Friday, January 9, 2009

Wound VAC Hell - updated

I freely admit that we don’t meet the national guidelines for the poverty level. I freely admit that we make enough money to live on. That is not my problem or my issue with this company. Our out-of-pocket expenses with them are 20%, which doesn’t sound like a whole lot until you figure that Ron had the wound VAC for nearly 10 months.

$139 per day, plus $118 (roughly; not entirely sure but that's close) for each dressing change (at 3 per week minimum), the total bill is quite high. Take off the insurance “adjustment” and then the insurance payment, and we’re still left with a large outstanding balance.

I’ve been paying $100 each month for months and we still owe thousands of dollars. One of the KCI representatives told me on one hospital visit that we could probably get our co-pay amount reduced. I dutifully filled out the paperwork and was promptly turned down. {sigh} I figured it was because they were using Ron’s salary as a basis (even though he hadn’t worked in months but I had to supply our 2007 W-2s).

After he had been officially retired, and all of the other invoices started pouring in, I asked about filling out the paperwork again. They sent it to me but there was no consideration in this paperwork for our cost of living expenses, other medical bills from his home care, current medical expenses, or prescription expenses. I submitted a letter detailing what we made (and how much I missed each week due to FML absences), how our money was spent (housing, utilities, medical, food, gasoline, insurance, etc.), and anything else I thought they might use.

We got another turn-down. I was shocked, to say the least. No consideration at all for anything. Not only that, they don’t want to accept “only” $100 per month from me. They want the entire balance paid off in 12 months (preferable) or absolutely no more than 18 months. The only way I could do that is if I didn’t pay something else for that time frame. I wonder what I could do without. Food, gasoline, utilities? I don’t know where else I could cut. At their figures, I’d need to pay about $500 per month for 12 months. Or, if they decided to be “nice” I could pay about $333 for 18 months.

I can only afford $150 right now. I’ve seen other blogs where people have put PayPal links soliciting donations for medical bills. I’ve thought that a bit cheesy until now. I can see where some could feel they’re being backed into a medical corner with no way out (I can certainly feel that pressure sometimes). I’m not going to put up a link, but I sometimes think I’d welcome donations. I’m just not going to go soliciting for them so there’s no way people could find where to donate to anyway.

KCI says our balance is $5033 and we can set up a payment plan with "only" $200 per month. I asked if that meant they'd refuse my current payment of $100 per month if I couldn't cover $200.
KCI: No, they would apply it but if any of the older balances didn't get paid quick enough, they'd get turned over to collections.
ME: I find that very hard to comprehend. I'm making payments, you're taking my payments, but you'd still turn us to collections?
KCI: Well, if you're not paying according to our standards, then yes you'd be turned over to collections.
ME: How would that be fair if I'm making payments in good-faith? That doesn't take into consideration any other bills we might have, such as other medical, housing, food, etc...
KCI: Any company would do the same if you weren't paying according to their standards.
ME: But your standards are not applied fairly if people cannot pay that much.
KCI: We don't want someone to take years to pay their bill.
ME: Trust me, I don't want to be paying you for years either. (Then I told her I had one other medical bill that had about 4 months left at $100 per month and afterwards I could add that $100 to the current $100 to get to the $200 per month mark. She had to go talk to her superviser.)
KCI: I spoke with my supervisor and we've agreed that we'll take "only" $130 per month for the next four months and then we'll re-visit the payment plan and you can up your payments to at least the $200 mark. If you could pay in full today, we would deduct 20% off the total. (According to my calculations, that would make the total a measley $4026 and some change. As if...)
ME: If I had the full amount to send you, I wouldn't be trying to get my payment amount reduced. I'd just pay it.

Some people...


Anonymous said...

I believe that you should report the company to the State Attorney General for price gorging. This machine couln not possibly cost as much as the rent you have paid, much less the money they have collected from other.
File a complaint with the Attorney General in your state. Screwing money out of folks is not right. Just a bunch of greedy ah's.

Anonymous said...

I am in the same position and have not worked for 8 years lost both legs,
My insurance Aetna wont pay saying expiremental.

Still owe hospital bills and cant pay my medicine.
Let them bring it to a collection agency.

Anonymous said...

Use Healthcare Essentials where you can get Wound VACS shipped to your front door next day for a fraction of the cost!!!! I did it and it seriously saved me tens of thousands of dollars. Don't be a victim, their are options.