Carle Clinic of Urbana Illinois

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URBANA, ILLINOIS -- I just want to give a warning to anyone who is low income or without insurance and is thinking of going to Carle Hospital based on the new marketing ploy they have called the "Community Care Program". They have advertised it like crazy how its OK to come there if you don't have insurance and cannot pay much, which is great. However what they don't tell you is that any and all tests run in the hospital and even some procedures done in the hospital are going to be billed to you through the clinic. This can be done legally because most hospital equipment is owned by the clinic (or so I was told by a clinic accounts rep) and that the people who read your lab results are clinic workers not hospital.

The problem I have is that they forget to mention this to you until after the tests are run. I went to carle hospital E.R. and was admitted into the hospital I filled out the community care info and was approved I thought everything would be OK until I received an almost $6,000 clinic bill for all the tests that were run. I was not told about the way the billing is done until 2 days after being admitted into the hospital and the tests had already been done. When I contacted the hospital to find out why I was not informed of this beforehand I was told it was a communication error (that is costing me almost $6,000), and that the clinic is a for-profit org so they do not offer any payment scales/plans for low income/uninsured people.

I have noticed recently that Carle clinic is getting bad press for their billing and other services but people need to realize the hospital is no better, They know beforehand how they intend to bill you but choose not to inform you so you don't leave and go to one of the other hospitals that do have payment scales based on income. They stress how separate they are only because the clinic is getting a very bad rep in the community, but in reality Carle Hospital is no better, they are working in conjunction with the clinic to fool people into racking up huge medical bills. The sad part is that its not just low income/ unisured people being hurt, people who do have insurance are going to the hospital then getting billed by the clinic allowing insurance companies to refuse payment leaving even insured people with thousands in bills.

Please just keep in mind next time you or someone you know is speaking out against Carle clinic that although they may try to hide it Carle Hospital is still a part of them and working in conjunction with them. Guilty by association I guess you would call it.
     
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Suusan B. on 09/18/2007:
http://www.carle.com/Hospital/Patientc/PatientAcct/communitycare.shtml

Above is the information on the "Community Care Discount Program".
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Carle Hospital needs to cut the ties with Carle Clinic
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ILLINOIS -- I made a huge mistake. I went to Carle Hospital in Urbana. Don't get me wrong, the Hospital isn't the problem.They were great. My insurance took care of their bill 100%. My complaint? Carle Hospital only uses Carle Clinic for labs, x rays, physician services, among other things. I knew I may have a few lab bills and when I would go to Carle Clinic itself, I would have that bill. I had pre-approval for major surgery and because I had that pre-approval, I thought I was covered. After all, why wouldn't I? I did what I was supposed to. Imagine my surprise, within just a few short weeks, I got a major shock. Carle Clinic of Urbana Illinois billed almost the entire HOSPITAL visit (yes, you heard right HOSPITAL VISIT), through Carle Clinic. Carle Clinic did not have a contract with my insurance provider but the hospital did. So what does that mean? I ended up with over $11,000 in medical bills because of how Carle Clinic chose to bill. The fact is, even my surgery was attached to the clinic bill. The surgery was not completed at the Clinic. It was completed at the hospital. Carle Hospital is a good hospital with good nurses and hospitalists. I ask that everyone in this area write to the Attorney General and their representatives of state. A law needs to be instituted in order to prevent Carle Clinic from taking advantage of Carle Hospital Patients. And IF Carle Clinic and Carle Hospital are separate entities as they like to call themselves, then why doesn't Carle Hospital allow other MD's, labs, ectera to go into their hospital to provide health care that is covered under the patient's medical plan? Carle Clinic and Carle Hospital have a monopoly on health care and are putting people with insurance in the poor house or threaten with collection. This hospital is a trauma center for Central Illinois. Fight with me to get the word out that Carle Hospital needs to offer to the community other outside services and put the cancellation on Carle Clinic services and MD's. Carle Clinic and Hospital say they are caring. Look at the millions of dollars they are spending now on building new and improved. They are building on the backs of hard working Americans. They write off those who have no insurance, but those with insurance end up with a raw deal.
     
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Hugh_Jorgen on 04/18/2007:
Have you called the hospital and explained this to them? It might be nothing more than a billing error - no need to rewrite the Illinois state constitution.
chemman on 04/18/2007:
I would work with your insurance company first. I had a similar situation happen a few years back. I had a number of tests and procedures done at my doctor's office, which was covered by my insurance but since the doctor billed all clients from his central office and billing location (which was not covered by my insurance) the insurance rejected it and I was sent the full bill. It was very frustrating because the bill clearly stated for services performed at the covered office but the insurance company tried every way possible not to pay it. I finally threatened to take them to court along with all of my documentation about when and where the procedure was done and records of every rep I had spoken with throughout the process and they did a 180 and immediately paid the bill. Keep good records of who you talk to and when, it can be very handy later on (it took me 9 months to get it straightened out). Good luck to you!
rhondam718732 on 04/18/2007:
Doesn't make sense. If you had pre-approval and the surgery was done at the hospital then you need to sort this out with the right person.
Burnsmysoul on 09/18/2007:
I can say that her bill was not a mistake Carle Hospital bills ALL tests and labs through the clinic because all of the "hospital" equipment used for the test actually belongs to the clinc its how they get you. I am in the same boat only I do not have insurance and was refused surgery based on that fact. Further more the great new community care that carle hosital has been raving about is crap because it only takes care of HOSPITAL not clinic so the community care helped with the $600 hospital bill but did nothing for the $6,000 clinic bill. The hospital is not for profit org, the clinic is not so by billing everything out of the clinic they don't have to offer any payment services. They also never bothered to call and tell me about the refusal I was waiting for a call from a surgeon that was never going to come,good thing I called them so I could seek help elsewhere. Also, the clinic does not write off anything for people w/o insurance no matter what their income,unisured people have to pay the clinic just like people with insurance. The only reason they stress that they are separate so much is because the clinic is getting such a bad name, but the hospital is just as much to blame, they know how they do the billing,and they don't bother to tell you until after the services are rendered so you don't seek help elsewhere.
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Far Above and Beyond
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URBANA, ILLINOIS -- I have had a history of foot problems, so I made an appointment at the Carle Clinic in Urbana, Illinois. I was planning on possibly going ahead with the foot surgery that the doctor recommended. However, when I got my insurance "explanation of benefits", I discovered the Carle Clinic is not part of the network for Blue Cross/Blue Shield, so my insurance would not cover the charges as well.

Furthermore, Blue Cross/Blue Shield determined that the $160.00 charge is above and beyond what the is a fair price for my office visit.
Most medical places will write off the charges that are above reasonable and customary, but upon calling the Clinic this morning, they proudly stated that they are well within the means and will not reduce my bill.

I will not hesitate to find another medical establishment for any further medical treatments for my husband and myself.
     
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Hugh_Jorgen on 03/13/2006:
The trick is to find out what your insurance covers BEFORE you make an appointment with the doctor. Sometimes if you will talk to the parties ahead of time you can get the doctor to sign up with the insurance company.
CobraCat77 on 03/13/2006:
Please tell me there aren't these type of people in the world. Insurance agencies are scum, and if you know that, you should also know how to cover your ass with them! I mean, was my mother the only one who taught me this stuff like checking to see if a specialist is covered BEFORE going to see them?
Ponie on 03/14/2006:
Cobra, please don't lump all insurance companies in with a problem you may have had with an insurance agency. I believe Starfire's complaint is with the clinic not BC/BS, which is a pretty good provider.
barisax74 on 07/27/2009:
Being familiar with the situation I would agree with Cobra. First Find out BEFORE you make the appointment. Second, Don't blame Carle clinic, they have tried to sign up and BC/BS will not even return their phone calls. I have recently changed jobs and now use BC/BS had to switch from Carle because of this.
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