The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Grady Bradley

KVH billing process doesn't work

Letter to the Editor


To the Editor:

It seems that yet another local person left town for hospital care (“Fundraiser for Heart gaining momentum,” March 20 Sentinel). I joined that growing crowd some time ago.

A visit to KVH’s emergency room resulted in a bill for $2,079, despite being provided no care beyond an EKG. The subsequent statement didn’t list the EKG, just “current hospital charges” as a one-line entry on the statement. No detail at all.

Several calls to the hospital (and a subsequent visit with the hospital’s CFO Leslie Hiebert) revealed that the hospital does not—and cannot, because of outsourcing the billing—provide an itemized statement of services unless one calls and asks for it after having received the non-itemized initial statement from the out-of-state billing company.

I was outraged: What other institution could get away with sending non-itemized statements for thousands of dollars—even tens of thousands—for services provided.

I did request the itemized statement; it showed a double billing for the single EKG I had received. Had I just unquestioningly paid the initial bill, the hospital would have deceived me (oops! sorry about that!) into paying $252 for services not rendered.

This and many other issues over the years send me, too, to The Dalles and Yakima for anything needing non-emergency hospital-type services.

KVH, for me, is a poster child for needed medical reform. With the easy pool of well-insured patients dwindling every year, KVH had better get its act together. A call today to the hospital’s billing department revealed that this sad state of affairs has been ongoing since October 2011, the date of the above incident.


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