But FIRST:  Go here, and enter to win an Ergo baby carrier!  That’s all.  I entered.  You should enter, too.  (I also accidentally entered twice.  I am totally embarrassed now and I hope the person doesn’t hate me forever.)

And now…my update, and rant.  Because THAT’s my mood.

First, because now you all are worried and I feel badly making you worry:  I took a cranberry pill (I felt guilty before I did it, but cranberries – safe – right?), drank 3 more glasses of water last night, only peed once during the night (yay!), and called the doctor’s office this morning.

Of COURSE, the report is not back yet (why would it be?!?) but I explained to the nurse that I was having some chills, and flank pain, and had a history of rapid progression, and she got nervous and said she’d talk to the dr and call me back ASAP.

I *am* having these symptoms, but really?  I think they are just pregnancy symptoms.  Well, maybe not the bladder and flank pain.  But having had many of these, all of which were worse than this one, I am feeling a little bit guilty.  I am a *tiny* bit worried that I exaggerated it a *bit* too much and will end up hospitalized tonight, on IV abx, but it’s worth it for Little Squirt…right?  At the very least she is going to get a result stat, versus three days.

HOWEVER:  My rant.

My FB status is, “Rachel is annoyed by the U.S. healthcare system.”  Referring, actually, to the three days waiting for the pee-test results.  HOWEVER, then I walked into the kitchen, pulled out a stack of bills, and proceeded to open the top one.

People, I got a bill – my FIRST BILL, mind you – for a rheumatologist I saw while HOSPITALIZED FOUR YEARS AGO.

FOUR YEARS!

Yes, FOUR YEARS.

They waited FOUR YEARS (4!!!!!!) to bill me for the pleasure of her services while I was chained to a bed in the metro DC area.

And actually, it is not an itemized bill.  Oh, no, it is a statement that says, “Please pay in FULL NOW.  You owe (roughly $200).”

TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS?!?!?

And you waited FOUR YEARS?!?!?

So I called them.

And talked to the office manager.

She said, “well, we sent you a bill in September 2007.”

Which I didn’t receive, but I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.  So she billed me TWICE in FOUR YEARS and expected NOW for me to just hand over $200?!?!?

Then she said, “Well, I’m just now going through these bills.”

Ha.  I bet you are.  And I bet you are getting many many many of these irate calls.

(Four YEARS?!?)

(Isn’t there a statute of limitations on these things?!?  FOUR YEARS?!?)

So I told her that I needed an itemized bill.  That she was LUCKY because I don’t LIVE in her state, and therefore know *exactly* when I might have needed that physician’s services, but if I was an *actual* patient, I would have absolutely no idea and it is entirely unprofessional to send an unitemized bill FOUR YEARS after the fact and EXPECT TO BE PAID.  IN FULL.  IMMEDIATELY.

Then I got really riled up.  I said that I needed a letter from their attorney’s office explaining to me why their piss-poor accounting services were so delinquent that they needed FOUR YEARS to bill me (at this point, she corrected me and said, “we sent you a bill in September 2007”, and I said, “FINE, TWICE IN FOUR YEARS”) and she said, “From our attorney?!?”

Yes, lady.  From your attorney.

Because I am PISSED.

(Although I know I am being ridiculous now.)

(And also?  I don’t even remember who my insurance carrier was at that point.  I believe it was like two insurances ago.  She couldn’t understand why I didn’t have an EOB* from this experience.   She has GOT to be effing kidding me.  Like I would SAVE EVERY EOB I HAVE EVER RECEIVED.)

(ESPECIALLY FROM FOUR YEARS AGO.)

And ALSO!  I think this is fraudulent.  Someone help me out here – can’t they write off losses/unpaid bills on their taxes?  So this office already (ostensibly) took a LOSS on this, and is now, FOUR YEARS LATER, looking to cash in.

I think they picked the wrong girl to bill after four years, that’s what I think.

So today = really bad day for the healthcare system.  Obama, we need some HELP here.

*EOB = explanation of benefits, which is what the insurance company sends you when they pay out (or deny) on a claim, for those of you who have limited experience being sick.

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