Caveat emptor – Let the buyer beware
A quick rant … you know how I hate DME companies. We needed some medical equipment and got it via Sleep Healthcenters (with whom I have now had multiple bad experiences) because they were recommended by the doctors.
A bill came today. It turns out they charged my insurance company $522 of which insurance paid $351.49 and are billing me $170.51. The manufacturer’s list price for the equipment is $272.00, a mark up of 92%. There was no shipping, I went to pick it up, no appointment, nothing. Just the equipment I asked for in a phone call.
I just checked Amazon and could have bought it all new, from reputable companies via Amazon, including shipping, $87.39. Or, from a company the parts manufacturer recommends, for $121.98. Instead, I am sending the pukes a check for $170.51 to add to the money my health insurer gave them.
Buyer beware. Especially of Sleep Healthcenters.
This is outrageous. What is a DME? I feel positively apoplectic these days about healthcare costs; really, I can’t seem to calm down about it and posts like this add fuel. But awareness is key, right? And some people might not be aware of it.
DME stands for Durable Medical Equipment and includes stuff like wheelchairs, catheters, suction machines, etc. and a good definition (including Medicare’s) is here.
I have never had a positive experience with any of them. This one offers other services, such as sleep testing and the like, and they are all around lame. And, yes, I have the emails to prove it. In this instance, they specifically checked insurance and called me back saying I was all set as in the past. In the past, I did not pay anything.
Sometimes I think these companies are in business to make our lives more difficult.
I wonder what the doctors get in exchange for recommending this company.
Is it too late to return the equipment?
The bill came a month after the equipment … too late to return. Goes under the “live and learn” category.
This is so typical. There is a world of on line parts and companies that sell wheelchairs. Learn to do the repairs yourself as you seem to be doing and farm out work you struggle with. Bike stores often given excellent service at a fraction of the cost. I for one gave up dealing with durable medical good companies 20 years ago. I get my wheelchair frame made by a motor cycle guy, upholstery done by a boat builder, and casters, bearings done by a bike shop. I am treated with respect and my call are always returned.
This makes me so angry…when parents with all the skills that you have struggle with this mess we all know what happens to parents and “custodians” that have their own issues, no money, no advocates, etc. etc. Ohhhhh, too depressing. I am so sorry this happened to you and to your daughter that does NOT deserve this.