Monday afternoon I called my hospital billing office to check on the status of the insurance reimbursement. They told me they'd received the payment, and refunded it directly back to the health insurance carrier, and that they legally could not give me
Now having a vision of the checks going around in an endless loop, I called my health insurance carrier. The first agent I spoke to literally laughed out loud, then transferred me to a 'Resolution Specialist'. They looked into the claim, then said the health insurance carrier would cut me a check directly once they'd received the funds back from the hospital. I should expect to see the money in the next 10-14 days.
So annoyance averted, I think, by a swift and common sense approach.
I spend so much time complaining about the healthcare finance system that I thought it would be worth mentioning this.