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Common Courtesy and Who Owes What?
It was a desperate plea from a young women (we’ll call her Bethany) with a real problem: Bethany had been through several years of infusion treatment for services rendered outside of her network, beginning while she was still a teenager. Her insurance company covered the service (because it wasn’t available at all within her network). So insurance had paid Bethany’s mother for each claim, and then her mother paid the infusion provider. The problem was that, over the years, the mother had paid less than the total amount due – and then she passed away. The infusion company got in touch with Bethany and insisted on a lump sum payment for the balance of well over $100,000, payable within five days or they would take her to court. Desperate (Who wouldn’t be? Could you come up with an unexpected $100,000+ within five days?) Bethany began trying to find help. She found a few advocates online and phoned them. One advocate recommended Bethany get in touch with me. Of course, I don’t do advocacy work myself, so the only recommendation I could make was that Bethany connect with additional advocates through the AdvoConnection Directory…. I didn’t hear anything more until….. A few days later, I heard from one of our members who Bethany ultimately contacted – the one who took Bethany’s case, negotiated it and got it straightened out for her. But the advocate was stunned and frustrated by something Bethany told her, so she forwarded that frustration on to me. That is…. At least one of the advocates Bethany had contacted discussed the situation with her, wasn’t sure if she could help, so she told Bethany she would think about it and call her back. Bethany waited, even in her desperation, but that call never came. By the time she got a hold of the advocate who did help her, Bethany was “nearly hysterical” I am told, because she was waiting for that return phone call. So a problem that was difficult to begin with was made worse because someone didn’t bother following through. I can only imagine Bethany so…