I was given the opportunity to try Remedy’s medical bill savings service as part of a review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the service was a gift, all opinions in this review are my own, and I was in no way influenced by the company.
Here’s the biggest understatement you’ll probably read all day: Chronic illness is expensive! I’ve only been diagnosed with fibromyalgia for a little over two years, but in that time I’ve spent thousands out of pocket on medical bills, and the costs just keep adding up.
Last year, I started having this nasty pain and burning/tingling in my feet. Steroid shots, laser treatments and at-home stretches failed to bring much relief, so I asked my podiatrist if I could try physical therapy (PT). When five weeks of PT didn’t help, I admitted defeat and sought a second opinion.
I’d spent more than $300 out of pocket on the laser treatments and co-pays, and then I got an even bigger shocker when I received my PT bill: $500+!!!!! And that was what I owed AFTER my health insurance company paid its portion!
I was pretty annoyed because I didn’t feel like the services I received merited that exorbitant amount. All of my visits pretty much went like this: A PT assistant would seat me on a recumbent bike, and I’d peddle for five minutes to “warm up.” Then, I’d spend 15 minutes or so doing a stretching routine that a therapist developed for me during my first visit. I would do my routine on my own without assistance, and most of the exercises were the same ones I’d already been doing at home. When I finished with stretching, I would lie on a table, and a therapist would massage each foot/calf for about 5 minutes each. Then I’d put my shoes back on and go home. I did this about twice a week for five weeks.
When I asked for an itemized statement of my charges, I saw how absurd they really were. I was charged $192 for the stretching routines that I’d done on my own without a therapist. And I was charged $88.50 for what was essentially a very bad foot massage. I could have gone to a nice spa and gotten a full-body massage for that amount! How did these services merit a $500+ bill AFTER the insurance company had already paid them more than $2,000?
I felt like I was being ripped off!
I reached out to the PT place and complained about my bill, but they said there was nothing they could do about how much I was charged; the hospital determines the fees. I also complained to the hospital’s billing department. Again, nothing happened. As I was navigating this maze of automated phone systems and customer service representatives, the Chronic Illness Bloggers network asked if I was interested in reviewing Remedy, an online-based service that helps customers save money on their medical bills. Yes, please!!!!
I took a photo of my PT bills using my iPhone and texted the images to Remedy for review. I also was asked to send them a copy of my health insurance card and sign authorization paperwork, giving them permission to contact the hospital on my behalf. And then I waited while Remedy reviewed my bills for errors and savings. According to Remedy’s website, the company finds mistakes or savings on about 70 percent of medical bills. That’s A LOT of people being overcharged!
“The average American family is overpaying medical bills by about $1,000 a year,” says Victor Echevarria, Remedy’s CEO. “Our goal is to take all of the confusion and all of the complexity and all of the fear out of the medical bills you get in the mail.”
Remedy did not find any mistakes on my bill, but they did help me appeal my PT charges based on poor service. They requested a reduction in charges from the hospital and drafted a letter to my insurance company asking for an audit of the charges. Sadly, we were unsuccessful at getting the charges reduced, but I could tell the Remedy representatives were really fighting on my behalf. Every few days, they texted me to give me an update on my appeal’s progress. Their communication was excellent. I felt like I had a friend in my corner, and they definitely made the appeal process less confusing and intimidating.
I usually include both pros and cons with all of my reviews, but I didn’t experience any cons with Remedy. They did a great job handling my appeal. I will definitely use their service again.
Do you have medical bills that have been weighing on you? Consider sending them to Remedy for review. You only pay a fee to Remedy if they find a mistake or savings. Read more about how Remedy works here.