Local News

Raleigh Woman Calls 5 On Your Side Over Medical Insurance Hassles

Posted April 8, 2001 1:30 a.m. EDT

— Medical tests are never fun. When you add insurance issues, the whole thing can be a confusing hassle. When it became too much for a Raleigh woman, she called Five On Your Side for help.

Last May, Rhoda Lawing had a mammogram and bone density tests at Raleigh Breast Center. Her insurance usually covers the tests, but this time, she was denied.

Lawing found out it was filed under the wrong code, so after it was refiled correctly, her insurance company paid the bill.

"At that point, I figured it was all going to be OK," she says.

Lawing had already paid Raleigh Breast Center $130 so she thought she was now entitled to a refund from the breast center, but she never received her refund.

Every week, Lawing called the Breast Center's billing company Per Se Technologies weekly, inquiring about her refund.

"They were telling me that their procedure was to send out those refund checks at the end of every month, and they were sure that they would be handled," she says.

After two months of waiting without a firm answer on when she would get her money, Lawing called 5 On Your Side. We called Per Se, which sent the $130 check the next day.

"I was elated. I was so tickled that I didn't know what to do," she says.

A Per Se spokeswoman said Lawing's wait "was not unduly long," but Lawing disagrees and says she wishes she had not been so quick to pay while it was in dispute.

"Before you go ahead and start to pay off something like that, make sure of what your insurance company is going to do," Lawing says.

The important thing to remember: Pay close attention to insurance statements. If something is not right, question it. It is also a good idea to give the dispute time to work out before you decide to go ahead and pay the bills yourself.