I would like to encourage everyone to take your complaint higher like I did. Cleveland Clinic got in trouble by a federal agency after bullying me for a year into paying money that I didn't owe.
I was lied to relentlessly but I kept a log, so they have had multiple investigations to deal with. They ran countless labs and duplicates my doctor never ordered, injured me, and destroyed a test I flew from out-of state for (this was incompetence across multiple service dates in 2016-2017), leaving me with a nearly $2,000 bill. They denied everything repeatedly; the Ombudsman office is full of the most dishonest and incompetent people I have ever encountered. They actually reprimanded me for sending them my doctor's lab order and a copy of the charges so that they could see that he never ordered the labs.
It literally would have taken less than ten minutes to fix, but they chose to tell the Better Business Bureau "We will not be adressing this," so I ensured that they would indeed be addressing it. Long story short, they put me through twelve months of ***. When I reported them to the Better Business Bureau and the Ohio Attorney General's Office, they were so unprofessional and dishonest that they stopped responding altogether once we proved with scanned paperwork what they had done. I was told by multiple agencies that, as they are classified as a hospital, they are protected.
Very few have any kind of power over billing issues, even when those issues stem from fraudulent testing. They rely on this and continue to value money over patient care and common decency. Please stand up to them anyway--it worked out in my favor and I did it for all the other patients they victimize. I reported them to the Ohio Department of Health, the Joint Commission, the Ohio Attorney General's Office, the Ohio Department of Insurance, and the Better Business Bureau.
As I stated, they were so dishonest that when we provided undeniable proof to these agencies, they stopped responding as they know their cooperation is considered voluntary. I have the Ohio Department of Health to thank, because one of their employees sought special permission to open an investigation even though CCF is protected due to their hospital classification. From there it went to the federal Department of Health and Human Services, who got their Medicare and Medicaid Fraud Division involved. I was neither a Medicare or Medicaid patient, but they got in trouble and had to prove compliance as of 9/12/17.
I have the certified letter to prove it. (This was after Ombudsman wasted two months on an "investigation" and my reimbursement request for labs my doctor never ordered was denied by Cleveland Clinic's BOARD itself.) The corruption and dishonesty seems to be at every level within the foundation. We even reached out to their ethics committee and received radio silence in return. After eleven months of stringent denial (when the federal agency contacted the Ohio Attorney General's office after substantiating my allegations about the labs they ran) they received a legally crafted letter from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation admitting to the errors.
It was verbatim what I had been sending Ombudsman for a year, indicative that this was no honest mistake. Thanks to the Ohio Department of Health and later the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, these liars were put in their place. The Ohio Attorney General's office has the details of my complaint on file (I kept a log of everything we were lied to about, culminating with the aforementined certified letter) so it would be well worth contacting them to have yours on file too. They keep these complaints on file in order to better determine how to handle future complaints, and they were very helpful.
If your complaint involves injury or patient care, turn to the Ohio Department of Health. If it involves fraudulent testing or charges, contact the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
I think about the sick and the elderly who turn to Cleveland Clinic as a last resort, and how truly evil it is that they steal from patients, bully them, and refuse to correct their obvious mistakes without being forced to once their credentials are at stake. Don't go down without a fight!