WOW CRUNCHY YOU ARE ON THE MONEY!
I WAS ADVISED THIS SAME INFORMATION FROM THE VA FEE DEPARTMENT AND THE VA PATIENT REP WHO I SPOKE WITH.
I AM IN THE PROCESS OF WRITING A LETTER AND THEN SEND IT OUT TO THE HOSPITAL BILLING DEPARTMENT (SUPERVISOR), STARTING THERE.
THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT AFTER VISITING THE VA FEE BASIS DEPARTMENT ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS (THEY ARE THE ONES THAT THE HOSPITAL SHOULD OF BILLED!) ANY WAY, I WENT THROUGH 3 DIFFERENT EMPLOYEES THERE, PRACTICALLY BEGGING THEM TO CONSIDER PAYING FOR THE HOSPITAL BILL, AND I FINALLY GOT TO SPEAK TO THE SUPERVISOR IN THE DEPARTMENT, AND I AM NOT SURE IF THEY WERE TIRED OF SEEING MY FACE AROUND, LOL!! BUT HE TOLD ME THAT THE VA IS TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION OF PAYING FOR AMBULANCE BILLS, DOCTOR'S BILLS ETC. AND ON TOP OF THAT HE TOOK ME IN HIS OFFICE AND TOLD ME THAT HE IS GOING TO PUT IN A REQUEST TO EXPEDIATE THOSE BILLS TO BE PAID. THE SERVICES THAT I RECEIVED AT THE NON-VA WERE SERVICE CONNECTED RELATED TO MY ILLNESS, SO I'M CONFIDENT THOSE AMBULANCE BILLS AND DOCTOR'S BILL AND RADIOLOGY BILLS WILL BE PAID BY THE VA. AND THOSE SERVICES ADD UP TO A LITTLE OVER $10000.00!
SO THAT'S THE GOOD PART. THE HARD PART HE TOLD ME IS BASICALLY WHAT YOU WROTE IN THIS LETTER CRUNCHY, AND ALSO FROM ALL THE OTHER RESPONSES THAT I RECEIVED. HE TOLD ME THAT HE IS A VET. SO THAT MADE ME FEEL ASSURED WHEN I LEFT HIS OFFICE. HE TOLD ME THAT I MAY HAVE A HUGE BATTLE TO FIGHT, BUT NOT GIVE UP!! HE ALSO TOLD ME THAT THE REASON THE HOSPITAL BILLED MEDICARE EVEN THOUGH I TOLD THEM TO BILL THE VA, AND I EVEN HANDED THEM MY VA ID CARD, THEY WANTED TO GET THEIR MONEY FAST, AND HE TOLD ME THAT WHEN THE VA PAYS THE HOSPITAL, THE HOSPITAL GETS A SMALLER AMOUNT THAN WHAT MEDICARE PAYS FOR. SO IN OTHER WORDS, THE HOSPITAL SEEMS VERY GREEDY TO ME, AND THAT'S REALLY SAD, BECAUSE IT'S NOT LIKE THEY WILL BE LOSING MONEY IF THEY BILL THE VA. IT ACTUALLY HELPS THEM BECAUSE THEY WILL GET THEIR MONEY EITHER WAY! HE ALSO SAID SOMETHING THAT YOU MENTIONED CRUNCHY, ALL I HAD TO DO WAS TURN OVER MY VA ID CARD BECAUSE I HAD NEVER BEEN AT THAT HOSPITAL, AND NOW THAT I'M IN THEIR SYSTEM, I ALREADY KNOW WHO THEY WOULD BILL IF SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS AGAIN.........MEDICARE!!!
THANKS GUYS......PLEASE REPLY BACK TO THIS MESSAGE I SENT IF THERE IS SOMETHING THAT I AM OVERLOOKING OR MIS-STATED OR ANYTHING, BECAUSE I COULD BE WRONG IN SOMETHING IN THIS MESSAGE! THANKS!
I gotta go with Nana25K. Call the hospital, ask who runs the billing dept. Write to the hospital, certified, signature return receipt, then follow-up, and document EVERYTHING; phone calls, post cards, letters, smoke signals, personal visits, all of it with the who what were routine. Ensure that you make it clear in your letter to the hospital that you are trying to help correct their billing error, nothing more. Part of this problem is that most billing department employees can bill Medicare in their sleep, it takes action on their part to bill the VA. Contact the VA rep/finance rep, ask what they believe you should be doing, and while you're about it, ask if they can assist and how. You already have all the info from the billing hospital.
If all this fails, follow the next bit of advise from ACKER1 , contact the hospital, inform them that you cannot and will not be liable for the bill if they can't get their administrative staff to perform the correct billing to the proper agency, in this instance the VA. Might help to include a breif outline of what has been going on and what you've been doing to help them. If all else fails, and you cannot get it rectified, corrected or written off, you might also consider, if things continue to be so bleak, contacting the local paper, local state rep, or the state vets rep (every state has one). Might not work, but if you get to this point you are in FPF situation so you have nothing to lose. When everything else has failed, bite the bullet. Ask them for help on a payment plan based on SSD income since the VA income is "invisible", probably come out to about $20 a month. Funny how things get changed around when they know there is no way for you to pay and that they should have done it differently ( sometimes known as correctly ). We got a bill re-submitted/rescinded and the deductible written off from the hospital in this manner, took almost a year, albeit not in the same range of money. Now, when I have to use non-VA for emergency, Wife hands my VA card when the clerk asks for insurance.
I wish I had something more substantive for you. The preceding are ideas, thoughts, and my anecdotal findings of what has worked for me, might not work for you. I do wish you the best of luck in this, let us know what goes on.