The Dark Side Of Dartmouth-Hitchcock.
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I want to share two things with you in this post:
1. Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s satellite facilities are not as closely affiliated with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, N.H. as you would think, they would like you to believe or what you would have hoped.
2. If you get anything major done at DHMC you will start getting bills from all sorts of 3rd-parties claiming to have provided services, using DHMC account numbers, BUT these bills are totally separate and DHMC does NOT even know about it.
Well I have already shared with you, albeit a long time ago, another disturbing item. The two DHMC affiliated doctors working at the ‘Concord Endoscopy Center’ charge $1,600 MORE for a colonoscopy than the 16 or so other doctors that work there. Yes, for the same procedure, conducted at the same facility using the same support staff. DHMC thinks that their name is worth a $1,600 premium. That time I really felt that DHMC had violated me in my backside. I won’t even go into what they once did to poor Teischan or how they once tried, valiantly, to kill me.
Don’t get me wrong. I am still, by and large, a great fan of DHMC in Lebanon. That was where Teischan was delivered, by planned C-section, where Deanna went for the last 3.5 months of that pregnancy (sometimes 3 times a week) though it was 90 minutes each way and where Teischan spent the first three days of her life. It is a lovely facility, it has some wonderful doctors and staff. We are also very fond of some of the doctors and staff at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (Concord) and have said that many times.
But the fact that we like some aspects of Dartmouth-Hitchcock does not mean that I will not talk about stuff I do not like or condone about them.
Medical staff at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock satellite facilities do NOT report to Lebanon.
If you, like us, went to a satellite office, in our case, Concord, thinking that the medical staff there were part of DHMC you may want to think again. I was told, quite categorically, by ‘Patient Services’ in Lebanon that they are not. I pressed them on this. What I was told was that the medical staff in each satellite office is totally autonomous, with their own management and HR and are in NO WAY associated with any departments in DHMC Lebanon. I was told that there were NO reporting structure or lines. So I asked a question along the lines of “so what you are telling is that your CEO in Lebanon has no control over anything that any of the doctors do in Concord” and I was told YES. This whole conversation took place on a recorded line, around 2pm, on Friday, October 17, 2014. They can check if they want. Actually they really should check.
I found this out, to my chagrin, all because I wanted to point out something that wasn’t ‘that that serious’ to somebody in authority Dartmouth-Hitchcock Concord or Lebanon. A ‘regime’ signed off by a medical practitioner in Concord landed Deanna in ER in Wolfeboro. I just wanted to find out how this could happen. The practitioner who signed off on this was on vacation. So I said I would like to talk to her manager. I was told that her manager would NOT talk to me. That was it. “He will not talk to you”. So I called up Lebanon thinking that I could talk to somebody there. That is when I was told that Lebanon has NOTHING to do with the medical staff in the satellites. They don’t even have access to their HR files. So a doctor in Dartmouth-Hitchcock Concord really is no different, as far as DHMC Lebanon is concerned, to a doctor working for Huggins. I wasn’t going to do anything about this other than talk to somebody on the phone. But I ended up filing a 3-page complaint about the practitioner to the N.H. Board of Medicine. Now there is hearing! I never wanted it to go even close to that. This could have been handled in 7 minutes on the phone.
Bills from non-DHMC entities
This was confusing and then scary. Again had to do with Deanna. When the first bill came for about 43 items (after ‘insurance’) I called them up and said I would take care of it ONCE everything was included and I had a FINAL, FINAL bill. Lot of phone calls and even more bills. After about 3 months the bill had grown to 4 figures (after ‘insurance’), not counting the decimals), and had about 183 items. DHMC billing assured me that this was IT. Everything. Nothing more. So I agreed to pay. Now I am getting other bills and DHMC billing is saying that it has nothing to do with them and that these bills are NOT in their system though they use the same DHMC ‘record number’. Seems to me like this is fraudulent billing! Remember who they mugged me for $1,600 more. This is despicable. I am going to fight this one and I will document it, here, every step of the way. Somebody has to stand up to these bullies.