Battlepanda: "New Math"


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

"New Math"

I received two medical bills on Thursday, from the same doctor, dated the same day, for the same procedures, performed on the same days.

In fact, both of these bills are identical in every way, except for the number in the box labeled "Pay This Amount."

On one of the bills, it says I owe $15.22. On the other bill, it says I owe $187.57.

I'll also note that neither $15.22 nor $187.57 bears any obvious mathematical relationship to the numbers in the column labeled "Balance," which has amounts owed for the individual procedures. I'm not an accountant, but I think that the mathematical relationship is supposed to that of "sum."

Do you supposed that the authors of the software that generated these bills decided that adding up a column of numbers was too difficult for a computer to do, and instead had it generate some random number to put in the "Pay This Amount" box?

I'll also note that no one answered the phones at either of the phone numbers listed in the box labeled "Billing Questions" on Friday.

I'm guessing that there were some other patients who had questions as well.