Here is my story.
In August of 2013, I went to the TLC Eyecare & Laser Center located at 3000 Regency Court in Toledo, Ohio for my annual exam by Dr. Ravin. In addition to the regular annual comprehensive ophthalmologic eye exam, dilated retinal exam, dilated macular or fundus exam, I also underwent fundus photography I&R. The fundus photography procedure for diabetics such as me is not uncommon; and, there are special billing codes and documentation needed for that and other eye exam procedures. (REF: Coding for Diabetes Procedures)
In September 2013, I received a bill from TLC Eyecare And Laser Centers, 857 W. North Street, Suite 104, Jackson, Michigan 49202-3196. I also had received a "Claim Receipt, Explanation of benefits and payments" from my medical insurance company stating, A coding error was detected. This diagnosis code is not valid when billed as a primary diagnosis. Consequently, I made a personal visit to the TLC Eyecare & Laser Center located at 3000 Regency Court in Toledo, Ohio.
[As a side note: I have had some experience in my career life in the area of medical billing. At one time I served almost three years as the administrator of a private, nonprofit ambulatory health care clinic and the billing office was part of my administrative responsibilities. I also served five years as a Medicaid Supervisor for Lucas County and a few years in supervisory and managerial capacities for several preventive health care programs.]
Well, let me tell you, I got nowhere fast! I was greeted at the front desk where I explained why I was there. I was directed to speak with an employee in the back office area. I spoke with the employee, showed her the billing notice from TLC and the EOB from my insurance company, and because the TLC employee failed to comprehend the object of my consternation, I had to explain and point out the line items and specific sentences in those communications - not once, not twice, but three times.
The employee told me that she could do nothing for me, that I owed the amount billed, and I could pay her right then and there. She also stated that I could telephone the main TLC offices in Jackson, Michigan. I paid the amount and left in total disbelief at the lack of courtesy, lack of helpfulness, apparent lack of knowledge on the part of the employee, substandard professional demeanor, and lackluster (to say the least) customer relations.
After quite some time had passed, I wrote a letter to the TLC main office in Jackson, Michigan. In that letter, I relayed what had happened, provided copies of all correspondence along with the billing and payment receipt, and stated, "I expect a proper and adequate resolution of having my payment being reimbursed to me and your office may resubmit a corrected billing to my insurance company."
I NEVER RECEIVED A RESPONSE OF ANY KIND FROM TLC EYECARE AND LASER CENTERS!!!
In July 2014, I received a letter from TLC Eyecare Laser Centers Corporate Office, 857 W. North Street, Suite 104, Jackson, Michigan 49202 dated "Tuesday, July 08, 2014" that stated in large bold type, center-justified:
It's Time to Schedule Your Next Appointment!and then, on the next line in smaller regular type, left-justified:
Please call our office at (877) 852-8463 to schedule your appointment.
I responded to that letter by sending an electronic message via the Contact page of the TLC Eyecare & Laser Centers website. The following is a copy of that electronic communication:
Your name *AGAIN - I NEVER RECEIVED A RESPONSE OF ANY KIND FROM TLC EYECARE AND LASER CENTERS!!!
Roland L. Hansen
Your e-mail address *
Very Unhappy Patient Acct# (redacted)
On January 4, 2014, I sent your main office a written letter expressing my displeasure and disappointment with your billing and business practices. My letter went into detail and specifics about my concerns. I stated that I expected a proper and adequate resolution to my concerns; and along with my letter, I provided copies of the billing statement, insurance EOB, and receipt of my payment.
YOU NEVER RESPONDED TO MY JANUARY 4 LETTER AND NOW YOU HAVE THE AUDCITY TO HAVE SENT ME A NOTIFICATION DATED JULY 8, 2014 THAT IT IS TIME TO SCHEDULE MY NEXT APPOINTMENT. HOW DARE YOU!!!!
You failed to respond to my concerns; and, you expect me to continue a professional relationship with you. What chutzpah!! Why on earth would I want to continue a relationship with a company that ignores its patients/consumers/customers?
Then about a month ago on August 27, there was a message on my home telephone answering machine. The message was from a woman by the name of Kate from TLC stating it was time for my regular annual appointment with the doctor and she requested that I telephone 877-852-8463 to make an appointment.
Uff da! What chutzpah! I could not believe it!!!
I conclude and proclaim the same now as I did in my my concluding sentence of January 4, 2014 written correspondence to TLC Eyecare and Laser Centers:
I am a retiree with diabetes. I do not need this aggravation.