My Medical Coding Error Saga Continues… and It Gets Worse
The saga of my medical records mix-up didn't end with the insurance coding error I wrote about last week. When I checked in for my screening procedure, I asked the very nice lady at the reception desk to please double check to make sure the insurance billing was going to be processed correctly. It was then that I found out that my medical records said I'd had cancer! I do not, did not, and certainly hope to never have cancer. After I was checked in, we went over my file in the computer, where I learned that not only did their records show that I had cancer, but, according to them, I'd also had appendicitis, I have a sister, and that my brother died of colon cancer. No, no and no! They were very cool about correcting it, though, which made me think this must happen more often that we'd like to know! It's not even the first time it's happened to me. It happened at a doctor's office and another facility where I had a blood test once a few years ago.
All I could think about was what if I had gone to the hospital with abdominal pain and they said, "Well, her appendix is already out, so it can't be that." Now, I know the medical profession doesn't analyze maladies quite that way, but it just makes you doubt how much of what they do or don't do for you could be based on incorrect information. Drug interactions, for example.
The moral of the story is check your medical records. When you go to the doctor or any medical facility, check the information they have on file for you. My guess is now that everything has to be transferred to digital records, there are some overworked clerks who are making mistakes. I was lucky because I caught the mistakes in my records at a time when I was able to take action. What if you're being admitted in an emergency situation? Yikes!
Note: In case you were wondering why I'm not telling you where this happened, it's because it's not a problem that's unique to this facility. I also spoke to a man today who heard my story on the air and told me he had to jump through hoops just to straighten out a Junior-Senior situation with his and his Dad's pharmacy records. (And hats off to the people who were in charge of my care- they were wonderful and I don't want them soiled by something that's out of their hands.) Please make sure you check your records!