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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Posted: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 8:01 pm

To the Editor:
I paid $2,150 for two X-rays of my hand, $282 for a 15-minute (and I am being generous) office visit, $157 to inject my arthritic thumb, and $3.50 for a prescription that I did not get.  
No, this is not the beginning of a credit card commercial that ends in “Priceless.” These are the charges on the EOB (explanation of benefits) that I received from my medical insurance company for a doctor’s visit a couple of weeks ago. Grand total – $2,592.50. Being the informed consumer that I am, I thought there might be an error, so I called the doctor’s billing department. Sure enough, the X-rays were “incorrectly keyed into the computer” and were only supposed to be $86.
The clerk didn’t know about the drug charge, but she would look into it for me. In the meantime, I called the phone number on the EOB to tell the insurance company not to pay the bill because it was incorrect, and they would be receiving another one.  Funny thing, I was not a recipient of theirs. Seems like the billing department had billed the incorrect insurance company even though they had a copy of my insurance card with the name, address, and phone number of my insurance carrier on it. So, I called the billing clerk back and gave her the correct information, even though she already had it. I asked the cost of an initial office visit for this doctor. She told me that it was $45.  
I asked why mine was $282. She said that mine was a “Level 3” visit. I’m not quite sure what this means, but at $18.80 a minute ($282 ÷ 15), the $45 visit would be 2 minutes and 39 seconds long. Better talk fast!!
The clerk said that she would gladly mail me a corrected itemized statement, and she did. The $3.50 prescription charge had been taken off—and replaced with a charge of $14 for the medication injected into my thumb which was not included in the $157 injection fee!!
Had I not looked over this EOB, the insurance company would have been overcharged by $2,053.50.  Multiply this by 20,000 errors and you get $4,107,000.  No wonder our insurance costs are soaring.  Please check your EOB’s and any other bills that you receive.
Honest mistakes are made by other people, but you could be the one paying for it.
Donna Sims
Sharon
To the Editor:
One way we let our light shine is the way we do, carry ourselves, the way we talk and many other ways that people can tell about us including the company we keep.
Matthew 5:16 says “Let your light shine that men may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven.”
We tell people what we want in life by our attitude in life. “Do I want to be saved or not?”
We all must give an account of our teaching. How we choose to live tells us what we want. Matthew 7:13 says, “Enter ye in the gate for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction and many there be which go in through it.”
R.C. Nunley
Martin
To the Editor:
At a time when all of us might find something to criticize about the work being done by “the government,” it’s time to pause and say “thank you” to the groups and individuals in and out of “the government” who are working to make Complete College Tennessee a reality and to provide Tennesseans with more opportunities to complete educational opportunities after high school graduation.
I have become very familiar with the Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010 through my service on the board of directors of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry and on the board of trustees of The University of Tennessee.  The Tennessee Chamber was one of the key supporters of the act, which was proposed by Governor Bredesen and passed by the General Assembly last  year, and is continuing to be advocated by Governor Haslam since he took office. It is a critical step for our state today to take because well over 60 percent of the jobs of tomorrow will require more than a high school education. This bold initiative is a common sense, business-like approach to improving timely graduation rates in Tennessee by giving colleges, universities and technical schools incentives for graduating, instead of just enrolling, students.  Already, tremendous progress has been made on key components like making sure a core course taken at a community college transfers readily to a larger state university. Tennessee also is moving toward aligning the curriculum of our state’s technical schools, community colleges and even universities with their regional economies – so hopefully, there are Tennessee jobs available for Tennesseans after graduation.
Through its not-for-profit arm, the Tennessee Chamber, with financial assistance from the Gates Foundation, is working to support the notion of increased graduation rates through a program with the theme, “Starting Counts, Finishing Pays.”   
Our state has traditionally had poor graduation rates that are well below the national average.   (According to UT’s office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Success, Tennessee’s current graduation rate is 44.8 % compared to the national graduation rate of 57 %.) Through the “Starting Counts, Finishing Pays” effort, the business community is committed to creating an atmosphere in which Tennesseans can complete a post-secondary certificate or degree in a timely manner.  We are moving steadily toward fixing that problem, and the employers large and small who are members of the Tennessee Chamber are appreciative of the work that is going into creating a better-educated work force through increased completion rates at our technical schools, colleges and universities.
It’s a long-term but critical task that could pay huge dividends in the future. A better-educated work force will create and sustain better jobs for Tennesseans. Better jobs for Tennesseans means better communities in Tennessee. And better communities in Tennessee will be good for all of our citizens. So for all those who are working to make Complete College Tennessee a reality, our sincere thanks.
D. Crawford Gallimore
Chief Financial Officer
The Hamilton-Ryker Co., Member, Board of Trustees The University of Tennessee
wcp 4/19/11

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