Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Apria Schmapria

I'm not one to publicly rant on a particular company, as a rule. And I won't go quite to that extreme here, but come on... Apria drives me NUTS! I try to be polite, and I am never rude, though I can be a bit firm after talking to the 7th person on that one phone call, saying the same thing every time...but I always acknowledge the person I'm talking to and understand they are not solely to blame for the problems. I go in hopeful each time... Today I'll get someone nice, and knowledgeable, I'm sure of it.

We have gotten our NG tubes, extension sets, syringes, g-buttons, etc, etc, etc, from them for years. They were the only option we had on our insurance. But I can NOT tell you how many times the bills have been wrong. (Well, I can, actually...EVERY time. Literally. I have them if you want to see.) Duplicates get sent that weren't ordered, then I have to battle to get them to accept them back or write off the charges. I call them regularly to tell them HOW to rebill and fix what they've done, and yet it's continually wrong.

How can a company who is supposed to be a pro at this stuff be SO unable to efficiently and correctly manage simple orders and insurance billing?!? And how many families are paying bills that they THINK they owe, because Apria (or any other provider) is billing them for things that are just plain done wrong?!?

I have a background, a decade of experience, with insurance billing, coding, medical processes and requirements for authorizations and precerts. I get it. I know it's confusing, but I'm tired of doing THEIR job for them.

How do parents do this that don't know the ropes? I feel so sad for them, the frustration that they must deal with when they get EOBs and communications that make no sense.

Ok, so this kind of turned into a rant, but seriously... get a clue. Ramp up the quality. And provide someone on the other end of the phone who has the slightest idea of what you do as a company in the first place.

My favorite interaction today...

Him: Can you tell me the po box number for the insurance company?

Me: blah blah blah with the address...Salt Lake City, Utah.

Him: Ok..(repeats the po box) Lock Lake City, Utah.

Me: No. Salt. S.A.L.T Lake City.

Him: Oh, Salt Lake City, Utah. Hmmm.

As I said to my husband earlier...

If you don't know what Salt Lake City is when you hear three words before Utah, you have no business being in a position to receive address data.

Maybe that's harsh, but that's after a phone call that took 15 minutes (with no hold time in there) just to give my new insurance info. And I have a VERY common insurance plan. I repeated everything about 5 times. There was definitely a language barrier, and I don't think the person on the other end of the phone was in my time zone. I can have great service with both of those circumstances from other places, don't get me wrong. Just not this time.

So yes, today I have officially changed DME/home infusion providers. Thank goodness for
that chance with our new insurance. And get this... my pediatrician's office is faxing our info to them at their intake office. When I called, a person picked up the phone. And the fax number is LOCAL because their intake office is here in the StL metro! As is the distribution center. Gasp! Here's hoping it's MUCH better.


  1. It IS frustrating to talk to someone who has no clue and cannot communicate on an intelligent level. When I get someone whom I cannot understand -- or vice versa -- I ask to speak with someone in America. I just insist until they put me thru to someone else who speaks English! Then you have to start all over to get the problem resolved.
    I've been dealing with our local hospital -- 3 times -- about a wrong bill. Patience and persistence...

  2. Wow! That's ridicuLous!! What do they say when you tell them they've never gotten a bill right? You think your account would be flagged by now with notations of " we've messed this account up so much, get it right this time!"

  3. I can honestly say I feel your pain. I have had the exact same experience with the company I get my pump supplies from. Since we moved back to MN, I have spent WEEKS, no exaggeration, on the phone with them. After correcting and correcting and calling and calling, and filling out more and more forms to have claims resubmitted...I finally just told them that I was not going to do anything more, I was not going to do their job or fix their mistakes, and that I was not going to pay the bill until they billed it correctly. I told them it was their problem to fix and that they could call me when they had fixed it. Guess what? They actually fixed it! Amazing...it took them over a year of talking to me on the phone at least once a month. Way to stand your ground RK and here's hoping the new provider is amazing or at the very least capable:o) If I have to deal with them again with issues, I just might call on your expertise.

  4. It could possibly be that the number you are calling is actually answered in another Country to where they would have no idea that Salt Lake City is in Utah. They have no idea what you are even ordering or questioning. They go by what is on the computer and that is it.

    It seems to be that a lot of companies are doing this because it cost them less money. I mean you can get a whole room full of CS reps overseas, for less than you pay one CS Rep in the US (and US Reps do not get paid much either).
    They obviously do not care about patient care or having someone with knowledge. It does not matter that it takes 10 of them to do the job of one here. It is all about money and that is the Apria way of doing things.
    Do not expect them to admit to doing this either. For they will say they have CS reps in US. Which is correct. They just are not the ones you will talk too.

    Good Luck


Thanks for commenting!! I only ask that we all keep it positive, respectful, and clean. Comment moderation is on for now. (As this is my blog, I reserve the right to delete any comment I deem inappropriate for any reason.) If you use the anonymous option, be sure to sign your name. Thanks!!

Make it a great day!!