Sunday, March 16, 2014

Does University Hospital Hold Questionable Business Practises When It Comes To Indigent Care?

Why is this man smiling?
I realize as a jazz journalist a story on health care is somewhat out of left field but hear me out.
I lost my job in 2008 and in a city that was in the top 20 hardest hit by the economic collapse and given the lie of "Hope and Change" the city is still attempting to recover. The bottom line is no one wants a 50 year old music critic and thus my savings not to mention my insurance left me.
I qualified under the University Hospital's QCCT fund which is a charity fund set up to help indigent care patients with their bills. I am dying of liver disease. After my most recent hospital stay in December, I began receiving bills where no QCCT discount had been applied. The University of Louisville uses a data mining or subrogation firm by the name of Chamberlin Edmonds to find funding in other ways to save the University money. This same outfit attempted to strong arm me into filing as S.S.I claim. I explained that is not their call and I was waiting to hear on my disability claim first before I moved into this separate but somewhat equal arena. I have a disability attorney and other than officials from the University was speaking with no one else in regards to this situation. I discovered that without my knowledge or authorization that my legal interests in my disability case were now being represented by someone else and my attorney was removed. I immediately contacted Chamberlin Edmonds and the University of Louisville and have yet to receive a response on this matter. To take over the legal representation on a disability claim without any authorization from the client / patient is highly illegal, unethical, and actionable in virtually all cases.
If I had a hearing come up then I would have had no legal representation and this third party billing firm would have been able to manipulate funds to save themselves while leaving me out in the cold. This is how I understand the policies, procedures and ultimate outcome of this situation. I now have a lengthy email thread in my possession where the University billing office acknowledges the appropriate discounts have not been applied and they say "disregard" the bills. This cavalier attitude has resulted in one going to collections which I have already fought and apparently won.
You do not bill a patient for payment in full without applying whatever form of insurance they have. This has been done to me at least 3 times and with bills totaling roughly $1500.00. I have contacted the office of Dr. James Ramsey who is the current President of the University and with no response. All of my documentation has now been turned over to every major media outlet and newspaper in Louisville for their help in investigating what would appear to be a serious concern.
Allow me to state for the record, University of Louisville Hospital provides some of the finest medical care anywhere. I have had my life saved twice in one year. This smoking gun comes from the billing office. Can I be the only one this is happening to? I don't operate off conjecture but when I do see the smoking gun on the grassy knoll then it is time for a closer look.
Is Obama Care working? Obviously not...If you like your plan you can keep your plan. Period. 
Innocent till proven guilty so I call for an investigation.