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Billed for visit - and a couple questions please
Hi everyone-

I was injured a about 15 months ago (been a while) at work and have been going to the doctor every month to have a prescription for pain medicine. He has referred me to a specialist (Lower back injury). The specialist went over the MRI results and said he could fix it with an operation called a "fusion" but also said that within 15 years I might need another. He said that if I was keeping my pain level manageable that I could wait it out and see if any advances were made that might be less intrusive. Since then I have been going to my doctor every month to get a prescription written for Methadone. I take 10 mg, three times daily and Gabapentin twice a day (300 mg in the morning and 600 mg before bed.)

Fast forward about 6 months. The pain level has been increasing and my doctor advises me to just have the operation. I have had the same job and haven't had restrictions since the month of the accident. I just took my pain meds in order to function and get the job done. (I have been doing the same Personal Care Attendant job for about 7 years now.)

Sorry about the length..

Here's my question(s):

I get a bill for a visit in April saying the "insurance company paid XX amount and here is your bill for the rest".

What's up with this? I thought I didn't have to pay for doctor visits when it's workman's comp.

Also. I am worried about the operation and wondered if anyone else had one of these and if it worked? Should I consult a lawyer? The clinic says they will not allow me to see my doctor unless I pay the bill. Should I find a different doctor? Will another doctor even take me?

I do have insurance through work. It's pretty horrible coverage and I can't afford to even use it. I have been thinking about dropping it but am scared of what would happen if I did and there was a major problem around the corner..

I am scared and worried about my future. This job is the only one I have and it barely pays the bills. Without it I am on the street.

Any advice or information you can offer would be most appreciated.

Did you inform your employer of the incident?  What type of employment are you in?  Did your company file and have you placed under Workers' Compensation?

Reply's are intended solely for informational purposes. They are based on personal opinions, experience, or research and are "not to be taken as fact or legal advice", otherwise, always consult an attorney or a doctor.
Thanks for the responses-

Wink: The employer was informed and I had filled out all forms and reports for the accident. I didn't lose any time for the injury and was on a restriction for a couple months. All my other visits have never had a bill sent to me as a result and I had to get the IC's permission to see the back specialist before going. This bill is for a visit back in April 25th. (I just recieved it in the mail yesterday)

Bad Boy Bad Boy: Thanks for the links-

After calling my clinic and asking some questions to the business office/patient care specialist (It helped to have the pertinent statute infront of me- TY Bad Boy! -) they told me they would send these charges back to the IC for them to pay. Hopefully it doesn't get sent back again. So far so good.

I still am worried about the "Fusion" operation. Setting up another appointment with the specialist (pending authorization from the IC of course) wich can take up to a month. Will see how it goes..

This is a great board. Full of knowledgeable people and posts! Thanks for the quick answers- I really needed it!
When you talk about the Fusion, the area in question I would need to know. I have many web links to help you understand the Spine, and Fusions. But some are directed to different areas of the spine.

I have had Fusions myself.
Reply's are intended solely for informational purposes. They are based on personal opinions, experience, or research and are "not to be taken as fact or legal advice", otherwise, always consult an attorney or a doctor.
When you are WC and injury has been accepted it is against the law for any medical doctor or facility to bill you.

Lumbar Laminectomy L5 - S1, Lumbar Disectomy L 4 -5, Cervical Microdisectomy C-4 -5, Cervical Anterior Fusion C 4 -5, Cervical Anterior Fusion C 5 - 6, Lumbar Disectomy, Laminectomy and Foraminotmy L 3 - 4, Cryo Surgery Lumbar. --Ongoing Problems.. Permanently Totally Disabled.

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