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Like I need this right now... midwife vent

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Many of you already know that I left my homebirth midwife for an OB practice last month. I am so frustrated with that midwife practice right now!! I have been receiving bills in the mail from the laboratory that does all of their blood work for things I have already paid the midwives cash for. Not only that, but the midwives called the laboratory and told them to send all of these things through my insurance! I did not have insurance before the first of the year and their policy is that if you are a cash paying client, you have to pay for your labs at the end of the office visit in which they are taken. So, I paid them cash, then they billed my insurance to try to get paid again, now the lab is billing me instead of the midwife who was paid for them already and still hasn't paid the lab (some of these are from July!!). I called the midwife's office the day I started receiving bills and left an admittedly nasty message about it on their voicemail. I received a prompt response with an apology and an assurance that it would be taken care of. The first of these bills is due next Wed and now, weeks later, they still have not contacted the laboratory to correct the issue. 

Today I received my bill from the midwife for the services I received from them and every item on here (out of 10), except for ONE is either incorrect, something the laboratory is billing me for directly, or something that should have been billed to my insurance since it occurred after the first of the year. If I add up everything that I actually owe them, subtract what I've already paid and then subtract what I will have to pay the laboratory if they don't pay those bills, the midwife WILL OWE ME money! Like I'd ever see a dime of that!

I am 38w 4d and I do not need to be chasing these things around right now! I worked hard during this pregnancy to have everything taken care of before I reached 36 weeks so i could relax and just enjoy the last month of my pregnancy and have no stress while I wait on my baby to arrive. And now I have to chase these people around and correct their mistakes and worry about who I need to send payment to so I don't get sent to collections for something that I don't actually owe, but they refuse to pay. It's exhausting and I don't need this right now!

This is not even all of it. There are other sketchy billing things here, but I don't want to rant all day about it. Ugh. It is people like this that I think give midwives a bad image. It's just so unprofessional! 

 

post #2 of 12

hug2.gif

I can't believe MWs, of all people, would make you go through this right now! What BS. It really pisses me off when practitioners try to get money from you and scam your insurance for it. I, too, have noticed many MWs that are very money hungry. I get that they studied long and hard to become what they are, but come on, help a mama out sometimes! We're so poor we were gonna go UC b/c I found an amazing MW, but it's still almost 1000 just to attend my birth (no prenatals). That seems like a lot of money to me, though I understand they need insurance, are oncall, come back for PP check, etc. I wish money wasn't a deciding factor in the birthing process:(

I would keep calling the office and just tell them to give your money back and YOU will pay the labs if they won't do it. GL!

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks yippiehippie. I'm dealing with it, but it's just a multi-step process and something has already happened that caused a very petty reaction from them (they threatened to send me to collections despite not having even invoiced me yet!), so I feel like it's a delicate situation and I have to handle them with kid gloves. If I hurt her feelings she might react badly and the whole thing will go down the toilet. I just want it handled and over with so I can move on and focus on having the baby. Ugh.

 

You hit the nail on the head when you said money-hungry. She complains constantly about how they don't get paid for their services and what they charge is barely a fair price and is always putting up these passive-aggressive facebook posts of articles talking about how even doctors are struggling financially. When I came into her practice she was charging $3,600 as a global fee PLUS labs and ultrasound. Half way through my pregnancy she raised her rates to $5,000 and stopped accepting insurance. She takes cash only now. So, you have to pay upfront and then try to get reimbursed from your insurance company. The problem with this is that she's overcharging and she will be out of network no matter what your insurance is, so you wont get reimbursed for but a fraction of what you paid her. She works out of her home and you birth in your home. I transferred to an OB practice that has hospital privileges, a big, nice office, and they also charge a global fee... of $2,700. And they can even afford shoes and malpractice insurance (which the midwives do not carry).

post #4 of 12

Wow.  That is horrible! I am so sorry you are dealing with this now :( I hope they get it figured out soon!

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoddessKristie View Post

Thanks yippiehippie. I'm dealing with it, but it's just a multi-step process and something has already happened that caused a very petty reaction from them (they threatened to send me to collections despite not having even invoiced me yet!), so I feel like it's a delicate situation and I have to handle them with kid gloves. If I hurt her feelings she might react badly and the whole thing will go down the toilet. I just want it handled and over with so I can move on and focus on having the baby. Ugh.

 

You hit the nail on the head when you said money-hungry. She complains constantly about how they don't get paid for their services and what they charge is barely a fair price and is always putting up these passive-aggressive facebook posts of articles talking about how even doctors are struggling financially. When I came into her practice she was charging $3,600 as a global fee PLUS labs and ultrasound. Half way through my pregnancy she raised her rates to $5,000 and stopped accepting insurance. She takes cash only now. So, you have to pay upfront and then try to get reimbursed from your insurance company. The problem with this is that she's overcharging and she will be out of network no matter what your insurance is, so you wont get reimbursed for but a fraction of what you paid her. She works out of her home and you birth in your home. I transferred to an OB practice that has hospital privileges, a big, nice office, and they also charge a global fee... of $2,700. And they can even afford shoes and malpractice insurance (which the midwives do not carry).


EEK! I thought they were required to carry malpractice insurance!

I was very happy to hear that my midwives work with a professional biller who knows how to bill for these things so clients get their reimbursement back! The biller charges 9% but that's not that much considering how complicated medical insurance billing can get. They're also being super understanding and flexible about when we pay them, knowing that we just moved and still waiting on getting reimbursed from my DH's company for travel expenses. Not good to hear that some midwives aren't managing their business well at all!

 

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaydove View Post


EEK! I thought they were required to carry malpractice insurance!

I was very happy to hear that my midwives work with a professional biller who knows how to bill for these things so clients get their reimbursement back! The biller charges 9% but that's not that much considering how complicated medical insurance billing can get. They're also being super understanding and flexible about when we pay them, knowing that we just moved and still waiting on getting reimbursed from my DH's company for travel expenses. Not good to hear that some midwives aren't managing their business well at all!

 



I don't think they are! I know that these ladies don't. They're not upfront about it, but said so when asked.

post #7 of 12

 

 

Quote:
Thanks yippiehippie. I'm dealing with it, but it's just a multi-step process and something has already happened that caused a very petty reaction from them (they threatened to send me to collections despite not having even invoiced me yet!), so I feel like it's a delicate situation and I have to handle them with kid gloves. If I hurt her feelings she might react badly and the whole thing will go down the toilet. I just want it handled and over with so I can move on and focus on having the baby. Ugh.

 

 

sorry, but NO - IMO

 

You are/were a "client" and this is a "business" (forget what great things they are doing for homebirths for a moment) - like an real business they must follow state laws---in writing put it to them- give them a set number of days to take care of this - send it certified and after the date- file a complaint with who ever you need to in your state

 

there are laws as to how a business must conduct themselves - you do not need to be treated this way- if you don't know who in your state to contact, call your local state representative - do not take being treated like this - they won't care about your credit in the end.... you will!

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you, serenbat. I am trying my best not to bring in any outsiders as of right now. They're at least pretending to cooperate with me, and I need things from them still so that I can submit some things to my insurance that they haven't. I have no other way of getting them and I really need for those things to go through my insurance to get my deductible taken care of. So, I'm hanging in there for now.

 

They said this morning that they had the bills transferred to their account that I've paid them for (after I had to send them copies of the checks they cashed, since they had no record that I had paid for them!) and when I called to confirm that they had, the laboratory said I am still being billed for them. There are still two things that I'll have to pay the lab for directly and both of those things are on my invoice from the midwife as well. I let them know both of these things and requested the necessary insurance information. This is exhausting.

post #9 of 12

COPPY COPPY COPPY!!!!!!!!!

 

hold them to it- in the end it's you that suffers

 

I had a massive billing dispute after our DS was born regarding PKU and my insurance paid it and I found the mistake- the hosp was fined and the insurance was reimbursed - crap happens 

 

just don't wait toooooo long and keep after them or send a letter (mean business) that is really so unprofessional of them! irked.gif

 

not like you will like up to it now---but let other know (message boards are great for finding out reviews!)-if they are doing this with you---they have done it before

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

I'm keeping a physical and digital copy of everything and I'll be getting a copy of my records (the ones sent from the midwife) from my new OB on Friday. Sadly, they can't send them to me or anything, but I can get them in the office. 

 

I'm glad you were able to get your issue sorted out and that the hospital received a fine for it. That makes me feel better. 

 

I feel like the one big bargaining chip I have is that I haven't paid them for any of their services yet. If they want to get paid they'll have to get everything taken care of. I don't feel bad at all withholding payment until they get the laboratory stuff sorted out and I get the information I need for insurance. When she sent my invoice she said "We'll give you 30 days to pay it." Hopefully, it's all well taken care of before then. I will also be insisting on an updated, correct invoice before I do finally pay them. I want physical proof that we agreed on the amount I paid before I pay them anything.

post #11 of 12

I'm really sorry you're going through this.  I'm seeing this type of thing more and more frequently with midwives and it's very sad.

 

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulvah View Post

I'm really sorry you're going through this.  I'm seeing this type of thing more and more frequently with midwives and it's very sad.

 



Thank you. I think it's sad, too. They are the only legal homebirth midwives in our area of the state and it stinks that I now would not ever recommend them to someone. 

The good news is that I called yesterday to check and they had transferred some of the bills from the laboratory over to their account. I was relieved for that, but I still feel like I have a long way to go. 

 

Mulvah, is your name a Seinfeld reference?

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