Amber Joy Milbrodt waited for 19 hours in a Dallas emergency room to get her broken leg fixed without seeing a doctor before she finally left. Two weeks later, she got a bill for $162. The hospital says it was for when a nurse checked her vital signs. “She’s not paying for waiting…She’s paying for the assessment she received.” said Rick Rhine, the hospital’s vice president in charge of billing. “It should have been more like them paying me for having to sit in the emergency room for 19 hours,” Amber told The Dallas Morning News. Amber says she’s not going to pay the bill.
Confusion about what those color coded bracelets mean can cause deadly medical mistakes, but if the bracelets are standardized — is everyone going to know your business?
When insurers don’t pay the full amount of the bill, health-care providers are going after patients to make up the difference. It’s known as “balance billing,” and it’s often illegal, BusinessWeek reports. Under state and federal laws, doctors and hospitals generally need to be dealing with the insurers, instead of pressuring vulnerable patients. Have you had any success with fighting balance billing? Leave your story in the comments.
Hospitals in Los Angeles and Orange counties submitted phony Medicare and Medi-Cal bills for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homeless patients—including drug addicts and the mentally ill—recruited from downtown’s Skid Row, state and federal authorities allege.
Police arrested Robert Farnham for “habitual criminality” and “fraud on a restaurant” after his doctor reported him for faking heart attacks to avoid paying bills. The Wisconsin resident, who has been caught pulling the same routine five times this year, most recently keeled over in Applebees to avoid paying $22.66 for a “steak, salad, mashed potatoes, a soda, a strawberry smoothie and a brownie.”
A Consumer Reports study finds that medical professionals are pushing high-interest lines of credit and financing options on patients. Credit agencies are even partnering with hospitals to offer branded credit cards so patients can finance elective cosmetic surgeries like liposuction and hair removal.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Children’s Hospital Boston held on to the top spots for general pediatrics in the 2008 America’s Best Children’s Hospitals ranking. [U.S. News & World Report]
Among the many hospital personnel who stopped in to see my father after surgery was a “financial counselor” from the billing office, who basically started stalking him from the minute he left the intensive care unit.
University Of California Hospital Publicizes 6,000 Patient Records While Mining For Prospective Donors
The University of California’s non-profit medical center accidentally exposed 6,000 patient records as part of their continuing effort to hunt for prospective donors. The “large and very significant data breach” was caused by UCSF’s data miner, Target America, which received details on almost 40,000 patients.
Remember Brian Persaud, the Brooklyn construction worker who tried to sue a New York hospital for performing a by-the-books rectal exam on him in 2003? On Monday, a Manhattan jury tossed his lawsuit, claiming he failed to show he suffered assault and battery.
In a letter dated March 27, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield informed Dona that her father was approved to stay in a cardiac rehab center through March 24. Dona’s mother began planning for her husband’s care shortly before his triple-bypass on March 15. Anthem originally approved the off-site rehab, but changed its mind on March 19, the day before Dona’s father was scheduled to be discharged. With the support of his doctors, he filed an emergency appeal so he could move to rehab the next day. The retroactive approval arrived a week later.
In a stunning development underscoring the plight of non-profit hospitals struggling with the increase in uninsured patients, the Catholic ownership of St. Francis Hospital & Health Center on Wednesday said it will shutter the hospital because nobody would buy it.
A surgical team at Park Nicollet Heath Services in Minnesota removed the healthy kidney from a patient last week, and left behind the possibly cancerous kidney.
Primary Physician Care, a privately-owned insurance company based in Charlotte, North Carolina, has now twice refused to pay for a 3-year-old’s special leukemia treatment recommended by doctors at Duke University Hospital—even after the child’s mother called the insurance company and spoke…
Would You Take Your (Really Hot) Kid To The Abercrombie & Fitch Emergency Department And Trauma Center?
The once-popular—surely it isn’t still?—teenaged sexpot clothing store Abercrombie & Fitch is shelling out $10 million to build a new emergency room and trauma center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Now a group is speaking out against the idea of prominently naming the kids’ ER after the store, which the hospital has been hinting at in announcements. The reason the hospital is called “Nationwide Children’s Hospital” is because Nationwide Insurance gave it $50 million. Up next: the Budweiser End Zone Birthing Center, and then the American Apparel Teenaged Pregnancy Wing.
A fourth grade teacher in Salt Lake City, Utah, bought a box of scrap paper for $20 and discovered it was actually a box of medical records of 28 patients from Central Florida Regional Hospital. The hospital shipped the box via UPS to an audit company in Las Vegas last December. The hospital claims it had been tracking the box since February, but hadn’t told the patients. As for the teacher’s class, her next assignment for the students will be, “Apply for credit card offers using SSNs from the scrap paper box.”
Kurt was at Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago yesterday, where his father is in rehab after a recent stroke, and he was nearly kicked out because he took a photo of the setting sun out the window from a hallway.
Before even reviewing the picture, I heard a woman yell, “What do you think you’re doing?!” I looked up, seeing an angry looking woman briskly coming down the hall at me.
“Taking a photo of the sun,” I replied.
“You’re in a hospital!” she shrilly declared.
“I’ve called security, you stay here!”