Meniscus Surgery and Knee Braces

injured knee

Two years ago in October, I had meniscus surgery. I went to Dr. Sabrina Strickland at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC. She specializes in “women’s knees” and I had been going to her for years prior to that surgery.

After surgery, she recommended that I go to Eschen Prosthetic & Orthotic Laboratories, which was located across the street from her offices.

I went there and was fitted for a brace.

The brace really didn’t fit right from the get-go. It kept slipping down and was uncomfortable to wear. So, I took it and placed it in the closet.

When Dr. Strickland inquired about why I wasn’t wearing it, I told her it didn’t fit right. She told me to go back to Eschen.

The bill

When I got the first bill from Eschen, they billed my insurance company $879 for a brace that I saw online for $50. Same brand. Same brace.

I didn’t want to go back to Eschen. I felt like they were “ripping me off.”

But the orthopaedist thought I should go back.

So, I went back to Eschen

When I got there, the owner worked with me. He showed me a couple of different styled braces and we determined that one was better than the other. When I told him that I had a $57 co-pay, he said, “Don’t worry about it.”

“This is a cheaper brace, so you won’t have to pay out of pocket.”

I agreed. I told him that all of the braces he showed me were available on DonJoy Website for less than half the price.

He laughed and said they weren’t the same.

But I knew he knew they were the same braces. They were exactly the same brand.

Since my insurance company already paid $516 for the brace, I got another brace that the owner told me was less expensive than the one I originally got and that there would be no out-of-pocket.

I walked away with a new brace.

After attending the Running Event in Austin, I was comped a couple of different styled braces and I loved the OS1st the best. It was a knee wrap and perfect for running and cycling.

The brace I got from Enchen remains in the closet.

However, the bills keep coming…

After explaining to Eschen that I will not be paying the $57, they sent the invoice to the collection agency, Capital Services.

When I got the first bill, I wrote a detailed letter about why I wasn’t going to pay the bill. I heard nothing back from them.

I got another bill in the mail.

I called the company this time and got a live agent on the phone, who I explained the entire matter to. She said she understood.

Meanwhile, I have this outstanding bill that should have been absorbed by Eschen but instead, they insist on me paying it. And, I could have just left the other brace with them and walked away buying the brace I needed online.

It’s frustrating and I’m writing this because I want my community to beware that Eschen is not only not following their word but they are selling a product that is three to four times what it should be. No wonder why our insurance is so high!