Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blood Suckers

Last week, I was fortunate enough to volunteer in a hospital and bring some smiles to little girls' faces. This week, I've had to fight off my own medical providers and my resulting fury.

I know the economy is bad (hello, I'm FUNemployed) and that people need to hustle to get business. I expect that from any and all business owners. For some reason, I think of health care professionals and doctors differently. There is a business aspect, of course, but as they are promoting health and wellness it seems unseemly to be so blatantly for profit.

I have generated quite a bit of income for my dentist, physical therapist and former acupuncturist. And in the past few weeks, they've all come back for more.

Last year, my dentist replaced all of my fillings. I am due for a cleaning and received a reminder postcard. I haven't called to schedule my appointment, so they called me. I don't have dental insurance right now and want to wait. Never in my lifetime have I received phone calls from a provider about coming in for a visit. What if I want my teeth to rot? It's my right. Don't push me.

When I hurt my knee, I went to physical therapy. Now that my knee is better, I've stopped going. Guess who called? Yep, my therapist wanting to know if I'm coming back. If I haven't called to make an appointment, you can assume that I'm not. I can do the exercises at home. I'm able to run again, so I guess I'm all healed, right? No need to pay for unnecessary therapy.

Lastly, and the worst of all, is my former acupuncturist. I stopped going to him in March 2010 because he left needles in me and slurred his speech on 3 of my 6 visits, and then tried double billing my insurance company. I recently found out that he TRIPLE billed my insurance company and has so far gotten away with it. While they are investigating, I just got a bill from my acupuncturist for an additional $61 for one visit. I can assume that the other bills are in the mail. He has already successfully gotten paid $370 for the date of the bill so why the hell is he billing me? What acupuncturist on earth thinks he deserves more than $400 for his services? I already feel violated and now am furious that he has the balls to send me a bill. Apparently he owes a lot of money to a lot of people. But that is not an excuse to (allegedly) commit insurance fraud and then come after me.

I apologize for this post becoming more of a rant than a fun tale. Watch your insurance claims and be wary of shady characters. Trusting someone under the health and wellness banner shouldn't be automatic anymore. This is a big money business. Which is just plain sad.

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