No part of this is AN EMAIL TO MY DAUGHTER.... 
Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 10:19 AM
Posted by Administrator
Editor's Notes: Nothing contained in this entry is intended to disparage QuestDiagnostics (we are sure it is just a mistake) or the Tallahassee allergist whose name I do not know (another mistake, we are sure). The subject is $1,500 in charges for allergy shots when the thought was it would be about $100 and WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT (it seems not everybody knows how to begin to fix things when there are billing disputes). Sorry the below may seem disjointed. Hope it helps, someone.

1) QuestDiagnostics

You cannot tell if Quest ever billed insurance. Their first bills said you needed to update insurance information. Even the "THIRD NOTICE" has info on "Update insurance information" including the website to go to and the
Customer Service phone number.

-Did you "Update insurance information"?
-If NO, I would do this on line NOW.
-If YES, I would call your insurance company and find out whether the bill was submitted.
-If the bill was not submitted (per insurance) and WRITE to Quest and tell them to submit the bill ("My health insurer, ________________, reports that you never submitted the bill for payment though I timely provided you with health insurance information. Note that your employees represented that your charges, after insurance, would be minimal. $620.14 is not minimal and I deny I owe you anything."
-If the bill was submitted, your insurance company (and there is more than one person who knows about his........THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT INSURANCE COMPANIES DO EVERY DAY), needs to explain why it wasn't paid.

My was never submitted to insurance either because you never provided updated information or because Quest screwed up or both.

II) The Allergist: Note: I did not look at the bill.

-Call. You want to talk to the billing department. "Your people told me that the charges, after insurance, would be minimal. $900 is not minimal. Is this a mistake?" SHUT UP. Remember, you want to put the burden on them to answer, completely, and if you talk, the burden isn't on them anymore.
-If the answer is "You owe $900."..........."Who is the decision maker on this?" SHUT UP "I need to speak to him/her."
-Get them on the phone, leave message........your line is the same as the previous one "Your people....".

If you can't resolve it ("I can get you $200 if that will take care of it....completely." If yes, I will tell you what letter to write to send with the check. If no: "Who is your supervisor.............." If no supervisor "That is unfortunately, I will go ahead and take this problem to the next level.")

Get the names of whomever you spoke and time and substance of conversation. (I sometimes just email myself. Title the email appropriately and you've got it forever.)

Remember WHOEVER TALKS FIRST LOSES. Silence is good for you....bad for the other party as it will make them uncomfortable.


Always begin by thinking that the over-billing party just made a mistake. So, you won't be confrontational....just surprised and confused. If (when) it turns out to be their intention to charge you what the bill mistake....remember it isn't the fault of the person you are speaking with; they aren't getting your money, they're getting a few bucks over minimum wage.

But, a large part of the job of an underling is to keep you from bothering their superior. Letting the person you are speaking with know that you are going to talk to their boss gives them the most motivation you can give them to satisfy you. If everyone they talk to ends up talking to the supervisor, there is no reason for them to have a job.

And, the supervisor has a supervisor and so do they. Eventually, it is the owner/doctor/corporate president. Good chance they won't speak to you but, on the other hand, they don't want to spend a day in court testifying about the reasonableness of their charges. Time for a lawsuit?

If you sue them, the burden is on you to prove your case. If they sue you, the burden is on them. On the other hand, by the time they sue you they'll have sent the case to collections and tried to ruin your credit. And, if you signed something saying you'd pay their attorney's fees if you didn't pay....the price of poker just shot through the roof.

Enjoy your day!

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