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Managing Medical Bills PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Saturday, 09 February 2013 08:21
By Melissa Tosetti
The Saturday before Thanksgiving, I was awoken at 2am by the sound of my husband Paul vomiting in the bathroom. I had a sleepy, sympathetic thought then rolled over to sleep some more. When I heard him vomit another five times, I jumped out of bed.
I found him, leaned up against the bathtub; eyes closed moaning about being dizzy. Over the next 15 minutes he continued to vomit as I called his doctor’s advice nurse to find out what I should do. She told me to get him to the emergency room. 
There are benefits to going to the hospital in the suburbs of the Bay Area at 2am - it’s nice and quiet and you get to be seen right away. The doctor quickly diagnosed Paul as having a severe case of Vertigo, likely brought on by a virus. After rehydrating him with an IV for a few hours, he sent him home.
The following days were fairly miserable for Paul as he continued to fight the dizziness, but at least he was able to keep everything in his stomach.
This week, I received the bill for his three hour visit – about $2,000. I don’t begrudge paying it as I am grateful they were able to help him and that our insurance offset the majority of the cost.
What I did do is call the billing office and make arrangements to pay the bill over the course of the next 12 months. As I expected, the office was happy to work with me and they are not charging us interest. Now I don’t have to worry about putting a drain on our savings account.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, call the billing office as soon as you get the invoice and ask if you can make payments. In the majority of cases, they will be willing to work with you. Medical bills are some of the hardest to collect on so they’ll likely be happy you’re making the effort to pay your financial obligation.  
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