Froedtert Hospital / Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin — follow-up care; billing issues; healthcare cost abuse
The care I received was fine. The follow-up was not. As my out-of-pocket expenses had reached more than $1, 000, I was concerned about paying additional money for a follow-up visit once my treatments were done - knowing that a new year's deductible was about to kick in. However, the doctor volunteered to me that my first follow-up visit would be free of charge, due to the fact that "by law, (he) would not be allowed to charge me." His exact words. However, when I scheduled that follow-up appointment, I asked the scheduler if she could send me something in writing affirming that there would be no charge for the visit. She said she could not do that. As such, I had to reschedule the appointment while she researched what the doctor had promised. Prior to my rescheduled visit, I asked again for the written confirmation. The scheduler said she was unable to provide this and suggested I call the doctor. I asked her if SHE could speak to the doctor about the situation and then call me back. She said she would do that, but never called me back. I again had to cancel the appointment, but still expected to hear from them eventually. This was more than six months ago. Have I heard anything more from the doctor or the department? No. Great to know that they are concerned about my follow-up.
Billing is another area where Froedtert is sorely lacking. I paid nearly all of my bills ahead of time, as soon as they hit my insurance. However, there was one large bill that was twice the amount of my pre-treatment estimate, so I disputed that one and it went into review. In the meantime, I paid a portion of the balance. After many, many weeks, I was told that the charge was valid, so no adjustment could be made. I then asked if they would be willing to waive half of the remaining balance (about 1/4 of the actual charge), being that the charge was so vastly different from the estimate. After many, many more weeks, and multiple Froedtert billing employees being involved, I was told that no, they would not be willing to waive half of the remaining balance. In the midst of this multi-month process (3 to 4 months), I continued to get calls from the patient financial services area, but each time I called back they seemed to have no idea why they had left a message with me or why I was calling them back. They would spend large amounts of time reviewing my notes to try to figure out why they had called me in the first place and/or the current status of the billing review -- a total waste of my time. And in many cases, their notes were not updated, causing me to have to repeat my previous conversations with billing representatives. It's a bizarre and completely inefficient calling system that needs to be fixed.
Finally, healthcare waste/rip-off. At my initial visit with the nurse, I was given a 4 oz. tube of "Vanicream" to use on the area of my skin being treated. Low and behold when I examined my detailed invoices, I discovered that Froedtert had billed my insurance $40 for the Vanicream - yet the same sized tube can be purchased at Walmart or Target for less than $7. Absurd
Updated by Anne F., Oct 09, 2019
Oops - in my last sentence I meant to say "Absurd and disgusting."
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