@fonduewho Hurm. Even if it's not the same provider (Independent Health out of Buffalo), that sounds exactly like 'em. I am glad to hear that hassling such a company from in-network produces results! I've had some comically bad experiences with them. Like the time they sent me to a gynecologist's office (the doctor had moved to Georgia a year ago, the building was torn down, and IH billed me for a neurologist's visit). Or the time the phone number they provided for an oral surgeon connected me to an auto detailing shop. Or the time they bumped me off the list by accident when they added my stepmother, and I only discovered I magically had no insurance when I tried to go to the doctor. Grah. I've heard the Catholic Health system of WNY is also pretty bad.
@MuffyStJohn I can vouch for Bunrumgrad Hospital. I was evacuated there for a knee injury while I was in the Peace Corps. I signed off on all my bills and I think the total for an MRI, several consultations with the orthopedicist, and two weeks of daily physical therapy was maybe $800. The actual diagnosis and MRI process took less than an hour and cost, if I remember correctly, $261. Recently, I injured my knee in the same way in the United States, and the process has been a million times more obnoxious and nearly as expensive, *even though I have health insurance*. Urgent care was $30, two visits to my GP ($20 each time), a visit to the specialist ($40), an MRI ($40), and another visit to the specialist ($40) to read the results -- add in some crutches, ice packs, and painkillers and that's well over $200, plus many hours of paid time off. I mean, thank GOD I have the insurance, especially if I end up needing surgery, but presumably we're talking about thousands and thousands of dollars being paid by my insurance company for what amounts to less than an hour of attention from a trained medical professional. I've also received medical care abroad in the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, and Kyrgyzstan, and in each case it has been dramatically cheaper, quicker, and all around more pleasant than dealing with the US system (in the past that system has also driven me to do things like take out stitches myself, leaving a permanent scar, and fake an illness to score an antibiotics prescription for an uninsured friend with an ear infection). Just because our system is the most expensive doesn't mean it's significantly better than anywhere else.