A continued lack of billing detail

It has been almost 30 months since I saw Dr. Allman in Kearney and got billed $1500 for 15 minutes time. https://beswiftbeprecise.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/2018-the-year-i-almost-died/

I posted the above two blogs previously. THe below blog I wrote but never posted.

Dr. Allman, during our previous encounter, had described the interaction between me and his receptionist as a misunderstanding blown way out of proportion. Based on that assumption, I was prepared in going back to his office, to be as calm and polite and accommodating as possible, totally non-confrontational. Since we had a big misstep before, both of us would obviously be careful to not have any assumptions or misunderstandings begin our next exchange. But that was not how I was greeted by his receptionist.

I arrived at the dentist’s office the last Monday of January, with the intent of being as friendly and non-confrontational as possible, but also to request the detail on my bill, which listed none of the items making up the almost $1,500.00 they were expecting us to pay immediately, and for which we had received no detail on through any prior statements.

It was around 10:10 when I got to the office, so I walked in, the sound of the bell on the door announcing my presence, and went and sat in the waiting room chair that was in most direct view of the receptionist window. I held the bill in my lap, and looked as calmly as I could toward the receptionist. She was on the phone, sitting down, facing sideways away from the window. As soon as she finished the call, turned and saw me, she stood up, went over to the door into the back part of the office and closed it as close to slamming it shut as possible without making the noise and then very brusquely used my name to know what I wanted.

I told her as calmly and simply as I could that the bill I received had no itemization of the total, and I couldn’t pay the bill without understanding the items, and that we hadn’t received any itemization for the 90 days items either, and would she be able to provide it for me.

In the discussion about whether we had received the information or not, she said our insurance wasn’t paying for anything, and she just said she would write off the children’s bills and make us pay ours, to which I responded that I wasn’t asking for things to be written off, but to understand why we weren’t getting our bills, and why our insurance wasn’t covering things that it should be.

The ensuing conversation, for lack of a better word, ended with her printing all activity from the beginning of 2017 to present for me to look through to find the information I needed. When I said I would sit over here in the corner of the waiting room to review it to make sure I had what I needed and didn’t have any questions, she said no, I was to leave the waiting room and call if I had any questions. I didn’t raise my voice or do anything except say, no, how could I call and be certain I could get the answer I needed after she dropped my call the last time I was dialing.

She threatened to call the police on me if I refused to leave. I asked why I needed to leave, and was told I was making her uncomfortable. When I inquired what was making her uncomfortable, I was told by the hygienist that I had yelled at the receptionist the last time, to which I replied that she had yelled at me first, and I was in PAIN just trying to get medical attention.

Rather than calling the police, she turned to Dr. Allman, who came up and asked to look at the bill. He wouldn’t look me in the eye, I was at the window with him at this time, but did ask what the oral surgeon said. I thanked him for seeing me before, saying it probably saved my life, but that I couldn’t get to the oral surgeon, who had referred me to the ENT, who wouldn’t see me until March 12, so I was on a generiic Flonase from my regular doctor, which was helping my voice, but my tongue was starting to act up again now that the antibiotic was done. Dr. Allman said I must still be reacting to something.

Dr. Allman looked haggard and not fully healthy himself, though it was hard to tell whether it was because he was overly tan except where glasses made him very white, or for some other reason. Because of when and how he took the bill, I never did get a copy ,or get to look at anything to understand what the original bill was made of, to know if anything we get back will have any correspondence to the original bill that was submitted to us.

I offered my hand to him in thanks for both saving my life and for looking over the bill, and he did shake me hand, and almost look me in the eye.

And now …. I get another bill with no detail, for $900, with no intervening bills. This seems almost an insult. When I have refrained from suing him for malpractice his office sends me another unitemized bill after I was specifically assured that I should receive one.

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