Pay Me

I’ve had so many problems and issues with the UW Physicians billing service since they changed to it last Fall.  I just received a phone call from a collections agency that told me my account has been sent to them.  WHAT!?!  I’m set up on a payment plan, I pay my bill every month.  They told me that they don’t send a bill and you must make sure your payment is made by the bill date.  HOWEVER, I do get a statement every month, and I pay it after I get it.  For May, the “Statement Date” is 5/12 with a “Due Date” of UPON RECEIPT.  I didn’t get the bill/statement in the mail until 5/23, which I paid on 5/26.  The very next day apparently it was sent to collections.  Last Friday I get another mailing from them stating that I missed my payment that was due on 5/10.  I honestly, didn’t know that my due date was the 10th of the month.  However, I’ve made my payment for the month already.

I called the billing service only to get the usual scripted lip service and no action to correct the problem on their end because they can’t send a bill every month.  I asked to get transferred to a supervisor, we end up talking in circles and she says there is nothing they can do about the collections agency.  I ask her why they can’t send a bill every month? She has no answer, I asked her if their going to fix their system so that it behaves like every other billing system I’ve ever used?  She doesn’t know and puts me on hold to “find out”.  A gentleman picks up the call, I explain the situation for the third time.  He tells me that he’s going to put in a request to have the account pulled out of collections because he can see that the statement was sent out late the last two months.  He says it can take 7-10 days to find out if it was successful.  I tell him that they really need to fix their system.  It’s ridiculous.  I inform him that I’m going to be filing a complaint with the UW Physicians billing department directly.  I made the payment for June while on the phone with him just so I don’t have to deal with this again in a couple weeks.

I call the UW Physicians billing department and get Lupe on the phone, of course she’s apologetic and says that she’s going to speak with her supervisor as soon as they’re out of their meeting.  She can see that I make my payment every month and that she would be equally upset if it was her.  I said, “I need you to be aware that the billing service you moved to last fall has been nothing but a headache.  I need to make it 100% clear.”  She called me back about 15 minutes later to inform me that she’s got the account out of collections and will get me setup on a new payment plan.  That works out for now.  How come the billing service wasn’t able to do that?

The bill is low enough that I’m just going to pay it off completely.  It’s WAY too much of a hassle at this point.  Yet, I’m also contemplating switching hospitals because of it.  There’s a lot of other great choices in Seattle for cancer and general medical care.

The UW Medicine hospital charges are through a different billing system, they send a bill every month with enough time to pay it, usually about 15 days if I remember correctly, and I’ve never once had a problem with them.  It’s easy to work with them when I need to get new items added to my payment plan.  I just don’t understand why they both can’t use the same billing service.  I understand billing the facility charges separately, even though, I think it’s pretty stupid as well.  It just seems like it would be so much easier for the patient.

I can’t wait to get in and get my blood work and ultrasound done.  I keep looking at the calendar patiently waiting for the day to get here.  I don’t feel like myself, and I have a feeling my meds have something to do with it.


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