PAOLA, Kan. — Magnesium tablets turned out to be the magic fix for the chronic migraines that have been a painful part of Susan Lynch’s life for 20 years.
“I feel like a regular person again, ” said Lynch of Paola, Kan.
She credits the doctor she saw last September at The Headache and Pain Center in Johnson County.
So why then is she talking to FOX 4 Problem Solvers? Because of the bill she received for that visit.
She calls it outrageous, saying she’s being billed for services she never received.
Lynch is no stranger to medical bills. She’s been a registered nurse for 30 years and once worked in the billing office of an Opthamologist.
Her story starts last September, the day of her one and only visit to The Headache & Pain Center. When she arrived, a nurse asked her to take a drug screen.
“All I did was pee in a little cup that was it,” Lynch recalled.
Then she saw the doctor.
“I sat in a regular chair. I never got put in a gown,” she said.
The visit lasted five minutes.
ince The Headache and Pain Center is out-of-network for her insurance, she received a bill. Actually she received two bills.
One charged her $360 for the doctor’s vist and $371 for the lab to analyze her urine sample. She has no problem with either of those charges and has already paid them.
It’s the second bill that shocked her.
She was charged $984 by The Headache and Pain Center for that same urine sample.
All The Headache and Pain Center did was collect the sample and send it to the lab. There is also an unexplained $641. When she called to find out what it was, she was told it was for a hospital room.
“I did not go for a hospital visit,” Lynch said. “I went to a doctor for a first time visit. And I’m not paying $1,000 for a drug screen.”
She called the billing office and asked to speak to the office manager. She was shocked by what happened next.
“She’s not going to talk to you,” Lynch said she was told. “She’s just going to send it to collections.”
That’s when she called us. We also couldn’t figure out how The Headache and Pain Center could justify charging $1,000 simply to collect a urine sample or how a doctor’s visit turned into a hospital charge.
We called The Headache and Pain Center for its response. We were immediately given its attorney who we were told handles all customers complaint. The attorney, citing federal law, said he couldn’t discuss a particular patient’s case. But he did listen to us as we shared Lynch’s saga. The attorney told us he would look into the matter.
That very day Lynch got a call from the Center, acknowledging a mistake had been made on her bill. She said she was told that instead of owing $1,478, she now only owes $78. Lynch said no one has explained to her how or why she was overcharged or why it took FOX 4 Problem Solvers getting involved to get her bill fixed.