Accounts receivable

It’s lovely to come home on a Monday evening to find a phone message from the apparently incompetent pharmacy management company that thinks it is going to collect $2,000+ from Mom for a balance on meds the company provided but didn’t properly bill me for for months. I wrote about this in January – the company had allowed a $4,500 or so balance pile up (in the span of four months – ridiculous, outrageous costs in the first place). Twice – TWICE – I had informed these people of Mom’s Medicaid billing number immediately upon her account approval in October. In January, the company told me Medicaid didn’t cover Mom’s pharmacy costs because she wasn’t enrolled in a Medicare D program. No one had EVER told me about any such requirement along the way. All I had ever heard was that Medicaid covered nursing home meds. In January, when this blew up, the business manager at the Alz center coordinated Mom’s insurance info with my help and was supposed to give that info to the pharmacy company so the company could go back to Mom’s insurer and get the reimbursement.

When I talked to the company at the time, I said I would start paying $150 at a time when Mom’s checking account allowed for that, to make a good faith effort to pay something on the account. In February, I got a statement from Mom’s insurance company that appeared to be a rejection of part of the claim. I didn’t really understand it. I didn’t hear boo from the pharmacy company for awhile, and then I got bills for about $2,000. So half the bill had been paid by Mom’s insurance. It pissed me off to think the insurance wouldn’t cover the rest – we weren’t close to being even six months out from the actual provision of the meds. But over this, I have no control. As far as I know. If Mom was going to be liable for the rest, it was going to be paid off in $150 increments for as long as her checking account will allow. That’s how I had left it with the company.

So today, the end of May, I get a call from accounts receivable. The woman sounds exasperated while leaving her message. Real nice. So I have spread documents all over my office floor, retrieved old e-mails from January, found Mom’s insurance card (thankfully, the Alz centered enrolled her in a Medicare D program so she has been covered by Medicaid since Jan. 1). I returned the call. All lines are busy, at 6 p.m. So I left a somewhat snotty message about how things are – how the company waited a long time to tell me there was a problem with Medicaid, so long, in fact, that it lost the chance to get reimbursed by Mom’s insurance company that actually DID cover her at that time.

It’s such a crock. And of course it’s stressful, because I am fully prepared for the company to say that I, as the so-called “responsible party” for Mom’s account, am going to be liable for this balance. Uh, no. I honestly don’t know the rules. I think I have signed something that says I am responsible for payment for certain things should they not be covered … I think that was at the nursing home. But it’s something that one has to sign in order to move Mom into the building. I could look it up to be sure, but I am not going to.

Meanwhile, under the current new pharmacy company and Medicare D coverage, Mom is billed a miscellaneous amount from time to time. Sometimes $36, sometimes $67, and I always wonder: How is it, that if under Medicaid rules she is allowed to retain only $40 per month of her income, that she is then expected to pay bills that exceed that $40? What if I weren’t here to manage her tiny amount of remaining money? I am just furious about this whole thing.

4 comments so far

  1. Jeff on

    That is so maddening Emily. I’m sorry you have to deal with this again and again. Keep us posted. I appreciate your attitude of “just let them TRY to collect from me….!!”.
    Love, Jeff

  2. momsbrain on

    Hi, Jeff. Well, I can talk tough. But if it gets hairy, who knows what I will do. Heh. 🙂

  3. Laura on

    How aggravating. Let me know what I can do to help

  4. momsbrain on

    Thanks, Laura. They sent me a mailing asking for Mom’s Medicaid information. It’s as if we’re starting all over again from the point we were at in January. I’m going to write a detailed letter to them with her insurance and Medicaid info. Pat, who had similar problems with her mother, said she doesn’t think there’s any way for the company to hold me liable.

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