $6,828 for $2000 worth of services?
How has our honest American Healthcare come to this sordid practice? How many households have gone bankrupt because of these kinds of billing practices? Thank God I’m not chronically ill and Lord have mercy on those who are. No wonder people lose their houses to pay for their chronically ill family members.
Please reconsider my bill and the bills of all those others who have been overcharged so egregiously.

Thank you,
Arryn

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