Titus Will’s bill from The Everett Clinic for $1.36 million and change. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Titus Will’s bill from The Everett Clinic for $1.36 million and change. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

$1.36 million for a doctor’s visit to the Everett Clinic?

Some patients got sticker shock when they opened their May bills. Another was for $3.6 million.

  • By Andrea Brown Herald Writer
  • Tuesday, June 12, 2018 10:47am
  • Northwest

SNOHOMISH — Titus Will got a jolt when he opened his bill from a walk-in visit to The Everett Clinic.

It said the payment due was $1,363,292.95.

What’s up with that?

“It was kind of a shock,” said Will, 36.

He didn’t freak out. “I knew it was an error. I thought it was more funny than anything.”

Still, he went to the clinic to talk about it. That’s when he realized he wasn’t alone.

“The lady in front of me in line had the same kind of issue,” Will said.

He posted it to Facebook and several people responded with similar bills.

“Nobody had the same number,” he said. “One person said they had a $3.6 million bill.”

Will said he called the clinic’s billing office.

“The lady was really nice. She told me not to worry about it.”

He received a letter a few days later from the clinic offering “sincerest apologies.”

“Dear valued customer,” it read. “Our processing vendor made a mistake that caused an incorrect amount due to print on your bill.”

Titus Will’s bill from The Everett Clinic for $1.36 million and change. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Titus Will’s bill from The Everett Clinic for $1.36 million and change. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Jessica Geurkink, communications manager at DaVita Medical Group and media spokeswoman for The Everett Clinic, said the issue has been “addressed and resolved.”

“On May 24, we discovered that patients whose statements were generated on May 21st, 22nd and 23rd, were mailed miscalculated balances,” she wrote in an email. “Patients received new statements immediately, with the correct amount due and an explanation of what had occurred … We encourage patients that if something ever looks a little off on your statement — whether it’s by one dollar or one million dollars – give us a call.”

Will said the bill is from a clinic visit on Sept. 9. “When it was smoky out last year from the wildfires, I went in because I had a hard time breathing,” he said.

The charge was $262 for what he said was likely triggered by allergies. “The doctor told me to try to avoid smoke, and it was smoky everywhere,” he said.

At that time, ashy pink-gray smoke cloaked the entire Pacific Northwest from fires burning 190,000 acres in Washington and millions more acres in Idaho, Oregon, Montana and British Columbia.

His insurance has a $500 deductible.

“I hadn’t hit my deductible for the year,” he said. “I’ve just been making payments on it each month. My actual balance was $101.09.”

Titus Will of Snohomish received an erroneous bill from The Everett Clinic for $1.36 million for a visit to a walk-in clinic. Will works in billing for ATT, so he understands billing snafus. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Titus Will of Snohomish received an erroneous bill from The Everett Clinic for $1.36 million for a visit to a walk-in clinic. Will works in billing for ATT, so he understands billing snafus. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Will said he’s had fun with the erroneous bill.

“I was thinking, ‘What would it take to actually get a bill that big?’” he said. “I had my kids through Everett Clinic and the birthing doctor, they were good, but my bill was no more than $3,000.”

His kids are 14 and 15. Prices have gone up a bit since.

A routine baby delivery starts at $5,059.25, according to the clinic price list at www.everettclinic.com/healthcare-pricing for those self-paying or without insurance.

A vasectomy is $958.75. A brain MRI is $1,018.75. A first visit with a psychiatrist is $506.50. A typical Botox injection is $2,300.

The surgery fee for a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (aka gallbladder removal) is $1,568.25. That doesn’t include the room — the facility fee is $4,830 — or anesthesia, another $1,001.

So for $1.36 million, about 185 people could get their gallbladders removed. Or one person could get about 600 Botox treatments.

The billing snafu gave Will a chance to see things from the other side.

“I work at AT&T in their billing for the high-level adjustments, so I’ve seen crazy amounts but never seen one for a $1.3 million cell phone bill. Maybe $30,000 at the most, which is a lot,” he said.

These are for real charges, though, not miscalculations.

“People go traveling and get roaming bills. Or they get SIM cards stolen and go crazy and call Cuba or something,” he said. “We choose if it’s a valid adjustment and adjust it.”

_________

This story was first published in the Everett Herald. Contact Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

Titus Will of Snohomish received a bill from The Everett Clinic for $1.36 million for a visit to a walk-in clinic. Other Everett Clinic patients also received bills with miscalculated balances, which were corrected. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Titus Will of Snohomish received a bill from The Everett Clinic for $1.36 million for a visit to a walk-in clinic. Other Everett Clinic patients also received bills with miscalculated balances, which were corrected. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

More in Northwest

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterburg (File Photo)
King County Prosecuting Attorney vows to protect reproductive freedom

Dan Satterberg joins over 80 prosecutors from around the country in their pledge.

Fedor Osipov, 15, flips into Steel Lake in Federal Way during last year's heatwave on June 28, 2021. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Heatwave expected to hit King County

Temperatures will likely reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, June 26, and Monday, June 27.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII: Examining Auburn police officer’s grim tattoos

Episode 5 in special podcast series that explores Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

t
Sound Transit Board approves Julie Timm as new CEO at $375,000 per year

She replaces Peter Rogoff who left in May after board voted to replace him

t
Statewide task force to tackle organized retail crime rings

Group brings law enforcement, prosecutors, retailers together to combat growing problem

t
Sound Transit committee recommends Julie Timm as next CEO

She is CEO of Greater Richmond Transit Company in Virginia

COURTESY PHOTO, Sound Transit
Courtesy of Hazardous Waste Management Program.
Study: Lead exposure linked to kitchen cookware from Afghan refugees in King County

The issue was first noticed in Afghan children in King County, but more communities may be at risk.

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn, who is running for U.S. Congress in the 8th District, speaks to supporters in March. Photo courtesy of Dunn’s Facebook campaign page
Against the grain: Reagan Dunn holds the torch for King County conservatives

What it means to be the top Republican in a liberal King County government.

Assistant Secretary of Health Michele Roberts (left) and Health Secretary Umair Shah.
As COVID trends up again, state officials ‘strongly recommend’ masks

There are no new mandates in Washington. But “we really have an opportunity to get ahead of this.”

Screenshot of April 5 Edmonds City Council meeting. Inset (L-R): Mayor Mike Nelson and council members Kristiana Johnson, Will Chen, Neil Tibbott, Diane Buckshnis, Vivian Olson, Susan Paine and Laura Johnson. (City of Edmonds)
After long debate, Edmonds bans homeless people from living outside

The criminal law is unenforceable if no shelter is open within 35 miles. The City Council approved it over public outcry.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII (Episode 4): Foster mom wants accountability in Auburn cop’s upcoming murder trial

Special podcast series explores Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.