God provided 75 percent discounts on my surgeries

Misty  ·  Jul 30, 2017

With all thanksgiving and glory to God, I have been in good health throughout my life. However, in 2015 I began to not feel well. After praying with my husband, I had many tests in January 2016 to determine what the underlying cause was, but testing revealed little.

The Advanced Practice Registered Nurse I was seeing knew that I was a cash-pay patient, and wisely recommended that I fill out some financial paperwork at the local hospital in case I needed any treatment there. I talked to the hospital business office, and learned that cash-pay patients automatically receive a 30 percent discount. The hospital also encouraged me to start the paperwork. The worst that could happen was that I was not granted additional discounts, so after discussing it with my husband, I proceeded to fill out the packet in May 2016.

The paperwork was relatively straight forward, though the approval process took about six weeks. I was surprised that we were offered a 75 percent discount on services rendered at their hospital within a one-year time frame. They explained that when a service was incurred, first the 75 percent discount would be applied, and then 30 percent  would be taken off the remaining balance for cash payment (e.g. $1,000 would be reduced to $250 and then to $175).

Unbeknownst to us, but already known to our Heavenly Father, my health issues were coming to a head in the fall of 2016. A 14mm kidney stone ended up in my urinary tract and caused major complications. I ended up having three surgeries, one ER visit, and many radiology scans (CT, nuclear, ultrasound, etc.) at the hospital. The Lord had provided amazingly before we really even knew there would be need!

In addition to receiving care at my local hospital, I had to have a specialty surgery at another hospital, and was able to negotiate the rate for it ahead of time. This was the most difficult process of all the negotiations I initiated, as the finance department was not used to working with patients asking for a pre-guaranteed rate on the procedure. It took several days to find the right person to talk to, and in the end I could negotiate a discount percentage, but not a specific price because there were too many variables in the procedure.

After my health crisis was resolved, bills were coming in from many different offices: surgeons, anesthesiologists, radiologists, pharmacies, and more. I had complete confidence in our Heavenly Father to help me navigate all of the conversations with the billing departments not affiliated with the hospital that granted the 75 percent discount. I contacted them one by one, and just began with the question, “Do you offer a discount for cash-pay patients?” The majority of them did, anywhere from 15 percent to 50 percent. Most were willing to instantly reduce the bill just by being asked! One anesthesiologist’s office offered a 50 percent discount if you paid the other 50 percent of the bill the day you called. I was able to do that, and took advantage of that generous discount three times (because I needed them for three surgeries)!

Of all the offices I worked with, only one surgeon was unwilling to reduce the bill. However, the Lord worked that out, too. Halfway through my battle with this health issue, that billing office linked with the billing office of the hospital I was using, so I was able to receive the automatic 30 percent discount that all cash-pay patients receive for the last half of my care with that surgeon. (The 75 percent didn’t apply, because the hospital technically didn’t render the service.) Isn’t God amazing?!

Overall, I was amazed and so grateful for the ease of these conversations. My need accumulated bills totaling $131,514, and I received discounts totaling $99,662. Across all the offices I worked with, that is an overall discount of 75 percent! Clearly, the Lord paved the way for me. As a dear sister reminded me during this journey, “He knows, He cares, and He is able.” Great is the Lord and worthy to be praised!

Misty is a member from Kansas.