2.042 hospital bills, vaccine volunteer

Wednesday 01/13/2021

Did The Walk first thing. Felt fine. Then started cleaning up my files for this year’s taxes. First up was to go through the medical expenses folder, pull out everything from 2020. In fact I have had only modest medical expenses in 2020. I have quite a wad of Medicare EOBs for the period 9/28-10/15 when I was in and out of Stanford Hospital with my aortic dissection. But in fact I’ve only had one bill from that period.

That was a $2500 bill from the City of Palo Alto for transporting me to Stanford Emergency. This came in promptly in October, but it had a printed note, if you have insurance coverage, return the bill with your insurance information. Which I did, and nothing more had come from them.

Also, all the EOBs say, after the claim number for each separate procedure, “Medicare paid $XXX” followed by “You may be billed at most $YYY”. The $YYYs could add up to, just eye-balling it, maybe a few thousand. (Medicare paid $98,000 for my two hospitalizations, and at least another $10K in various procedures.) But I’ve received no bill from Stanford Health for my part of it.

So I followed up on these. I logged in to MyHealth.Stanford.edu and clicked “Billing” and it showed Balance:$0. There was a button for “Message to Billing” so I sent a polite note wondering when I might expect to be billed for those days.

Then I went to a URL listed on the ambulance bill. There after entering an account number from the bill, I found a statement:

  • Charges: $2500
  • Credit: $-2500
  • Balance: $0

So apparently, either they just waived the whole fee, or … what? If one of my insurance carriers had paid it, surely they would have shown “Payment: $2500” (or less). But no, they just credited the amount charged leaving a zero balance. Nice. I could grump about why didn’t they tell me? But you know, I think I’ll let it slide.

Now it was time to do my laundry. (The excitement just keeps building.) In between loads, an email with the opportunity to volunteer on the next Vaccine Days, the 18th and 19th. Turns out, if I volunteer to help, I can get vaccinated early, 4pm on the 18th, instead of waiting for the 6th floor window of 11am the 19th. Hey, why not.

After a nap it was time to zoom in to the monthly 6th floor meeting. No news there, just an hour of chat among neighbors.

In the evening COVID email, was the note that several staff members who had received their 2nd dose from the county clinic reported soreness, low fever, and fatigue, more than with the 1st dose. We all get our 2nd doses next week.

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