The other day I was in an ER far from home. The woman in charge of triage was refusing to move forward with triage because we didn’t have insurance they’d accept.

The fact that we had insurance and had even gotten pre-approval to go to the ER wasn’t enough — she wanted us to call them back and get paperwork faxed to her. The instructions we’d gotten to pay out of pocket and submit the invoice for reimbursement meant nothing to her. She wanted a fax. But she couldn’t find the fax number.

Finally, I asked, “Is there another ER we could go to that will accept payment in cash?”

Suddenly, we could pay in cash. There was a clear procedure in place and it was no problem.

The next day, I saw the same advice in a comment here:

If I got, “Sorry, I can’t help you.” I asked who could. – Diane Bobinski

When you’re talking in circles — or worse yet, being told ‘no’ over and over again — ask who can help.

It seems obvious, but it’s so easy to forget to do in the moment.

Plenty of times the person saying “that’s not my job” knows whose job it is to help you. But so often they don’t offer up any information you don’t ask for.

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