Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Genetic Testing Bill

Last Thursday we received a bill in the mail from Correlagen Diagnostics where I had my genetic testing done in the early Spring to pinpoint the gene for my Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. The bill was for $5,580.
I had been assured that the fee for the test would be waived or I would never have had it done.
Sandy S. who was setting everything up for me took care of contacting my doctors for approval, and my health insurance to make sure they would pay for the actual test which is the $5,580. They approved it. Normally, I would have had to pay 15% of that which would have been around $837 but that was going to be waived. I can't recall now why that was, but that's what I was told at the time. I was just going to make the 'deadline'. By the time Sandy actually got hold of my cardiologist, the deadline had passed but he assured me that it would still be waived. So I went ahead and had the testing done. Tom was very leery about the whole thing. He found it hard to believe we wouldn't have to pay a dime.
My PCP felt that my cardiologist should be the one to 'request' the testing and fill out the paperwork. Sandy sent him the paperwork which was then sent to me and I sent that in along with the blood test to Correlagen. About 8 weeks later I received the results. I never heard anything more until Thursday when we get this bill.

Tom was the one who brought the mail inside and since it was addressed to him he opened it and just freaked out.
He's all red in the face and spitting drool and spouting : " I TOLD you this was going to be a problem!! I TOLD you NOT to do this!! On and on and on and on he went.
I wasn't too happy about getting a bill either, but I was going to call Sandy S. and get to the bottom of this. I told Tom to calm down before he had a stroke. He just glared at me.
I misplaced Sandy's phone number so tried to find it online under Correlagen Diagnostics but didn't find anything. So I went into the HCMA forum and messaged the Support Team to see if they would email Sandy S.'s phone number, as they had many dealings with him in the past and he had a very good reputation. I got a reply the next day that said Sandy was no longer working for Correlagen.
Aw oh.
I really wanted to speak with HIM since he's the one I dealt with but I had to settle for calling the 1-800 number on the billing statement.
I spoke with 'Laurie' and explained the situation. She found my records and did say that Sandy left a notation in them that my fee had been 'waived'. "Then why am I receiving a bill"? Laurie says because my health insurance did not pay. WTH!!! The insurance co. claimed there was no authorization, no primary care physician listed.
I sputtered a good 2 minutes and finally spit out "Sandy said he took care of everything! He is the one who spoke with my cardiologist and arranged to have the paperwork sent to him to be filled out. Sandy told me he spoke with my insurance and they authorized the testing..........................WHAT THE HELL!!!!!!!!!
Laurie told me she'd look into it further and get back to me. She didn't call Friday. She hadn't called by 2 pm on Monday so I called her back.
The insurance company is still saying that the proper paperwork had never been completed. There was no PCP listed and no referral. Laurie was going to make a phone call and get back to me. Yeah right, I thought, just like last week....but 15 minutes later she did call back and told me that I did NOT have to pay the bill. Someone named Al ( forgot his last name) was going to call and tell me the same thing. Not more than 5 minutes later Al does call and tells me that I do not have to pay anything. He did explain that Sandy had never gotten around to finishing up the paperwork. I don't know if that meant he quit, he was fired........I didn't really care, all I wanted to know was that the promise was going to be kept that I wasn't going to have any fees. Al did mention that on 'their end' they were still going to try to get payment from UPMC.......but I would no longer be billed.
I was very calm the whole time talking with both Laurie and Al. There was no need to get upset unless I was told we WOULD HAVE to pay the $5,580. I was actually pretty proud of myself for keeping my cool.
I called Tom on his cell phone and told him I had 'taken care' of the 'bill' and we did not have to pay it, that he needlessly got worked up. No sense in getting spazzed out until we knew what the final outcome was going to be. "Easy for you to say" he said..."you're name isn't on the bill".
I've been through things like this before....you're assured everything is taken care of...then you get another bill.
I make sure to keep the statement and the names of the people I've spoken with.
All's well that ends well.

1 comment:

  1. YIKES! We have also learned to keep track of who tells us what! I'm so glad you didn't have to pay!


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