Comment: working beyond the “horror” – Medical Bill Survival Guide
The Medical Bill Survival Guide complete book
Available Now: Medical Bill Survival Guide by Nicholas Newsad in print and e-book format at

Second place in the Reader Views Literary Awards, "Health" and "How To" categories

It does not matter how bad your financial situation seems to be, The Medical Bill Survival Guide will provide you with the knowledge to help yourself or your loved one. Medical bill anxiety is caused by miscommunications and misunderstandings. This book teaches easy, effective strategies for working with insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare providers.

Readers will learn and discover:
  • How process problems cause insurance claims to be rejected and denied
  • How to access public insurance programs for the uninsured and unemployed
  • How to access provider-based financial assistance and charity care
  • How to demonstrate financial hardship and
  • How to talk productively to billers and collectors.
The information in this book will benefit:
  • Insured patients who are experiencing difficulty paying the deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance.
  • Uninsured patients who are unemployed or cannot afford health insurance.
  • Patients and the families of patients who have survived a catastrophic medical episode like cancer, heart attack, or major surgery.
  • Patients with chronic diseases requiring continuous, costly medical care like heart disease, COPD, or diabetes.
Nicholas Newsad, MHSA is a senior analyst at a national healthcare management company. He holds a master's degree in hospital and health service administration from Xavier University. He lives in Westminster, Colorado.He has served as a senior healthcare analyst for six years and has also served as an interim surgery center administrator. He has been quoted and interviewed in the L.A. Times, NY Daily News, MSN Money, and Smart Money, as well as numerous other magazines, newspapers, and radio shows.

Do you have a horror story about your medical bills? Insurance company? Or medical provider? We want to hear about it. at

Comment: working beyond the “horror”

0 Comments - Posted by Bill Cole on October 17, 2012 at 9:04 am

From: Brandy M

Hello there.

Thanks to the information you’ve provided, I’ve been able to whittle my $47,000 “horror story” down to something much more workable so far. Thank you! You offer truly invaluable information as I’d be facing bankruptcy otherwise!
I finally received a good response from the hospital itself and will be billed just a small fraction of the total bill (hooray!!!). Though there are a number of other independent doctors — involved in my treatment (I’d assumed were with the hospital) who have billed me as well. Of the 6 or so, just one of those has replied to my request for debt forgiveness due to financial hardship. I’ve included for each biller a very complete info packet containing 3 months of bank statements, proof of my $67,000 education debt, evidence of my income which is under $22,000/yr, copies of all credit card statements indicating further debt and copies of my CICP i.d. card which confirms my enrollment in a state-funded medical program for low-income (“indigent”) people such as myself.
So far, the one biller who has replied has seemed curiously (almost personally) resistant to working beyond the initial offer of half off with monthly payments of $50 starting by October 1 (or else my bill goes straight to collections). I would be open if this were the only bill, but it’s not and I feel there should be something comparable to what the hospital offered which is .5% of the original total.
It’s been a bit of a struggle with these independent providers. First, I was accused by this representative of presenting false information with my CICP enrollment card (this person said he called to verify it, then reported to me he was told they had no such record for me). When I had the evidence faxed to him from them, he said that it was irrelevant to their decision-making process as they do not accept CICP. Then he said there was no such thing as a charity program (of the kind you suggest and the hospital apparently accepted). I mailed that info to them. The response letter I received stated:  “there are no Federal or State statutes that mandates Metropolitan Pathologists relieve you of the balance owed”.
Truly, I do not know if there are any state or Federally “mandated statutes” or anything I else I might be able to use to leverage my cause. And, since this may not be the first situation I’ll have to work with on the matter, I would like to be armed with more information to present to all. I realize this may require some very fast foot work to resolve for a better outcome, though it seems paying anything under threat immediately will cause me to forfeit a better deal. I’m just hoping you can provide further guidance for working with doctors who obviously seem directly affiliated with the hospital though still consider themselves independent of that hospital.
Any guidance at all is very much appreciated!!!
Many thanks for your insights.
Response: You can’t get blood from a stone. All they want is to be paid for their work, and all you want is to be left alone. The problem here is that you’ve been put on the hook to pay a bill that you should not be paying. It is all our jobs to take care of one another, and it is VERY possible for us to create a system where we can all have the proper health care without being transformed into semi-permanent servants  against our will and by being forced into these one sided agreements, which favor the entity that already has billions when you don’t even have thousands. But we don’t… Why ? That’s a different post. For now, when we think of these people, you see that you’re dealing with broken parts in a broken system. Let’s be honest, if you had $47,000 in your hands right now, are you going to hand it all over to pay your medical bills in full ? Of course not. It’s not that you are some sort of greedy person, it’s more like $47,000 has a much better use in your reality at the moment. This is part of why this is so broken as we see, on both sides of this situation, it doesn’t make financial sense to give or to receive much of anything to each side. The best thing to do is approach the situation with the best intentions, and in the most loving way and the best outcome will come of it. You have so much that you are able to pay per month towards this. You do not need their permission to pay them. Setup the payment as a monthly reoccurring payment in your on-line banking the day after your paycheck is deposited, if possible. By doing this, you are creating a record which speaks to your intention to pay. If you are late paying anything, it will be on your credit report as 30, 60, 90, 120 days. Once you even get a 60, the damage is done. No one can do anything worse to you, other then sue you for it, which may not even be an option for them. Always ensure to pay something and record it on-line. Be sure to pay something, and ensure you don’t pay nothing. There’s nothing more to do. There’s also no reason to take a phone call from anyone you don’t want to talk to. If people are bothering you on the phone, read about different ways you can stop annoying calls from creditors or bill collectors. The less you give a crap about them, the faster they will stop giving a crap about you.
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