Monday, July 13, 2009

How HCGH justifies their $240 cable bill

So I wrote about how HCGH charges $240 per month for basic cable and local phone services last week. Today, I returned their call and here's their justification for putting the burden of cancellation on the (sick) patient:
  • the charges for the phone and cable is spelled out in the consent form that new patients fill out upon admission to the hospital. This is the same consent form that grants the hospital the right to treat you. So if you don't consent to cable+phone charges and treatment, the doctors can't treat you. How nice!
I asked why not make it two forms: one for cable tv and one for treatment. God knows patients have to sign enough forms during the admission process. Their answer:

"Our patients have requested that the admission process be streamlined". Oh yeah, streamlined my foot. Wouldn't it make more sense to not turn on the service until a patient requests it? Instead, they waste their employees' time reversing silly charges. Or perhaps, not enough patients call in to complain and thus HCGH makes a nice little sum of money each month.

Either way, when planning to use HCGH (an otherwise excellent hospital) be sure to
  • call the hospital and have them turn off the basic cable non-flat-screen tv
  • call 1-800-775-8352 to ensure you are not billed upon discharge