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[Resolved] Electrostim Medical Services - Emsi / Beware, nickle and dime you for medical services you never used

1 Tampa, FL, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 800-588-8383

Beware of electrostim medical services, also known as emsi. They provide small electric shock devices if you have back pain - which doesn't even help i bet. We went to our doctor who apparently ordered one for us but didn't really explain to us what he was doing and that it would cost so much. We have good insurance coverage however this medical unit still costs thousands of dollars even with insurance covering much of it.

My wife didn't even want this medical device or services and never used it at all. We were finally able to convince them we didn't order it nor want it and sent it back. However they sent a 'supplies' packet in the mail which i refused and sent back to their office and they are charging us $300 for it even though we never received it. It makes me sick to my stomach how medical service and medical insurance companies can get away with so much and normal people get stuck with bills. My insurance company basically said it was our word against their word if we received it and the big company always wins.

Needless to say this company has terrible customer service and will try and nickle and dime ever penny from you even if you never even used their stupid device. Beware!

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  • Do
      10th of Jun, 2009
    -4 Votes

    i agree that they nickel and dime, they also charge customers or try to with the balance when it should be a write off per insurance guidelines. they refuse to go by the law of Medicare and create their own rules, they also charge for workers com patients and they dont even ask the patient if they want supplies they auto send them and your right it would be your word against theres. but there policy is that you have to call and say you dont want supplies. also you cant return to sender because it never gets there, which is ridiculous, they should have told patients that originally. eventually wit all the money they have taken they will get caught. trust me thieves never succeed enough complaints about janice bryant or the ops manager to the owner and they wont charge you anything, unfortunately they make there employees do the bad work and then the employess not knowing any better, with th exception of some people smart enough to quit, get thrown in jail, because of fraud. sad but they dont care about the patients only get 2 million a month from patients and insurance companies.

  • Si
      16th of Jun, 2009
    -4 Votes

    Doris - first off, go back to school and learn the difference between "thier" and "there" / "you're" and "your"; it's a pretty simple concept that my 8 year old understands. Secondly, if any patient is unhappy with the equipment, they can return it FREE OF CHARGE. However, garments (which are the materials which you wear to keep the units in place) are non-refundable and cannot be returned because that practice is unsanitary.

    And Wonderfuzling - if you are letting a doctor order and bill you for something you don't want, then it sounds like your doctor is the crook here. If you think that your insurance company is the "little guy" in this situation getting pushed around by the big bad medical device company, then I think there's some ocean front property in Arizona with your name on it!

  • 9v
      27th of Jun, 2009
    -6 Votes

    sickofwhiners- Hi, Insulting someone for spelling and grammar errors is SOOOOOO 1995, get over it! I agree that mixing up "their" and "there" is a pretty elementary goof, but seeing it brought to attention in order to discredit someone before trying to make a "point" is even more annoying. Also, does sticking up for EMSI with a hostile undertone toward previous posters give you any kind of credibility? The answer is no. My guess is that anyone reading your post has thought to themselves, "Wow, that person must work for EMSI and have way too much time on their hands!". So congratulations in adding nothing of worth to this discussion.

    Now, on to the main topic of concern: EMSI intentionally engaging in fraudulent acts? Could be, or perhaps they just have a really misguided billing system and questionable business ethics. As with anything you read on the internet, you are entitled to believe what you want, but here is my experience.

    After trying everything else, my physical therapist and pain specialist discussed the potential benefit of a home use electro-stim unit for my chronic back pain. I agreed to give it a shot, since the stimulation seemed to provide a little bit of relief when my PT used a professional grade device on me during our twice weekly session. This might have been a placebo effect after years of hoping for anything to work, but that's not important for this story. I got on the phone with the sales rep at EMSI after being referred to them by my PT who has a "relationship" with them. The unit which was to be ordered was a handheld analog 2 channel handheld TENS device. I mentioned to the rep that I was able to find similar devices for 70 dollars or less online which appeared to be digitally controlled and have more features than the one they were trying to sell me for 150 dollars. She then asked, "Well how much would you like to spend? We just want to HELP YOU" to which I hesitantly replied, "Umm, 50 dollars I guess considering my other options". She then brought up the fact that they would periodically send supplies or I could call to order them when needed. I told her to please not have any supplies automatically sent. It was settled then, the 50 dollars was billed to my credit card, and I was to make an appointment to pick it up and have an orientation at my PTs office. A month later I recieved a notice from my insurance company saying they got a claim from EMSI for a personal electro stim device which had been declined. I figured there was nothing to worry about since I had already paid for the unit out of pocket. Well apparently I was mistaken, because on my next months insurance statement there were not one but TWO declined claims from EMSI of 800 dollars EACH.
    Supplies? Big Surprise! Strange, I thought they said they weren't goign to send any unless I called. WRONG again. The "supplies" packet was a complete joke consisting of a couple 9 volt batteries, some alcohol wipes, new electrodes, and a half full bottle of lotion (see i'm an optomist, half full!) Everything comes individually branded with the EMSI logo, yes even the batteries... Maybe this explains why everything was about 100 times more expensive than everyday items I could have pick up at the gas station (other than the electrodes) IF and WHEN I needed them.. Still dealing with insurance company on the charges for goods/services never actually rendered. It is sounding like I will be in the clear, but the whole experience makes EMSI look really bad.

    Whether or not they do this intentionally is a serious question that can hopefully be answered soon. People suffering physically and financially should not have to worry about being billed 45 dollars for a 9 volt battery or 1600 for a rebranded 30 dollar TENS unit.. Whatever the case, something is definitely NOT RIGHT with this company and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before there is a criminal health care fraud investigation brought upon them. Hopefully more people will share their experiences here.

  • Pa
      18th of Dec, 2009
    Best Best Advice +7 Votes

    I personally have a device myself and as patient that has suffered from chronic pain, I found relief with their IF-4250 device. I did not want to be labeled as an abuser but I was suffering in so much pain that I had no choice than to take pain medication (or so I thought). It wasn't until I changed doctors (for insurance purposes) that I realized I had options. This doctor listened to my history and after evaluating my history, suggested that I try an electrical stimulation device. I was reluctant to try it because I thought those devices were quackery, but I thought I might as well go for it since I had nothing to lose and everything gain. And so I did.

    A gentleman fitted me with the device at the doctor's office and explained that it may take the pain level down a few notch. He said to try it and if it didn't work within a few weeks that I could tell the doctor so the doctor can try other things. Again, I thought, why not. And so I tried for a couple of weeks. At the end of the 3rd day of using the device (2-3 times a day as prescribed by the doctor), I started to feel better. At the end of the first week, I was using the device religiously to the point that I actually stopped taking the medication. I was using it so much that I ran out of the pads that came with it. I ended up calling the sales rep to give me more. The rep stopped by and while discussing my situation said that I should not have stopped my medication without the doctor knowing (as it turned out, stopping my medication cold turkey had some effects, like extreme sweating and that was the reason why I went through the pads like I did). The rep was knowledgeable and had suggested to call my doctor and tell him of the situation. I did as he said and the doctor weaned me off the medication properly.

    So the moral of my story is that it may all depend on your situation. You may or may not benefit from their device (or any device for that matter), but it may behoove you to try before you condemn electrical stimulation. As far as the pads and other supplies are concerned, yeah they come automatically, but in my situation, if they didn't come automatically, it would be a pain to do on a monthly basis. And the rep even said if I was through using the device and didn't want anymore supplie, I just simply call to stop. Yeah, it may be a little much to charge for the pads and other thing, but my sanity is worth more than the cost of the pads. And to think about it, my liver and kidneys are thanking me for it. Again, the cost of the pads is miniscule compared to where I would have been 10-15 years with taking the pain medication. Now, I can drive and do things that were contraindicated when I took the medication.

    I'm sorry for the original poster and the ones that followed, but I thought I should say something because not everyone feels like they did. I for one thank EMSI and the sales rep for giving my life meaning again. It's worth every nickel and dime that my insurance and I pay.

  • Bs
      13th of May, 2010
    +1 Votes

    You need to immediately go to your state's Department of Insurance on the Internet and file a complaint against them through the Insurance Commissioner's Office. They act very quickly and the LAST thing an insurance company wants is the government in all their files. Not sure where you are so just Google it. Good luck.

    Barb V.

  • Ks
      26th of May, 2017
    +1 Votes

    @BSB2010 As an is adjuster you are 100% correct. Anyone ever having real and significant problems with an ins co just be cordial and let them know your next contact will clearly be with your state's ins commission. Watch what happens then.

  • Bs
      13th of May, 2010
    +1 Votes

    This is a game between some of the medical providers and the insurance companies. It is true that a few providers, be they doctors, hospitals, therapists, or whatever, they do illegal things to make money. Can you say Health South?

    Healthcare needs to stop sleeping with big insurance; and we need to kill these Managed Care Plans once and for all. Insurance is about risk, pure and simple. It is NOT about your company only covering what they darn well please. My boss just closed her medical office on 04/30 because she could not make enough money anymore. I have heard estimates that as high as 35% of the doctors now in practice will leave within the next couple of years.

  • Br
      3rd of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    I experiencd a similar situation. EMSI charged me $300 in suppies every month and the company charged me for a low back wrap that the doctor NEVER ordered and charged me $400 for the thing. I also have great insurance coverge (BCBS of NC Federal) and I got the bill for this thing too. How is this legal? The customer service is poor at best and when I tried to return all this stuff they still stuck me with the bill.

    Beware of EMSI!!!

  • Ms
      16th of Jun, 2010
    -1 Votes

    I agree with every customer that posted a comment. My Chiropractor ordered one for me at the tune of $1800.00. It doesn't help that's not what I needed on top of that they were sending me the electro pads. I tried to return the machine, of course they said no. I returned the electro pads haven't gotten a response back regarding a refund. It's really sicken they can do such thing and get away with it.

  • An
      4th of Aug, 2010
    0 Votes

    I coulen't agree more.

    I also got electrodes in the mail and it cost me over $300 when I never ordered them. And as mentioned above, the would NOT refund me.

    I was told the unit would only cost me $50. I have not been billed over $800 and the electrodes keep coming. I keep sending them back and refuse to pay the bill.

  • Fl
      27th of Sep, 2010
    0 Votes

    I too have used a unit from EMSI. My Doctor gave it to me to use while on vacation. The unit did not work. I recieved a new battery and tried it once and found it not to be of any use to me and the unit did not help me. I was told that they would bill insurance and I would be responsible for just my co-pay and deductible (around $200.00). I just recieved a form from my insurance company showing that they billed around $2000.00 and the insurance company will only pay $500 of it. They have claimed that they don't ill for anything above the deductible and what the insurance company bills. As I have not recieved a bill from EMSI yet I will take thier word for it so far. I have seen on here and other boards that they aparantly did send a bill to people for the diference. My issue with them is they are sending me extras that have noting to do with what I am being treated for. I have recieved a garment belt, have no idea how this is supposed to help me. Also getting supplies that arent needed. When I called and asked to have them stopped and also asked about the amount the insurance compnay denied the rep explained to me in a rude and snotty manner that they wont bill me. We will see. I have used tens units before at doctors offices and found good relief. There units are useless.

  • Kd
      18th of Nov, 2010
    0 Votes

    This company needs to be shut down. I WILL take the advice above and file a complaint. My husband got the device for his back a year ago. Since, he had surgery and needs another. We, both husband and I told this company to STOP sending that packet. I even wrote a cease and desist letter. We just got another yesterday. they were all sent back, RTS. So far the bill is about 1k. I will not pay them a dime. The unit was paid for and used for a week if that.
    They are crooks.

  • Br
      2nd of Dec, 2010
    +6 Votes

    I feel really bad for those of you who have had a negative experience with EMSI. I, as a patient, have been treated with the highest level of respect. Now, it's a shame that many of us only "squawk" when we are not satisfied, and we seem to forget to find the good in people and in situations and to acknowledge kindness and good in eachother. I know we are a product of our environment and that we live in a society which focuses on the negative. Like I said, I am a patient of EMSI and my experience has been very positive. The only issue I have faced is a battery issue that was taken care of overnight by the sales rep who initially assisted me. She is a wonderful asset to the company. I was back up and running in less than 24 hours. I am using the Flex-IT which is one of the newer products. My insurance (BCBS of NC) only covers Tens and I was able to get the Interferential unit because this company has been brilliant enough to include a Tens setting in it (which my insurance WILL cover). This is the only treatment that works for me, as Tens is not as effective. My unit was covered 100% by my insurance. It was explained to me upfront that I had met my deductible and out of pocket for the year. Many people do not realize that your patient portion depends on the insurance policy you choose each year . If you haven't met your deductible, you will owe morefor any medical devices or supplies or surgery, for that matter. Also, as a customer of YOUR INSURANCE company, you can call them and ask what you will owe. That's what I did, just to confirm what the sales rep had told me. Please be your own advocate - no one else will do it for you. My heart hurts for those of you who have had a negative experience, and also for EMSI because of the light you have placed them in. I would encourage anyone reading the above posts to remember that the negative comments will probably outweigh the positive ones in any instance... only because those people, like myself, who are happy with the product or service they received have no reason to complain. This company is a top provider for my doctor and I have two friends who are just as happy as I have been. I would recommend the company and my sales rep to ANYONE. God bless these hard working people for all that they do to help people like myself to experience pain-free days. We all have our own opinions- mine is nothing but positive, thankful and encouraging to others who may be experiencing pain.

  • Ry
      4th of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    that company has charged my son 2551.67 for his unit and supplies over several years and it doesnt help... The Lawyers are in litigation from my sons car wreck and BCBS of Alabama is wanting their money back from the car insurance company and now they are billing for a unit the insurance was suppose to pay... I too will be seeking Legal advice on this company

  • Be
      9th of Feb, 2011
    -2 Votes

    I have now received two of these boxes (on 2 separate occasions) with the supplies/ electrodes. I have received a bill for both for about $300. I refused the second package and "returned to sender" and they still are charging me. I decided to do so searching to see if other we experiencing the same. I am contacting the better business bureau. This is FRUAD!

  • Gl
      3rd of Mar, 2011
    +3 Votes

    Excuse me to all complainers out there, first off the units work great for pain relief, if you actually use it! Next about billing and supplies. I go to the hospital for dehyrdation and get an iv of water. I find out my ins was billed $1500. Guess what, this is life, this is the cost of anything medial. If you can get a tens unit for $70 as people say, then more power to ya, but guess what, these units are not regulated through FDA, so good luck with that:)
    Also in regards to the auto supplies, ummmm, why wouldn't you read what you sign or even pay attention to letters sent to you. Before the unit is given to anyone, they sign an agreement that clearly states supplies will be sent. Also, I received a letter confirming my info and such and it talks about supplies too.
    HAHAHA, you people are all the fraud for putting missleading information about a company on the web. Good luck in your lives and God Bless:)

  • Gl
      3rd of Mar, 2011
    +5 Votes

    Oh one more thing, If you have a medical insurance plan, where YOU are responsible for copayments, coinsurances, deductibles, GUESS WHAT, you will receive bills for you copayments, coinsurances, deductibles!

  • Kd
      20th of Apr, 2011
    +2 Votes

    I agree, this company is FRAUD! Stay clear away. They kept sending supplies AFTER the date ended on our contract! Do not send them RTS, they get thrown in the garbage, not returned and you will get billed for them. We tried canceling several times to no avail. We had the most rude rep call us.


  • Th
      20th of May, 2011
    +4 Votes

    Karen... Just because your issue was not taken care of right away (insurances take time to process, sometimes up to 180 days), you go off and complain about a company that has provided great care to many patients. It's sad that you can't just settle your grievances with the company directly. EMSI has great customer service and will work with anyone with issues, billing or otherwise. Have you spoken with them regarding the payments because if you can't afford the device, EMSI will work with you one way or the other.

  • Sa
      23rd of Jun, 2011
    -3 Votes

    Wow. I guess I am not the only one with a BAD experience with EMSI. Their units are a piece of junk. My husband had one and only used it a couple of times. I went to use it (about 4 years after we purchased it). And the thing didn't work. I called EMSI to find out the warranty already ran out and they wouldn't do anything. And amazingly enough, they were STILL sending me electrodes. I am still being sent MONTHLY supplies after I have asked NUMEROUS times for them to NOT send them. I have already contacted the BBB and my insurance company. I will not pay their bills.

  • Pa
      28th of Jul, 2011
    +3 Votes

    If you have problems, please address with EMSI directly. Their phone number is 1-800-588-8383. 4 years is a long time and why after so long did you not tell EMSI that you or your husband is no longer using the unit. EMSI will work with you, you just need to let them know. I can't believe all of the people on this board complaining about their issue with EMSI. Why not pick up the phone or better yet, email so you and they have written records of what has been done. It's amazing a handful of people have the time to write long complaint log, but don't have the gall to speak with someone live!! They like hiding behind the keyboard. EMSI has serviced tens and thousands of people. To have a few complainants is a very small percentage. I guess in the end, you really can't please everyone. Here are other contact information that can help those that are on this board complaining: USE IT!!

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