Thursday, November 21, 2013

Update On The Disney World Magic Kingdom Disability Assistance Services Situation

An update: Yesterday, I called the number listed on the Disney Parks Disability Access Service Card Fact Sheet

I spoke with a live person who answered the phone right away. She listened to my issues. She apologized for the problems that my dad and my daughter had last weekend. I explained to her that we actually had plans to go again next month and for the first time ever, I was thinking of not going. She took down all my information and said that someone from management would be calling me back. She said that what happened was not supposed to happen and detailed what should have happened. She said that the CM should have given my dad a Guest Assistance Services Card that they would present at each ride and be given a return time. She said that they could return to the ride any time after that return time, it did not have to be that exact time, just after. She said that if that is not something that works for my daughter's disability to explain that to the CM at guest services at that time and they would work out something that would work for her needs. I explained that although this new system is not as accommodating as the old one, that at least that would have been better than putting her in a stroller or a wheel chair and having my dad try to navigate a double stroller though the lines that are not made for a stroller or a wheel chair. I told her that offering a stroller or a wheel chair is not a welcomed assistance, she spends hours in therapy every week trying to get stronger and balanced to ensure she won't need something like that. I also mentioned that my dad, who is a 68 year old grandfather, was there by himself, essentially as a single parent/grandparent with 2 young girls and that it showed just how hard the system is on single parents. Going back and forth to try to get fast passes at kiosks  meant everyone trekking together. I specifically mentioned the problem they have with the fast pass kiosk for The Little Mermaid Ride all the way at Mickey's Philharmonic. She said that the CM should not have sent him to go get the fast pass, that they should have had someone bring it to him! Again, the posted accommodations and what "should" happen is not what actually is happening. I am thankful that they listened and she wrote everything down, even read it all back to me. I made a point of telling her that I was calling not only for my daughter, but for all of the other families that feel turned away by Disney. I mentioned that my own social media and message boards are filled with people saying they are not going back until they have a reassurance that it is fixed. I told her that we never saw any abuse of the previous system and that it seems like they let a few bad apples spoil the bunch at the expense of people young and old with special needs that needed that assistance in order to be able to enjoy the park. She said that they were working on it and that someone from management would be calling me back to make sure that our trip there next month was "a magical experience again". I will keep you all posted!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Magic Kingdom Abandoned Helping Those with Special Needs

As an update to the experience I posted over the weekend that my dad had with my daughter and my niece. I had some more details to add once I was able to speak with him.

When he went up to the Disney Cast Member (CM) at City Hall, instead of greeting him she asks, "What's your issue with Disney?" He went on to explain to her that they were hoping to get assistance for his granddaughter and explained to the CM that she has Cerebral Palsy, doesn't have use of her right arm, she fatigues easily, and has balance issues. She kept repeatedly asking HIM what his handicap was and what services HE needed. He kept repeating back that it wasn't for him, it was his granddaughter and was pointing to her. The CM didn't even look at her or acknowledge the doctor notes and school notes he brought in. She was robotic, uncaring, condescending and bordering on rude. Finally Chianna had to pope up and said "It's me that needs assistance, not him!" He asked about the fast pass assistance to minimize their wait times so that they could see the park before Chianna got too tired out and they had to leave. She said they didn't have anything like that and offered a stroller or wheel chair at no charge.

He finally opted for the stroller, getting a double one so that she could fit in it. He said navigating the lines in any stroller or wheel chair is not easy because the lines were not made for that. It causes unnecessary and undue attention.

The fast pass kiosk for The Little Mermaid ride is all the way at Mickey's Philharmonic for some strange reason, so after walking all the way over to Little Mermaid, they were sent all the way back to Mickey's Philharmonic to get the fast pass.

The system they have does not help those who need assistance and certainly does not help single parents or grandparents there by themselves!

For the first time EVER, I am thinking of not going back to Disney World and the Disney Parks when we are in Orlando next month. And until they fix this broken system, they are going to continue to lose money and have families like us disappointed and upset!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Disney Magic is Gone

It sucks to only post on my blog nowadays when something is wrong, but I wanted to share. . . .

My 41 years of Disney Magic were erased today. The new Guest Assistance program for handicapped guests is no help or assistance at all. My dad is in the Magic Kingdom today with my daughter who has cerebral palsy. She has a somewhat mild version of C.P., meaning she is not wheel chair bound and does not have any cognitive issues. She has a right sided weakness, she doesn't have use of her right hand and she wears a brace on her right leg.

They went to City Hall to request the new guest assistance accommodations explaining that although she walks on her own, she can lose balance and fall and that she fatigues easily. Waiting in long lines would exacerbate her issues greatly and put her in danger of getting hurt. They had NO SPECIAL ACCOMMODATION with fast passes whatsoever!

The information Disney released had said that the new changes would mean they could get multiple fast passes and would be given times to return to rides. They did not have anything like that available. They told him they had to get a fast pass for each ride and gave a complimentary stroller to MY EIGHT YEAR OLD so that she could use it as a wheel chair. They gave her stroller as wheelchair access and told them they had to wait in line with the stroller with everyone else.

Sure, that will help her not get fatigued, but way to go in making her FEEL singled out and handicapped. She doesn't use a stroller or a wheelchair any other time. Previously, they always gave us an alternate entrance pass and we were able to see everything she wanted in Magic Kingdom before she tired out.

I told my dad to speak to a supervisor, but he does not want to spend their one day there waiting to talk to people since he will evidently have to wait in line too. We live in Florida and usually visit Disney World several times a year. I have gone to Disney World at least once a year for all 41 years of my life. In the last 4 years since we adopted our daughter, we have been thankful to be able to have the guest assistance card so that she could experience the same magic we felt growing up. We went to the parks in Orlando several times a year, every year and never saw any abuse of the previous system when we were using it, which leaves me wondering if the change was even necessary.

Regardless of whether the change was necessary or not, there has to be a better solution so that you could continue accommodating guests that need assistance. Until I have confirmation of better accommodations for my daughter, sorry, Mickey, we won’t be “seeing you real soon”.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Still No Resolution with Signet Diagnostics Imaging Services

My problem has not gone away. Today I wrote to Help Me Howard, a program on our local news that helps people in situations like mine. I hope they take the case!

Dear Help Me Howard,

I am hoping you can help me, I'm in a pickle. Sandwiched in between our health insurance provider United Health and Signet Diagnostic Imaging in Plantation, FL where my husband had an MRI last July. He was covered by insurance for the MRI and there should only be a $100 copay responsibility on our part. 

He had the MRI July 9, 2012

In October, I received a bill for $1202.71! 

I called Signet's billing department only to be met with frustration in the form of an offshore representative basically reading from a script and not listening to the actual problem or making any attempt to fix it.

It turns out that due to a billing error, United Health was informed that my husband's coverage ended June 30, 2012. I quickly resolved the billing error (which was not our fault either) and had his insurance retroactively reinstated so that he was was indeed covered at the time of service.

In the mean time, United Health had sent Signet Diagnostics a letter saying that the check they sent for payment for this service was an error and Signet needed to return it to United Health. 

I called Signet to explain that the error was corrected and that he was covered. Signet insisted the needed a new Explanation of Benefits document sent and a letter stating that Signet could keep the money.

I called United Health, they informed me that they sent a new Explanation of Benefits to Signet so that they would know that they could keep the money, but that they cannot send a letter to that effect. I spoke to a supervisor, but to no avail, United Health insisted the the updated Explanation of Benefits was the industry standard and that was sufficient for them to apply the payment to my husband's account.

In November, I called Signet's billing department and was met with the same frustrating script reading and no one to fix my situation, which was clearly evident that he was covered by insurance and Signet admitted they received the payment, had cashed the check and still had the payment, yet they are still billing us for the full amount of $1202.71. I explained to them that United Health sent an updated Explanation of Benefits and that is what they considered notification that Signet can keep the payment and should apply it to my husband's account.

I thought the problem went away until I received a letter from Medicredit collection agency in January stating that we owed $1202.71 and that we had 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt or pay it before it negatively affected his credit rating. 

I have spent countless hours on the phone back and forth stuck in the middle of United Health and Signet. United Health has called Signet to inform them that my husband was covered at the time of service and faxed and mailed the updated Explanation of Benefits requested numerous times, but it seems that every time they speak to someone else at Signet's billing dept, they get a different answer and the bottom line is that we are still being billed, it has probably been reported against his credit rating already and I cannot get anyone to resolve the issue.

I also made several calls to Medicredit, they are awful, rude people there who do not care that insurance paid the bill or that my husband was covered by insurance at the time of service and only want payment, they continued calling and asking for payment even after I explained the situation to them. Each time I spoke to them, I would get a different story, they actually lied and told me that Signet returned the money to the United Health at one point.

Last week a rep from United Health named Elia has been working on this for me for several weeks, she called Signet, spoke with a supervisor in their billing dept named Eddie Smith and my husband signed a HIPAA release so that she could directly fax the Explanation of Benefits to him and told her that he would take care of the issue, apply the payment to my husbands account, and recall the bill from the collection agency. 

Yesterday the same supervisor, Eddie Smith, called me to say that the Explanation of Benefits they received was not good enough because it had the same date on it. I asked him why he didn't tell that to Elia and he said he never spoke to anyone from United Health. He also read his script again telling me that they cannot apply the payment to my husband's account until they receive an updated Explanation of Benefits with w NEW date on it and a letter stating that they do not have to return the payment (which they still have and never have returned since they received it in August 2012). 

Please help! I am stuck in the worst battle of "he said, she said" and our credit rating is going to suffer as a result of all this incompetence and lack of communication!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chiannaisms for 2013

It's been a while since I have had some good Chianna-isms to post, but I have some funny ones now!

Chianna has taken to telling jokes, especially knock knock jokes. I think most kids go through this phase, where they repeat the same jokes over and over again. So Chianna learned this Knock Knock joke from her cousin DeDe:

Knock Knock
Who's There?
Smell Mop
Smell Mop Who?
I don't want to smell your poo! That's disgusting!

Anyhow, she says this joke almost daily, often several times a day along with Smell Mop, his cousins Eat Mop and Clean Mop sometimes visits too. So Myke has taken to answer "Nobody's Home" rather than "Who's There?" So yesterday, Chianna says "I have the keys! I open the door and you have to answer me!"

Chianna-ism #2 came today. She was home from school and making observations. She said she learns a lot at school and when she is home, she still learns a lot because of "Daddy's Joke School". "I learn a lot of jokes and how to be funny from daddy!"

In other news, since I finally took the time to make a blog post, I figure I will show off Chianna's Student of the Month Certificate! We are so proud of our good girl!

Signet Diagnostic Imaging Services Billing Nightmare

In July 2012, Myke had to have some tests done because he was getting headaches. One of the tests he needed was an MRI. We went to Signet Diagnostic Imaging Services in Sunrise for the MRI. Since that time, for the last 5 months, I have spent countless hours trying to resolve what should be a simple billing issue. Instead, I have wasted time and been frustrated because Signet's MRI billing department is in India and no one there is qualified or smart enough to fix this billing issue. There is no one in the United States to speak with to attempt to fix the problem.

Signet Diagnostic Imaging billed his health insurance, which is United Health. United Health paid Signet whatever their contracted rate amount was very quickly in July or August of last year. Our patient responsibility is a $100 co pay. However, instead of getting billed for $100, in August, we began receiving invoices for over $1200. There was a message on the invoice saying that Myke's insurance term had ended June 30, 2012. I called United Health to find out that this was because the premium was not paid. Since I had paid the premium on time and was cashed well ahead of the due date, I then had to contact ADP since they are the ones we were making the COBRA payment to. They had incorrectly applied his insurance premium payment to the wrong account. They quickly fixed the error and contacted United Health, who reinstated his insurance status retroactively to reflect that he was fully insured at the time of service in July.

I called Signet's billing department to tell them that all they had to do was re-submit the bill to United Health and they would get paid. The guy on the other end of the line told me that they could not re-submit it. After much arguing back and forth, he finally told me that they were paid by United Health, however after receiving the payment, they received a letter from United Health saying that the claim was paid in error and Signet needed to send United Health the payment back. So I called United Health to tell them that Signet was requesting a letter stating that they could keep the payment. United Health then tells me that they do not write a letter, but that I should tell Signet that they can keep the money and that they would send out an Explanation of Benefits document to them and that would let them know that they could keep the money. Unfortunately, that was not good enough for Signet's billing department in India, so after dealing with Signet's rude and unprofessional billing department insisting that I had to pay the full $1200+ and cutting me off, not letting me speak, I asked to speak to a supervisor. Of course, there is no supervisor available, so one was supposed to call me back. Several days later, I received a call from the supervisor, who was just as rude and unprofessional, telling me that we were responsible for the entire $1200+ bill.

I then called United Health back and spoke to someone else who gave me the same B.S. about they don't send a letter out. I explained that I thought that was the only thing that would fix our problem, and I asked to speak to a supervisor there. The supervisor at United Health told me the same thing. I don't understand what aversion they have to writing a damn letter, but they sent out another EOB to Signet's billing department.

That was at the end of November 2012, and I had thought that worked since I didn't hear from Signet Diagnostic Imaging Services since then - until two days ago, when I got a call from a collections company, expecting immediate payment of $1200+!!! Now this is about to affect Myke's credit - and it has already been paid, and we are only supposed to be responsible for $100 - which I am not paying until I get confirmation that the billing problem is resolved - which I do not think we should even owe anymore since they put me through such stress and aggravation and wasted hours and hours of my time.

I called United Health again, and this time I spoke with someone there who confirmed, once again, that they don't send a letter, but she offered to call Signet's billing department for me to tell them that they can keep the payment and that our responsibility was only $100, and that they need to recall the bill from collections.

I called the collections company back to let them know this, however of course, they only care about getting the bill paid, regardless of whether it is valid or not, so only wanted me to pay them, didn't even want a fax of the EOB to show that United Health showed that the claim was paid.

Are you frustrated yet? I sure am!!!

A few hours later, I got a call back from the rep at United Health, who was exasperated. She said she totally understood what I meant about Signet's billing department in India. She said they didn't have a clue what was going on. And on top of that, now another problem arose. The Signet Diagnostic Imaging Services incompetent billing department told her that they WANTED to send the payment back because it was "not enough" and who was going to pay the rest of the bill since United Health only paid $200+ whatever dollars - the total for their contracted rate. She said she futilely tried to explain to him that the contracted rate was what they get paid and the patient responsibility was only $100. Since he would not give up trying to get paid the full $1200+ amount, she told me that she now has to turn it over to the division that handles contract rate disputes and they have to get involved and contact Signet to attempt to resolve the issue.

In the mean time, she is sending me out a new EOB statement that I now have to send along with w written dispute letter to the collection agency. More time wasted!

So why am I taking more time to write a blog post about all this? I hope to get the word out that if you need an MRI, Cat Scan, CT Scan, Pet Scan or any other diagnostic imaging services, do NOT go to Signet Diagnostic Imaging Services of South Florida unless you want a billing nightmare of your own!

Signet SUCKS!!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Candied Pecan Rice Pudding in the Slow Cooker

I have decided to start sharing recipes on my blog. I use our slow cooker / crock pot several times a week. It makes delicious meals that are easy to make! Last night, I made a crock pot dessert in the slow cooker for the first time!

Candied Pecan Rice Pudding made in the Slow Cooker:

3/4 cup long-grain white rice
3 cups milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Nutmeg to taste
Ginger to taste
1/3 cup ground candied pecans
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
whipped cream

  1. In a colander, rinse rice thoroughly under cold water.
  2. Put in lightly greased slow cooker.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, except for butter & whipped cream.
  4. Stir to combine.
  5. Pour butter over rice mixture.
  6. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 to 2 1/2, until rice has absorbed the liquid.
  7. When ready to serve, spoon into dessert bowls and top with whipped cream.