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I Pushed Back On A Medical Bill And This Is What I Learned

Kelley C. Long
7 min readMay 5, 2021

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Statistics vary, but one study claims that 40 percent of bankruptcies are due to medical bills. A big part of this is the fact that they are confusing and intimidating, and people rarely dispute them despite many bills being negotiable. So when I was faced with large medical bills due to an issue that was missed by two medical professionals before I was diagnosed, I decided to fight back.

Here’s what I learned about the whole process, which has also lead me to being a better healthcare consumer in general.

The back story

I have a genetic condition that puts me at an extremely higher risk of blood clots than the average person, so when I experienced a weird pain in my calf a couple days after a long flight, I checked into the closest ER. That’s the only place to go when you think you have a blood clot, at least if you don’t have an established relationship with a hematologist. A radiologist performed a deep vein ultrasound and found nothing. I was released with no diagnosis and ibuprofen for the pain.

A couple weeks later, the pain had spread with visible swelling, so I visited my primary care physician, who diagnosed me with swelling of the veins. No treatment, just avoid inflammation. Four weeks later, my leg was swollen and I could hardly walk. I decided I…

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Kelley C. Long

CFP & CPA writing about money & how it fits into life based on my work with everyday people as a financial coach. www.financialblisscoach.com