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Double-billing for medical services

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My company offers excellent medical insurance. Since I have been in Germany I have gotten to use it twice: Once when I saw an optometrist to get my prescription updated, and more recently when I was in the hospital with kidney stones.

 

In both cases, the medical staff wrote down my insurance information, but even though (according to my provider) they have some kind of agreement with my insurance company, they had never heard of them. So despite them writing down all my info, I still got a bill in the mail. I have come to understand that getting the bill is normal in Germany.

 

Anyway, I faxed the bills to my provider and they paid the full amount, on time. Weeks go by. I get another notice from the hospital and optometrist; they claim they haven't been paid. I call the insurance, and, sure enough, they have disbursed funds to the accounts detailed in the bills I was sent. More time goes by and I get more urgent notices. I take these back to the offices, calls are made--yep, as far as they know, THEY HAVE BEEN PAID.

 

Yet I still get bills. Friday I got a notice from a lawyer, to the effect that I am a deadbeat piece of shit immigrant and am being sent to collections, pay up in a week or we'll see your ass in court, etc. Luckily, I have legal benefits as well and they are on the case. But, seriously. Is this some bureaucratic foul-up? Since the insurance says they paid, and the doctor's office says they have been paid, why is this still my problem? Where is that fabled Teutonic efficiency? And who the hell is trying to squeeze blood out of this particular turnip?

 

The mind boggles...

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Ok, I explain to you how it works with my private insurance:

 

I collect the bill and pay the doctor/hospital immidiately from my own money. I then send the bill to my private insurance and they pay me.

 

Still maybe they have an accounting problem. Your lawyer should be able to sort it out.

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Call your insurance and tell them to email or fax you the receipt of the paid bill.

Call you hospital and email or fax it to them, so they can see for them self and advice on what to do.

Sometimes, i get letter stating that i have not paid but once i show them the fax or email proof, they check their bank and apology later.

So get hold of your insurance to send you proof asap.

Good luck!

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I already have written confirmation from my insurance provider and an e-mail from the optometrist stating that the bill has been paid. The hospital says they will provide a note on letterhead to the same effect sometime over the next week.

 

From what I understand, billing services are contracted out, so the issue is probably with the billing service and not their customers (the hospital and eye doctor).

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Sometimes, the hospital says that your insurance paid the bill without including your name as the patient, they don't know who it belong to.

So if your insurance says they have paid, get a proof from them which should not be hard to find if they have already paid.

Next time, pay the hospital and get the money from your insurance cos they still end of messing it up and delay payment and most time,you end up paying late fee to the hospital which you wont get back from your insurance.

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I collect the bill and pay the doctor/hospital immidiately from my own money. I then send the bill to my private insurance and they pay me.

Raises two questions in my mind:

1. If you have major surgery and an extended hospital stay, are you expected to pay the entire bill immediately? That's unrealistic.

2. If the hospital never contacts the insurance provider to work out payment, why do they bother writing down all the information?

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You dont need written conformation.

You need hard proof. EG, if they paid with cheque or banktransfer, they can send you the cheque number which they sent to the hospital or a copy of the banktranfer receipt. And the name and address of who they sent the payment to

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From what I understand, billing services are contracted out, so the issue is probably with the billing service and not their customers (the hospital and eye doctor).

billing companies often make these mistakes! Like others have suggested, get a copy of the payment from your insurance and fax/send it to them (the billing company).

3rd party billing is crap, but the medical/dental offices get their money faster and have less hassel of dealing with bad accounts. We used one til last year, thank god we do not use them anymore... we had so many patient complaints about payment then getting a second bill.

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1. If you have major surgery and an extended hospital stay, are you expected to pay the entire bill immediately? That's unrealistic.

That applies to outpatient services only. Any inpatient treatment is settled directly with the health insurance company.

 

 

2. If the hospital never contacts the insurance provider to work out payment, why do they bother writing down all the information?

See above. The hospital should never have had to contact you in the first place.

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1. That applies to outpatient services only. Any inpatient treatment is settled directly with the health insurance company.

2. See above. The hospital should never have had to contact you in the first place.

Well, Jeff, now you understand why I am so confused here, dontcha?

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Raises two questions in my mind:

1. If you have major surgery and an extended hospital stay, are you expected to pay the entire bill immediately? That's unrealistic.

2. If the hospital never contacts the insurance provider to work out payment, why do they bother writing down all the information?

When I had my knee done the bill from the hospital was due 3 weeks after it was issued. I sent the bill directly to my insurer. They paid me within a week. Then I paid the hospital.

 

Some private insurers handle inpatient payments directly.

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Resurrection of an old thread, but the title does suit.

 

Has anyone come across this before?

 

I was in hospital in May for a few days.  I am privately insured, so the bills come to me, paid, then sent to my insurance and I am reimbursed.  I looked at my bank account today and the funds were transferred to me.  So, I pulled the file I keep them in to check I was properly reimbursed. 

 

While checking, it seems I was double-billed.  In my case, there is a bill from the local Klinikverbund with an itemised listing of charges.  Then there is a bill from PVS HAG.  The PVS HAG (Stuttgart) website claims they are a billing firm for private patients.  Not all the charges are identical, but quite a number of them are. 

 

As an example, both show 19.05.18, GBO -Nr. 8, Ganzkörperstatus Betrag 34,86.  There are several like this for different items.  

I then looked at the bills from an operation last year.  Aye, there as well. 

I find this to be very abnormal...  Before I go and spend time with bureaucratic hospital billing staff, am I missing something? 

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2 minutes ago, BayrischDude said:

I find this to be very abnormal...  Before I go and spend time with bureaucratic hospital billing staff, am I missing something? 

 

 

- I don't know, but why not ask your private Krankenkasse if these bills are correct?

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