Drooling on the Pillow

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate! 

The choice:

A) Habanero Enema
B) Calling Medicare


Today I had no choice. I got a call from a hospital in Pennsylvania telling me that Medicare was refusing a claim on a brief stay by my mother six months ago. The problem was apparently an open claim against Prudential over an auto accident that happened fifteen years ago. I won't go any further into it or you will start believing you've chosen Option A.

The Good: Just about everyone I talked to was very helpful, extremely pleasant and more or less knowledgeable.

The Bad: I should have said that everyone was trying to be helpful. One person helpfully transferred me to the wrong state office three times. And I think the fact that I had to talk to eleven different people goes in this column. While the people were very pleasant I had the impression that their right hand was hovering above the transfer button the moment they picked up the phone.

The Ugly: The consensus of Dee, Heather, Helen, Katherine, Betty, Sarah, Donald, Cora and a couple others whose names I didn't get, is that the solution lies in my reconstructing missing and non-existent accident information, getting Prudential to disgorge all the records from their end relevant to this ancient accident, including a Letter of Exhaustion and a Record of Payment, filing said information with the New Jersey Medicare office (where the accident took place), requesting a document transfer to the Pennsylvania office (where the hospital claim originated) and wait for their issuance of a No Fault File Claim Closed doo-hickey. Then get the hospital to re-submit their claim. My mother has to sign releases from the New Jersey Office, the Pennsylvania office and Prudential so that they'll talk to me. I have to request the forms and then we have to wait for them to send us the forms. Then we send them back.

Piece of cake. Luckily I have nothing to do for the next six months. Did I mention that this accident had absolutely nothing to do with her recent hospital stay? I probably didn't have to.
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