Ugh. The dreaded "Stanford Health" envelopes. From a brand perspective, they did a great job. The stationary is not only welcoming, but also alludes to the fact that they mean business... and boy do they mean business. A few weeks ago, I posted how elated I was that I thought we had received the very last bill for Emery's NICU journey, but unfortunately that stay keeps taxing our bank account. Fortunately, insurance has covered much of the costs of her 63 day NICU stay and my 31 day hospitalized bed rest "vacation" in 2015... but we are finding out the hard to swallow truth about "preferred providers" even when we had no preference and we would have preferred to not have been in the situation.
Each insurance company negotiates directly with the hospital on a "deal" and our BCBS just doesn't flow well with Stanford unfortunately. This afternoon I came home to approx $2750 worth of bills - which when you boil it down, isn't so bad. $2,069.50 was for 20x doctors visits in the NICU. Just routine, each visit lasts about 3 minutes. Deemed "Critical Care", the hospital charges $351.00 per visit, the hospital "deal" gets an adjustment of -$33.23, then insurance pays -$254.22 and we are left with just $63.55/day to pay out of pocket... which I get could be a lot worse -- but it adds up and with Emery's "High Risk" Clinic coming soon and ongoing appointments, blood labs, etc.
The $675.43 bill was for the ROP Eye exams back in February which our insurance doesn't cover at all. Now if you remember the discussions on Retinopathy of Prematurity, being born at 29 weeks, there was a high likelihood that Emerson could be blind and have a detached retina, but we went for weekly exams at $515 a pop to determine severity/risk as if she had been found to have damage, we would have options to proceed surgically in hopes of maintaining the possibility for vision.
To date, we've paid out of pocket over $20k for Emerson's premature birth, and obviously every dime is well worth it now that we have this beautiful, happy little girl home with us. But man, the pain keeps coming... and we are in a fortunate position... I cannot imagine a younger couple facing the situation who may not have the savings and "cushion" we do.
We are blessed with the greatest of wealth with a healthy family right now, but if you are sending some prayers up to the big guy tonight, please pray for the families who aren't as fortunate as we are...