Fish MemorialI found a bill from Florida Hospital DeLand among the stacks of paperwork my sister pulled from mom’s desk. The bill is for $2,169.84 for her visit there on December 1st, 2011. That was the true “beginning of the end” for mom; it hurts to even see that date.

I called the number on the bill, but it was for a debt collection service in Michigan, where they told me they wouldn’t be able to help me at all and I needed to call the hospital billing department directly. The woman there gave me a number to call and warned me that the phone system was very confusing, so I should just ignore it and try to get an operator to route my call.

I called and she was correct. The phone options — Press 1 for this, Press 2 for that — made very little sense to me. Pressing zero just started the recording again. Eventually I just hit four, which seemed like the closest thing to billing. The woman that answered the phone was very nice. She said that I needed to fax a copy of mom’s death certificate to their billing department, and to please include a letter stating that mom has “no assets in probate”, whatever that means. I did that this morning.

Here is the cover letter I sent with the fax:

Florida Hospital DeLand
ATTN: Billing

To Whom It May Concern,

My mother — Kathleen Anne Albanese Gagne — died on August 12, 2012.

She was living at Woodland Terrace at the time of her death — 120 Chipola Avenue Deland, FL 32720.

The patient number on this bill is [redacted]. The bill has a due date of 03/27/2012 and notes a date of service of 12/01/2011.

My mother was born on September 22, 1948 and her social security number is [redacted].

I was instructed to fax this information to you, along with a copy of her death certificate, and to note that my mother, “has no assets in probate.”


David Vincent Gagne