I’ll never forget this one lovely lady.
I work at a billing call center for a Physicians group of about 400 providers. We handle patient billing/questions/insurance. This happened 2 years ago in January, but I use her as a scenario with new hires for “you can’t judge a person over the phone”.
Kim- A God send of a woman who works miracles for me.
Dee recently had a round in the hospital and aquired about 45k in bills. Unfortunately, she, like many of us, had no insurance and is self-pay. Dee recently became diabetic and didn’t know and had to have both legs amputated below the knee.
Dee called in and asked if there was any kind of self-pay discount. She said she can make a downpayment and then set up a payment plan, but any discount would be awesome. She never once complained about her bill. She actually started crying when she spoke about her Dr. and how he tried everything to save her legs. She was the kindest, happiest (and honestly most beautiful, I could see her picture) middle aged woman I’ve ever dealt with in 3 years of working here.
I told Dee I would do whatever I could and call her back.
Queue Kim. I barely had to ask this wonderful woman for help before she saw the medical charts and hopped right on in marking everything down. She was able to reduce the bill to 10k. I thanked her so much and wished I could do more for Dee, but we did our best.
Here is my call to Dee to let her know the new price of her bill.
Me- hey Dee it’s Me from xxx, how are you doing today?
Dee- oh better now that I’ve heard from you dear
Me- (after verifying the acct) I have great news Dee! I spoke to a coworker, Kim, who was able to reduce the bill from 45k to 10k. I honestly wish i could have done more fo you, but whever you can’t pay I will happily set up a PP for you!
Dee- ……….. (silence)
Me- Dee? ……… Are you there? …… I think we lost signal, I’m going to try calling you back
Dee- (sniffles) No wait!
Me- Dee? I’m here, is everything okay?
Dee- Yes. (Sniffles) i am just so happy! I didn’t think you could get it that low, thank you so much Me. Thank you thank you. I can’t repay you or Kim.
Me- oh! Im glad to hear. I was afraid you were upset there for a moment hun.
Dee- oh no no no… I am great! Let me go ahead and pay you dear.
Me- okay, no problem, how much would you like to pay today? Then we can do a PP for remainder.
Dee- oh I’ll pay the whole thing, thank you so much for reducing it. This whole thing has been so unexpected for us (referring to her and her husband).
Me- oh… okay Dee, hold just a second while i get your information put in.
The lesson i teach my new hires is you can never judge anyones situation. A downpayment for me is like 1-2k. Downpayment for Dee was 10k. Even after losing both her legs.
Dee looked myself and Kim up in our online directory. She sent us flowers and chocolate for valentines day. And she calls me once every 6 months to chat and check in. I love hearing from her. She recently went thru enough physical therapy to start walking with her prosthetics. She is very happy to be walking agaim and I cried when she told me.
Tdlr- lady has major surgery. Ends up with 45k bill and asks for selfpay discount. She says she can also make a downpayment. To me a downpayment is like 1k, so i got her bill down to 10k with help from another rep, Kim. I tell PT new balance and she cries and pays it off in full. Sends me and kim flowers and chocolate for vday and still calls me every 6 months to check in. Sweetest woman ever. Wish she was a family member just so i could spend time with her.