Author Topic: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?  (Read 1288 times)

startingsmall

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Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« on: March 20, 2017, 12:50:01 PM »
About a month ago, I underwent a D&C for a missed miscarriage.

Just received the bill from the hospital. (This should be the facility fee only.... already received/paid bills from my OB-GYN, anesthesiologist, pathology lab. Those bills were all low and now I know why!)

Total charges $8485.51
Total adjustments $4400.49
Total payments $1010.13
BALANCE: $3074.89

I know that I can contact the hospital and ask for an itemized bill, but I'd imagine that if the bill gets adjusted such that I fall below my $3000 deductible, the insurance will just recalculate everything and I'll end up having to send more money to those other providers. So it doesn't sound like that will do me much good.

I have the $3000 in my HSA or in savings, but obviously I'd rather use as little from there as possible. I guess I should be grateful that I have the money, pay, and get on with my life.... but didn't know if that's a stupid idea and I should be doing something different. Suggestions?

If nothing else, I guess I should wait for my new Capital One Venture card to arrive and pay it with that so I'm getting some miles out of the whole ordeal!

researcher1

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 12:59:52 PM »
Simply call the hospital billing department.

Tell them you are paying the balance yourself out-of-pocket (not insurance), and would like a discount if you pay immediately over the phone with a credit card.

I'm guessing your discount will be in the range of 30%-40%.

Dave1442397

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 01:18:25 PM »
Yes, as stated above, you should be able to knock off 30-40%

We went through this with my sister-in-law when she had a stroke while visiting us a few years back. She had very basic insurance, and the final bill was close to $100k. With my wife's help (works in hospital admin) she got it down to $57k.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 01:40:40 PM »
There are some key phrases you should be using when speaking to the hospital billing as well to get the most discount.

Tell them you can't afford the bill as it is currently set and you need their help. They will likely give you no discount or very little discount in the beginning. The key is to repeat throughout the conversation the phrase (or a variation): "I just can't afford to pay this much." or similar. "Can't afford" is the key here.

And from what I've read/understood, you need to repeat it 3+ times before they can offer you a true discount.

It literally is in the hospital billing department protocol that they need to hear that 3+ times (in several instances that I've read about getting hospital bills reduced, the actual billing department peeps confirmed this). So each time the rep says something about this is the best I can do, ask again "I really appreciate it, but that is still really high and I can't afford to pay that much - is there anything else you can do?" You'll know you've reached the end when they do flat out tell you without any "oh maybe I can try running the numbers this way..." and get a "yes, that's the best we can do" from them.

I have no idea if this is always true for all hospitals (kind of doubt it) but it makes sense to try it - using that phrasing and repetition - to see if they have to follow a certain protocol as well. And of course, be super polite to them. Couldn't hurt anyway.
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ohmylookatthat

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 01:52:24 PM »
you could choose not to pay it. they will send multiple reminders and then start lowering it. your final reminder, right before they threaten collections could be 60-70% less. pay then and be done.

researcher1

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2017, 02:30:52 PM »
Tell them you can't afford the bill as it is currently set and you need their help. They will likely give you no discount or very little discount in the beginning.
And from what I've read/understood, you need to repeat it 3+ times before they can offer you a true discount.
It literally is in the hospital billing department protocol that they need to hear that 3+ times.

This is WRONG.

If you say you can't afford it, the hospital will want you to complete all sorts of paperwork (including income verification) to see if you qualify for various assistance programs.

If you simply tell them the bill is not covered by your insurance, and you will be paying yourself in cash, they will likely offer you an immediate xx% discount if you pay in full.  This "cash discount" is pre-determined and based on the bill amount (the larger the bill, the higher the % discount).

In fact, the last time I proactively requested a 25% discount, thinking that is the discount I got for a similar bill. 
Person said, "Actually, we can give you a 30% discount."  This took all of maybe 1 minute on the phone. 

researcher1

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2017, 02:33:30 PM »
you could choose not to pay it. they will send multiple reminders and then start lowering it. your final reminder, right before they threaten collections could be 60-70% less. pay then and be done.

Do NOT do this. 

The hospital billing department is not going to just start arbitrarily lowering your bill simply because you ignore them. 
If you don't call, they will send you multiple bills (for the same amount), then a collections notice, then send the bill to collections.

honeybbq

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2017, 02:41:38 PM »
I am sorry for your loss. There is nothing worse than losing a baby, having to have a D&C, and then argue over the bill.

As suggested, I would call and ask for a discount. Then I would just pay whatever is left and move on as part of the healing process.


Frankies Girl

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2017, 02:45:48 PM »
Tell them you can't afford the bill as it is currently set and you need their help. They will likely give you no discount or very little discount in the beginning.
And from what I've read/understood, you need to repeat it 3+ times before they can offer you a true discount.
It literally is in the hospital billing department protocol that they need to hear that 3+ times.

This is WRONG.

If you say you can't afford it, the hospital will want you to complete all sorts of paperwork (including income verification) to see if you qualify for various assistance programs.

If you simply tell them the bill is not covered by your insurance, and you will be paying yourself in cash, they will likely offer you an immediate xx% discount if you pay in full.  This "cash discount" is pre-determined and based on the bill amount (the larger the bill, the higher the % discount).

In fact, the last time I proactively requested a 25% discount, thinking that is the discount I got for a similar bill. 
Person said, "Actually, we can give you a 30% discount."  This took all of maybe 1 minute on the phone.


No, this isn't WRONG. It may not apply to all cases, which I mentioned, but it isn't 100% wrong which is what you are saying. I know of at least two people personally that have followed this procedure and gotten a substantial reduction from only speaking to the hospital billing department on the phone without having to prove or otherwise fill out paperwork, one of which told her "I have to hear this phrase 3 times" before they were authorized to make any reductions. Literally.

This is likely similar already to what you describe to asking for a discount if you pay right then. But some medical billing departments might have different procedures in place for how and when they can offer discounts.

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researcher1

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2017, 03:05:16 PM »
The key is to repeat throughout the conversation: "I just can't afford to pay this much." or similar.
And from what I've read/understood, you need to repeat it 3+ times before they can offer you a true discount.
It literally is in the hospital billing department protocol that they need to hear that 3+ times

Quote
No, this isn't WRONG. It may not apply to all cases, which I mentioned, but it isn't 100% wrong ...
one of which told her "I have to hear this phrase 3 times" before they were authorized to make any reductions. Literally.

But some medical billing departments might have different procedures in place for how and when they can offer discounts.

So according to you, medical billing is like the Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy the patient must say a special phrase (there's no place like home I can't afford it) exactly 3 times before getting a discount?

This sounds like a policy that major hospitals would implement. 
Say a phrase not once, not twice, but exactly three times and we will give you a discount.  I can see a conversation like this...
Patient - "But you offered my friend a cash discount."
Hospital - "Probably because he said the secret phrase 3 times, and you only said it 2 times."

MOD NOTE: Rule #1. Don't be a jerk.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 08:47:07 PM by swick »

Frankies Girl

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2017, 03:17:00 PM »
The key is to repeat throughout the conversation: "I just can't afford to pay this much." or similar.
And from what I've read/understood, you need to repeat it 3+ times before they can offer you a true discount.
It literally is in the hospital billing department protocol that they need to hear that 3+ times

Quote
No, this isn't WRONG. It may not apply to all cases, which I mentioned, but it isn't 100% wrong ...
one of which told her "I have to hear this phrase 3 times" before they were authorized to make any reductions. Literally.

But some medical billing departments might have different procedures in place for how and when they can offer discounts.

So according to you, medical billing is like the Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy the patient must say a special phrase (there's no place like home I can't afford it) exactly 3 times before getting a discount?

This sounds like a policy that major hospitals would implement. 
Say a phrase not once, not twice, but exactly three times and we will give you a discount.  I can see a conversation like this...
Patient - "But you offered my friend a cash discount."
Hospital - "Probably because he said the secret phrase 3 times, and you only said it 2 times."

Yup. What about that is so hard to understand?

Dude. I am fine with saying I know it sounds weird, but medical billing is fucked in this country. If certain medical centers pull this shit - and some really do - then isn't it better to be aware of it so you can work the system properly?

Your argumentative and critical snark isn't helpful for the OP. If the OP wants to try your way - awesome. I have no issues in the least with it. Not sure why you're so worked up as to believe you are 100% right that your way is the only way, or why you think this type of shit doesn't happen just because it is outside your area of experience.


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researcher1

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2017, 05:18:04 PM »
Your argumentative and critical snark isn't helpful for the OP. Not sure why you're so worked up as to believe you are 100% right that your way is the only way, or why you think this type of shit doesn't happen just because it is outside your area of experience.

Listen dude.  The only reason I responded is because I don't think your billing fairy tale is helpful for the OP. 
I was worried you might suggest the OP needs to put on a pair of ruby slippers while saying the magic words 3 times.

Do you really think any hospital system would implement a "protocol" that awards discounts only to people who say magic words 3+ times?  Such a system would be so inconsistent, arbitrary, and discriminatory as to guarantee lawsuits and many other bad things (violations of laws, non-compliance with various governing bodies, ect).

Frankies Girl

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2017, 05:47:30 PM »
OP - so sorry about the veering off subject. I do hope you're able to glean some information that helps you from all this and wish you the best and lots of hugs for what you went through.

If it was me, I'd try saying you're paying out of pocket and you can't really afford to pay that much, ask if they can reduce the bill if you pay up front now and see what they offer. If it's a small discount, it wouldn't hurt to try saying that's really expensive and repeat the ask again until they tell you that's the absolute best they can do. THAT is the point of what I was saying - ask until they firmly tell you that's the best they can do. Ruby slippers - while quite pretty - are probably optional.


« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 04:06:33 AM by Frankies Girl »
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iowajes

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2017, 06:52:15 PM »
Simply call the hospital billing department.

Tell them you are paying the balance yourself out-of-pocket (not insurance), and would like a discount if you pay immediately over the phone with a credit card.

I'm guessing your discount will be in the range of 30%-40%.

You'd lose the insurance adjustment though. That was half the bill.  The hospital knows OP has insurance, as it has already been submitted through it.


researcher1

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2017, 08:29:07 PM »
Simply call the hospital billing department.

Tell them you are paying the balance yourself out-of-pocket (not insurance), and would like a discount if you pay immediately over the phone with a credit card.

I'm guessing your discount will be in the range of 30%-40%.

You'd lose the insurance adjustment though. That was half the bill.  The hospital knows OP has insurance, as it has already been submitted through it.

The OP has a high deductible plan and received the negotiated rate.  The $3000 balance owed will be paid out of pocket. 
As a result, they should be eligible for a cash discount, and will not lose the insurance adjustment.

I've been in an identical position as the OP a half-dozen times.  In every instance, I've received a discount on the hospital charges, without losing the standard insurance negotiated rates.


swick

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2017, 08:48:24 PM »
MOD NOTE: The snark and back and forth is totally unnecessary and unhelpful to the OP. Please keep it relevant, helpful and constructive to both the OP and our Community. Thanks.

MayDay

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2017, 04:54:23 AM »
We have a hdhp and receive similar bills. Just got one for 4k for H's cardiac cath.

No hospital around here will negotiate. They've already knocked off half the cost. If you say you can't afford it they promptly send you the info for income-based adjustment, which isn't helpful for me.

Best we can do is put it on rewards credit cards. Knocked out my CSR sign up bonus spend.
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Cranky

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2017, 05:18:41 AM »
So, my dd moved from NYC to Chicago, and their insurance changed in the process. She discovered that they owed thousands for something they had thought was fully covered.

She fainted in the billing department when she found this out, and they forgave the whole amount. ;-)

boarder42

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2017, 05:40:49 AM »
Simply call the hospital billing department.

Tell them you are paying the balance yourself out-of-pocket (not insurance), and would like a discount if you pay immediately over the phone with a credit card.

I'm guessing your discount will be in the range of 30%-40%.

You'd lose the insurance adjustment though. That was half the bill.  The hospital knows OP has insurance, as it has already been submitted through it.

The OP has a high deductible plan and received the negotiated rate.  The $3000 balance owed will be paid out of pocket. 
As a result, they should be eligible for a cash discount, and will not lose the insurance adjustment.

I've been in an identical position as the OP a half-dozen times.  In every instance, I've received a discount on the hospital charges, without losing the standard insurance negotiated rates.

can you walk me thru how to do this.  my wife just had an MC and the ER bill is 2800 after deductions from insurance.  Can i really negotiate this down directly with the hospital.  What steps would you take ... you said all cash... that i can do is that all i really have to say just call in and be like i'll give you all of it lump sum today for a cash discount?  I see they will let me pay it over 6 months for the same price so that makes sense.  But what size discount can i really get this way?   and does insurance no longer care at this point if i get it reduced myself?
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iowajes

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2017, 06:27:34 AM »
Simply call the hospital billing department.

Tell them you are paying the balance yourself out-of-pocket (not insurance), and would like a discount if you pay immediately over the phone with a credit card.

I'm guessing your discount will be in the range of 30%-40%.

You'd lose the insurance adjustment though. That was half the bill.  The hospital knows OP has insurance, as it has already been submitted through it.

The OP has a high deductible plan and received the negotiated rate.  The $3000 balance owed will be paid out of pocket. 
As a result, they should be eligible for a cash discount, and will not lose the insurance adjustment.

I've been in an identical position as the OP a half-dozen times.  In every instance, I've received a discount on the hospital charges, without losing the standard insurance negotiated rates.

You are lucky. We use HDHP coverage and paying the deductible is part of the coverage terms.  You can't say "my insurance didn't cover this"- they do cover it, by the terms of your plan.  I know many people have no choice (and it isn't the case for the OP who can afford it, but just is hoping to not have to) but taking a HDHP with a deductible higher than you can afford is just not a good idea. You have to pay the deductible as part of the deal.

If you say you are paying cash, then places around here don't give you the negotiated insurance rates because those are rates negotiated by the insurance company for people with insurance. To say you are a cash payer is to say you don't have insurance. Cash rates are for people without insurance.  Most hospitals also will not let you change to "not insured" once you've told them you have insurance, because that is against their terms with the insurance company.

 

boarder42

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2017, 06:38:19 AM »
so my hospital didnt offer a prepay discount i can pay over 6 months or i can pay the full amount now ... thats really annoying.
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researcher1

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2017, 08:08:38 AM »
can you walk me thru how to do this.  my wife just had an MC and the ER bill is 2800 after deductions from insurance.  Can i really negotiate this down directly with the hospital.  What steps would you take ... you said all cash... that i can do is that all i really have to say just call in and be like i'll give you all of it lump sum today for a cash discount?  I see they will let me pay it over 6 months for the same price so that makes sense.  But what size discount can i really get this way?   and does insurance no longer care at this point if i get it reduced myself?

Every time I've done this, I've simply called the hospital billing department and said something like the following...
"I received a bill of $x,xxx in hospital charges.  I'm responsible for paying this amount myself out-of-pocket.  My insurance is not paying this balance.  If you can offer me a discount, I can pay right now over the phone with my credit card."

The larger the bill, the larger the % discount, in my experience. 
For a ~$3000 bill I received a 30% discount.  When my bill was only a few hundred, the discount was only 10%.   
It is important to note that such discounts only apply to actual hospital charges (NOT to fees charged by doctors, specialists, 3rd party lab fees, ect)

Your insurance could care less how you handle the bills.  That is between you and the healthcare provider. 
This is another benefit to that is usually overlooked...you don't end up having to meet your full deductible...
- Say your deductible is $3000. 
- You get an EOB stating that you owe the hospital $3000.  The insurance now shows that you've met your deductible.
- However, you negotiated a 30% discount with the hospital, and only paid $2100 out of pocket!

Noahjoe

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2017, 08:35:36 AM »
Hospital Revenue cycle IT expert here:

1. You may qualify for various and sundry discounts based on the hospital. Some of these discounts you get automatically (many of them are generated when charges are NRPed (next responsible party) from the insurer to your self pay bucket. It never hurts to ask.
2. Almost all hospitals have financial counselors and charity care program. These are often based on where you land based on the governments FPL (federal poverty level) guidelines. I'm sure you can find a calculator for this on the internet.
3. Some of these programs have means testing, and some don't. MANY organizations only look at income, so if you're a good mustachian you might not get dinged for that 100k in your taxable account.

My recommendation: call the hospital and ask to talk to a financial counselor. Billers are responsible for billing (it's possible these are the same people, but not a guarantee). You want financial counselors to see if you qualify for a charity care program. If you make anything over 300% FPL, you probably won't get much of a discount. YMMV.

boarder42

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2017, 09:17:59 AM »
can you walk me thru how to do this.  my wife just had an MC and the ER bill is 2800 after deductions from insurance.  Can i really negotiate this down directly with the hospital.  What steps would you take ... you said all cash... that i can do is that all i really have to say just call in and be like i'll give you all of it lump sum today for a cash discount?  I see they will let me pay it over 6 months for the same price so that makes sense.  But what size discount can i really get this way?   and does insurance no longer care at this point if i get it reduced myself?

Every time I've done this, I've simply called the hospital billing department and said something like the following...
"I received a bill of $x,xxx in hospital charges.  I'm responsible for paying this amount myself out-of-pocket.  My insurance is not paying this balance.  If you can offer me a discount, I can pay right now over the phone with my credit card."

The larger the bill, the larger the % discount, in my experience. 
For a ~$3000 bill I received a 30% discount.  When my bill was only a few hundred, the discount was only 10%.   
It is important to note that such discounts only apply to actual hospital charges (NOT to fees charged by doctors, specialists, 3rd party lab fees, ect)

Your insurance could care less how you handle the bills.  That is between you and the healthcare provider. 
This is another benefit to that is usually overlooked...you don't end up having to meet your full deductible...
- Say your deductible is $3000. 
- You get an EOB stating that you owe the hospital $3000.  The insurance now shows that you've met your deductible.
- However, you negotiated a 30% discount with the hospital, and only paid $2100 out of pocket!

yeah i've tried it they said they dont offer any cash on the spot discounts they do offer a 6 month payment plan with no interest. 
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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2017, 09:51:24 AM »
Every time I've done this, I've simply called the hospital billing department and said something like the following...
"I received a bill of $x,xxx in hospital charges.  I'm responsible for paying this amount myself out-of-pocket.  My insurance is not paying this balance.  If you can offer me a discount, I can pay right now over the phone with my credit card."

I've done the same thing, several times.

Results all over the map, from 10% discount, 17%, the best was almost 50% IIRC.
I say "This is really expensive and is a strain on our family finances" a few times, they transfer me to 'adjustments' or some such, and away we go.

A couple odd experiences:
-A family friend owed around $7,500 (I do not recall the details). Try as they might, they could not get a discount, and for them it was a hardship. The hospital put them on a payment plan. They were paying on that for years.

-I had a bill get lost in the mail; the hospital literally kept sending it to the address from 8 years ago. How they could do this, I don't know; i think we filled out 20 forms with current address! But the $900 bill never came to me.... went to collections - the first time I heard about it,w as a hi-pressure collector demanding the money; like $600 iirc. The hospital had sold it to debt collection. I asked for a hardship discount, and paid it off for around $400 on my 2% cashback card. Then claimed it as 2017 expense towards the deductible.

Agree the health care billing system is FUBAR'd. Crazy. Way too many entities & rules to slog through.
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researcher1

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2017, 10:08:11 AM »
Hospital Revenue cycle IT expert here:
1. You may qualify for various and sundry discounts based on the hospital. Some of these discounts you get automatically (many of them are generated when charges are NRPed (next responsible party) from the insurer to your self pay bucket. It never hurts to ask.
Thank you for posting.
This sounds like the type of discount I've received in the past and described in earlier posts.
If you are paying out-of-pocket, there is a set discount based on the amount you owe.  This is, by far, the easiest path to getting a discount.  There are no financial qualifications, magical phrases to say, ect.

Quote
2. Almost all hospitals have financial counselors and charity care program. These are often based on where you land based on the governments FPL (federal poverty level) guidelines.
3. Some of these programs have means testing. MANY organizations only look at income, so if you're a good mustachian you might not get dinged for that 100k in your taxable account.
My recommendation: call the hospital and ask to talk to a financial counselor. Billers are responsible for billing (it's possible these are the same people, but not a guarantee). You want financial counselors to see if you qualify for a charity care program. If you make anything over 300% FPL, you probably won't get much of a discount. YMMV.

In my experience, unless you work part-time at McDonald's and have a dependent child, you likely won't meet the extremely low income requirements to qualify for these types of aid/assistance.  I was shocked how low the income levels had to be.

lisa_mustache

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2017, 10:23:12 AM »
I am very sorry for your loss.

I have had luck calling the billing department for a few different claims.  In one, they told me if I could pay all at once, they'd give me a 10% discount.  And other times, they've set up 10-12 month interest-free payment plans.  It's worth a shot, though I agree with not lying about not having insurance - they've already processed through insurance, so that won't go anywhere.

Take care.

startingsmall

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2017, 11:15:44 AM »
Thanks for all of the ideas!

I'll call the hospital tomorrow morning (when I'll next have a chance) and see where I get. I'm not at all willing to anything duplicitous and I know that I don't need (or qualify for) any sort of need-based aid, but the whole "would you be able to give me a discount if I pay over the phone right now?" is exactly the sort of advice I was looking for! Great to heart that so many people have had success with that approach... keeping my fingers crossed!

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2017, 08:45:04 AM »
 MOD NOTE: Rule #1. Don't be a jerk.
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Smokystache

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2017, 11:37:09 AM »
My partner and I went through this a few years ago (miscarriage). I'm really sorry for you and your partner. I know you didn't ask about it, but don't be surprised if your grief last longer than you expect and occasionally jumps up out of the blue. That's all normal.

startingsmall

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #30 on: March 22, 2017, 02:27:09 PM »
Success.... just got off the phone with the hospital! It was a quick, 10-minute call. I confirmed the total, then asked "I see that you offer 90 days same as cash, so I know I can wait to pay it... but is there any discount or benefit if I were to go ahead and pay the bill in full today?"  They gave me a 25% discount, for savings of just over $700! All because I just called and asked?! Crazy. Who knows if this is true or not, but she said "this is a once a year tax-time discount program that just happens to be running from now until April 15th." Either way, so I glad I made the time to call and ask. It's not often that I make $4200/hr from the comfort of my own home!

My partner and I went through this a few years ago (miscarriage). I'm really sorry for you and your partner. I know you didn't ask about it, but don't be surprised if your grief last longer than you expect and occasionally jumps up out of the blue. That's all normal.

Thanks. I'm doing okay for the most part, but have been surprised at how it sometimes randomly pops into my head when I don't expect it. I guess that probably will continue for a while. Thanks for sharing your experience.

MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #31 on: March 22, 2017, 02:56:20 PM »
Wow, I am sorry for your loss. I have experienced missed MC twice, and luckily I was given the option to use misoprostol instead of having a d&c. The experience was painful physically and emotionally, but I was able to remain at home and only had to pay a $10 prescription copay.

startingsmall

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #32 on: March 22, 2017, 03:54:16 PM »
Wow, I am sorry for your loss. I have experienced missed MC twice, and luckily I was given the option to use misoprostol instead of having a d&c. The experience was painful physically and emotionally, but I was able to remain at home and only had to pay a $10 prescription copay.

I was given the option to use misoprostol, but my husband and I decided against it. I was 11 wks pregnant with the baby measuring 8 wks, which my OB-GYN put me right around the threshold where the likelihood of complications for a misoprostol may outweigh the benefits. My doc was great about giving us all the options (watch & wait, misoprostol, d&c) and we elected d&c because it was the best fit for us (my husband is a weenie, we live about 45 min+ from a decent hospital if complications did occur, possibility of needing a d&c even after misoprostol, more frequent follow-ups needed post-misoprostol not working with my work schedule, etc).

MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #33 on: March 22, 2017, 04:15:22 PM »
Wow, I am sorry for your loss. I have experienced missed MC twice, and luckily I was given the option to use misoprostol instead of having a d&c. The experience was painful physically and emotionally, but I was able to remain at home and only had to pay a $10 prescription copay.

I was given the option to use misoprostol, but my husband and I decided against it. I was 11 wks pregnant with the baby measuring 8 wks, which my OB-GYN put me right around the threshold where the likelihood of complications for a misoprostol may outweigh the benefits. My doc was great about giving us all the options (watch & wait, misoprostol, d&c) and we elected d&c because it was the best fit for us (my husband is a weenie, we live about 45 min+ from a decent hospital if complications did occur, possibility of needing a d&c even after misoprostol, more frequent follow-ups needed post-misoprostol not working with my work schedule, etc).

I chose watch and wait the first time (12 weeks measuring 7, found out at ultrasound, did not even have any spotting), it took another week to start, then I ended up with prolonged bleeding and they gave me ergotamine to get rid of anything left behind. Chose misoprostol the second time (8 weeks measuring 6, very light spotting) and I had a lot less blood loss and pain. I only had to have one follow-up visit with the midwife. Got pregnant again 1.5 years later and had my beautiful baby boy.

MoonLiteNite

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2017, 02:41:59 AM »
Never had any luck AFTER the fact.

But i have gone in before and explain i do not have insurance but willing to pay cash NOW if they work with me. I have 2 major operations done that would 50k+ get done for around 10k.
Also have had a minor thing done that would normally cost 750$ get done for 150$.

« Last Edit: March 23, 2017, 02:43:38 AM by MoonLiteNite »

Trifele

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2017, 05:30:21 AM »
can you walk me thru how to do this.  my wife just had an MC and the ER bill is 2800 after deductions from insurance.  Can i really negotiate this down directly with the hospital.  What steps would you take ... you said all cash... that i can do is that all i really have to say just call in and be like i'll give you all of it lump sum today for a cash discount?  I see they will let me pay it over 6 months for the same price so that makes sense.  But what size discount can i really get this way?   and does insurance no longer care at this point if i get it reduced myself?


yeah i've tried it they said they dont offer any cash on the spot discounts they do offer a 6 month payment plan with no interest.

@Boarder42 -- I think you may have more success if you get past the front-line billing person you were probably talking with.  Ask to be put through either to their manager, or else to a financial counselor.  You may get better results.  Good luck, and I am sorry for your loss as well. 

meandmyfamily

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #36 on: March 24, 2017, 08:16:34 AM »
We recently had a large hospital bill and we called to see if they could give us a discount.  They immediately said 10% off if you pay in full now so we did.  Good luck!

boarder42

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2017, 08:25:05 AM »
can you walk me thru how to do this.  my wife just had an MC and the ER bill is 2800 after deductions from insurance.  Can i really negotiate this down directly with the hospital.  What steps would you take ... you said all cash... that i can do is that all i really have to say just call in and be like i'll give you all of it lump sum today for a cash discount?  I see they will let me pay it over 6 months for the same price so that makes sense.  But what size discount can i really get this way?   and does insurance no longer care at this point if i get it reduced myself?


yeah i've tried it they said they dont offer any cash on the spot discounts they do offer a 6 month payment plan with no interest.

@Boarder42 -- I think you may have more success if you get past the front-line billing person you were probably talking with.  Ask to be put through either to their manager, or else to a financial counselor.  You may get better results.  Good luck, and I am sorry for your loss as well.

got nowhere.  oh well i tried
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Dicey

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #38 on: March 24, 2017, 10:23:32 AM »
I am late to this party, and I know part of this reply is off topic, but it is surely relevant.

In all of her thousands of posts, I have no recollection of Frankies Girl ever being anything but kind, helpful and caring. IMHO, she did not deserve that snarky snark, nor any rebuke for defending herself.

To OP: more than the money, I am very sorry for your loss.

To boarder 42: Sorry for all you and your wife are dealing with right now. I noticed your posts have been a bit harder to decipher of late* and wondered if something was different in your life. Ugh. MC just blows, because there are so many unknowns, dashed hopes, broken dreams and nobody knows what to say, so your pain is often ignored. While you'll never forget this stunning pain, I hope it will be tempered by happiness still too come.

May I gently suggest changing tacks slightly and trying again? Instead of saying you're paying cash blithely, say it like it's gonna be vevvy, vevvy dif-fi-cult. "We're going to have to try to find some way to pay for this ourselves" might get a more sympathetic result. Seriously, it's well worth another approach. If you get the same person, try calling back until you get someone else.

*To be perfectly clear, I usually agree with what you have to say and enjoy your voice, but absent punctuation, it can be damn hard to decipher your meaning. I'm always afraid I'm missing something.
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boarder42

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #39 on: March 24, 2017, 11:09:27 AM »
I am late to this party, and I know part of this reply is off topic, but it is surely relevant.

In all of her thousands of posts, I have no recollection of Frankies Girl ever being anything but kind, helpful and caring. IMHO, she did not deserve that snarky snark, nor any rebuke for defending herself.

To OP: more than the money, I am very sorry for your loss.

To boarder 42: Sorry for all you and your wife are dealing with right now. I noticed your posts have been a bit harder to decipher of late* and wondered if something was different in your life. Ugh. MC just blows, because there are so many unknowns, dashed hopes, broken dreams and nobody knows what to say, so your pain is often ignored. While you'll never forget this stunning pain, I hope it will be tempered by happiness still too come.

May I gently suggest changing tacks slightly and trying again? Instead of saying you're paying cash blithely, say it like it's gonna be vevvy, vevvy dif-fi-cult. "We're going to have to try to find some way to pay for this ourselves" might get a more sympathetic result. Seriously, it's well worth another approach. If you get the same person, try calling back until you get someone else.

*To be perfectly clear, I usually agree with what you have to say and enjoy your voice, but absent punctuation, it can be damn hard to decipher your meaning. I'm always afraid I'm missing something.

likely lack of punctuation occurs b/c i tend to never use it and get that response alot. 
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Tay_CPA

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #40 on: March 24, 2017, 04:10:26 PM »
I'm very sorry for your loss.

I'm sure you already called, but almost every time I have called to pay a large medical bill, they've lowered it just from me asking. I don't like lying by saying I can't afford it, so I usually say, "This is a pretty high bill and I wasn't expecting it to be this much - is there anything you can do to help me out?" Don't mention paying it right away over the phone yet, before they offer an initial discount. After they offer something, consider saying, "Thank you so much, I really appreciate that, but is there any way you could get it even lower? It would help me out a lot." They may have to ask a supervisor, but that has typically resulted in an additional discount for me. In one (polite) conversation I was able to increase the discount three times. It pays to ask! Oh and remembering/using the billing representative's name throughout the conversation seems to have a slightly positive impact on the discussion as well.

And yes, definitely wait until you have a new credit card with a minimum spend to call and put the charge on! Good luck.

Dicey

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #41 on: Today at 12:22:30 PM »
To boarder 42: ...

*To be perfectly clear, I usually agree with what you have to say and enjoy your voice, but absent punctuation, it can be damn hard to decipher your meaning. I'm always afraid I'm missing something.

likely lack of punctuation occurs b/c i tend to never use it and get that response alot.
Sorry, lack of punctuation is impolite to the reader. I am typically interested enough in your opinion to try to figure out what your exact meaning is. But hey, if you don't care...I guess I'll just stop trying. Thanks for letting me know.
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boarder42

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Re: Anyone had luck decreasing a hospital bill?
« Reply #42 on: Today at 05:26:05 PM »
To boarder 42: ...

*To be perfectly clear, I usually agree with what you have to say and enjoy your voice, but absent punctuation, it can be damn hard to decipher your meaning. I'm always afraid I'm missing something.

likely lack of punctuation occurs b/c i tend to never use it and get that response alot.
Sorry, lack of punctuation is impolite to the reader. I am typically interested enough in your opinion to try to figure out what your exact meaning is. But hey, if you don't care...I guess I'll just stop trying. Thanks for letting me know.

I'd call that a generational gap bc you grew up in a time where text messaging and people posing in forums from phones didn't really apply. But your choice on deciphering my jibberish. As you already indicated there is lots of good info in it. I'm not a grammar major.
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