DuncanNo, we’re not disputing the amount.

Prior to that incredibly inconsiderate and premature collections call from the hospital, our insurance company hinted at what the damage to our wallets would be.

The insurance company’s explanation of benefits from a couple of weeks ago indicated that we’d be on the hook for around $1890.68.

That’s fine and exactly the amount that today’s bill indicated.

The thing is, I was really interested in seeing a detailed statement with all of the services we received, like, broken down and itemized.

You know, seeing that the fee for having that old lady escort us out was an astounding $75. Or that that horrible bowl of pudding cost us $16.99. That sort of thing.

Something to get me fired up about the ludicrous cost of health care…

Well, this is what we recieved:

Not much to look at, huh?

No joke. It was this and a return envelope. That’s it.

I dunno. Was it wrong to expect more?

I want to know what all that money went towards!

Can you imagine if something like your long distance phone bill came like this? Without an explanation of how they reached the amount due?

I know that it says that we can call to ask questions but I doubt a third party call center in Colorado (that isn’t the hospital’s number) will be able to break down a bill for a service provided at a hospital in Connecticut.

And I wonder what the reaction would be at the information desk just inside the hospital’s main entrance would be if I asked them to explain the bill to me…

In the end, we’ll just write a check and mail it off but I’ll always wonder how much that epidural cost, how much the anesthesiologist’s services cost, how much that little hat that they put on him cost, and, yes, even how much that terrible bowl of pudding set us back…

6 COMMENTS

  1. I requested an itemized bill (the full one that the insurance also received) because I wanted to make sure it didn’t contain errors.

    My childbirth teacher was once billed for an epidural she didn’t have, and I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen to me!

    I also wanted to see what everything cost, so that in the future I could know what to opt out of if it wasn’t necessary and was expensive.

    If you’re interested, here’s the breakdown for my bill: http://sensetosave.com/2009/02/16/highlights-from-my-hospital-bill/

    I say contact the hospital, tell them you’d be happy to pay in full but you would like an itemized bill. I bet you’ll get it!

  2. Definitely call and request a detailed invoice. I was a CASH payer for my childrens births and I paid $1500 for the most expensive child. It was the first time I realized that hospitals have a list of STANDARD charges for proceedures and that they automatically go on the bill.

    For instance my hospital put $7 Tylenols on my bill, because most mothers need this after child birth. I never took their pills and instead had my own in my bag.

    There were alot more items, I just can’t remember them all. I cut my bill in half at least.

  3. Thanks for the pressure/encouragement guys — we are going to pursue getting a more detailed bill.

    If not just because we’re interested but also to prepare for next time!

    (and is it just me or is it sad that the hospital doesn’t have it’s own billing department?)

  4. My grandmother requested and received an itemized bill for a hospital stay. They charged her for everything from an entire box of kleenex and a single bandaid to outragous fees that seemed to be linked to nothing. Still, it’s worth seeing even if it is something to get riled up about!

  5. It’s amazing how much they charge you. When they tell you that everything they bring to your room is yours to keep – they mean it. After all, you will get charged for that pack of diapers and that box of Kleenex whether you use it at the hospital or not.

    The “free” package of pain killers isn’t actually free.

    It can be quite insane…

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