Help me with this medical supply billing nightmare
October 18, 2015 7:45 AM   Subscribe

My husband was diagnosed with sleep apnea after a sleep study in April. Ever since, we have been on a nightmare ride with a medical supply company called Carecentrix. Billing for the CPAP device and its accessories (mask, tubes, filters) is an obscure and mysterious process. Multiple bills a month, customer service reps that cannot tell us the ultimate cost of the machine -- how do I extricate us from this incredibly frustrating medical supply issue? What is the best course of action after seeing how poorly this company is rated by the BBB and customers?

The CPAP is meant to be paid for as a rent-to-own device. However, no one at Carecentrix can answer my husband's questions about the ultimate cost of the device and how many payments are required. We receive multiple invoices a month with mysterious amounts with no itemization, and nothing is an actual bill. My husband thinks we've paid around $700 so far for the device and supplies. I have tried to call to get straight answers as my husband always misses their daytime calls, but they will not let me handle any account issues and the process to have me added as an approved contact is labyrinthine. Dealing with these bills has become nothing short of maddening for us because of the nebulous, unpredictable expense each month. The reviews for Carecentrix are AWFUL (http://carecentrix.pissedconsumer.com/). I am terrified of dealing with this company for a year or more and the stress from it is extremely hard to manage. What is the best course of action? Having invested $700 I am reluctant to return the CPAP, but the thought of watching my husband get incredibly pissed each time he is assailed by calls from this company about bills we never received and amounts they cannot explain is beyond discouraging. Not only the expense, but we don't want this to hurt our credit. I'm trying to handle this because my husband is incredibly overburdened with two jobs and our newborn, by the way. If anyone has any suggestions, please offer them!
posted by Locative to Work & Money (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I am so sorry to hear this; I also have a cpap and feel fortunate to have avoided this. I got pissed at the person trying to sell me the cpap before I even saw them, so I got the prescription from my doctor and just ordered it myself online from cpap.com, but there are also other vendors online. The cost was roughly $1000 and then I still have to buy replacements masks or hoses or filters, but only when I need them. I know another friend who has a contract like yours, but their medical insurance completely covers them, so it is a different deal.

If you can price out the model you have with other vendors, you could price out the model you have. I guess I would just seriously clear a half a day to sit on the phone until someone can fix this or give you a pay off for the machine or let you know how to return it it. Hope you all get some restful nights soon.
posted by katinka-katinka at 7:59 AM on October 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


There are also some threads on http://www.cpaptalk.com/ from people who had to deal with carecentrix because that's who their insurance company uses. Posting there might reveal something helpful on how to deal with their customer service staff.
posted by katinka-katinka at 8:03 AM on October 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


Does the employer who provides the insurance have advocacy service? They may be of help with this.
posted by tilde at 8:13 AM on October 18, 2015


Don't forget to complain to your attorney general - medical billing is one of the more-common areas they look at in consumer protection, mostly because (as you've seen) the dollar amounts are high and the process arcane and inscrutable.

You can also demand that they stop calling you, by the way. An actual legal demand for money is in writing; the calling is more like psychological warfare.
posted by SMPA at 9:13 AM on October 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Is your insurance company paying any of the cost of medical supplies? If so, get them involved - my daughter has needed lots of medical supplies during her life, including some rent-to-own devices, and our insurance company has been very helpful in being a buffer and making it clear what we actually owe (or more accurately, what our secondary insurance is supposed to cover). You can call the insurance company and ask to be assigned a care manager instead of talking directly with the call center representative.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 11:06 AM on October 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, hit CPAP Talk. The people there are friendly and willing to help.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, every CPAP insurance contractor I've ever heard of is essentially a hive of scum and villainy (see also: Apria). I don't know why insurance companies look the other way, because I'm sure it increases their costs, but...for whatever reason, they don't seem to give a crap.
posted by wintersweet at 11:25 AM on October 18, 2015


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