I accidentally said something to an unhappy family at work yesterday that could have been taken the opposite of how I meant it and I'm really scared they're going to call and complain about me and my boss isn't going to get it and she's going to be all "Well, you just have to think about things before you say them!"
Here's what happened:
I work at a skilled rehab facility, so our main clientele are elderly people who break hips and get knee replacements and then come to us for rehab in and inpatient setting. I do the billing. Medicare pays for the first 20 days of their stay in full and then days 21-100 there is a coinsurance of $148 a day. This is where secondary insurances come into play. This particular patient had a secondary insurance that would pay none of the Medicare coinsurance. I informed her husband, he came in and sat down with me and their social worker and we explained everything in depth. He still didn't really understand, and asked good questions until it seemed to us that he did understand everything. She had been in our facility before and had the same issue, but paid the coinsurance. Anyways, she leaves, they don't pay their bill, we start are collections process which includes 1 letter and 1 phone call a month for three months. The patient calls after receiving the first letter and I was on the phone with her for 45 minutes explaining why she had the coinsurance and why we billed it to her without billing Medicare or her secondary insurance first and blah blah blah.
Fast forward to yesterday, where her husband comes in and hands me a check for the total and starts yelling at me about how they never have an issue with their insurance paying any bills, it's just when they come to us. I tell him that she doesn't have a skilled nursing benefit, but obviously they must have excellent benefits for other services. I also say I am a little confused at his anger because it seemed to me that he understood that he had agreed to keep his wife in our facility during coinsurance days after we had explained everything to him. He walks out and says "I hope my wife never has to come back her again!" and I say "Well, we don't want her to come back, either, sir!" in a very friendly tone.
Are you picking up what I'm putting down yet? I'm afraid he's taking it as I said "We don't want her to come back, either, because you guys are assholes who don't pay your bills". What I really meant was "We never want our patients to have to keep coming back, our intentions are to help our patients get healthy so we can send them back to their homes safely so they don't have to come back". I should just keep my mouth shut at all times and whenever I have to talk to upset families just apologize and go back to my office.