Woman who spent 7 hours in ER and left without treatment receives hospital bill for $700

Originally published at: Woman who spent 7 hours in ER and left without treatment receives hospital bill for $700 | Boing Boing


Greatest healthcare system on Earth, they said…market-based for-profit systems are the most efficient, they said …


USA Healthcare: repeatedly ambushes insured patient with ridiculous bill with no apparent relationship to services rendered

Also USA Healthcare: Why don’t you trust us and follow our advice?


This is very, very real. At this point, so many Americans have been slammed with extraordinarily high ER bills that they are foregoing treatment. Mrs Peas spent 6 hrs in an ER last year and left with absolutely nothing but referrals and a $3000 bill. She wasn’t on a gurney, she didn’t have an IV, just some simple imaging tests and an interview with an RN. I pray that she doesn’t end up having a real emergency because it will be almost impossible to get her to go.

Also, GPs, “go to the ER” is no longer a tenable option for generalized “chest pain”. Seriously, come up with a better plan for your patients.


Is there a breaking point where you will eventually somehow get to a single payer plan? A schoolbus full of injured kids turned away to die in the parking lot? What will it take to get the US health system in line with literally every other developed country in the world?


We ask ourselves this every. damn. day. Just like gun violence; what’s it going to take?!


And there’s no happy ending here, however this particular woman’s bill is resolved.

It’s like when you read someone needed money for an operation and all the good people in the town contributed money for the operation. You are only hearing about it because it was a success. All the dead people who didn’t get their operation don’t make the news.

Similarly, all the other people who are onerously billed for sitting in an ER, get a $1000 bill, and pay it (or dont pay it and it goes to collections), we’ll never hear about. This particular woman, the hospital will adjust the charge to avoid the publicity; they’ll never change their billing system.


Will no one think of the HealthCare Corporations & their starving poor investors? /s


So she went to the ER and literally the only thing they did was process her information so they could bill her. Yeah, that sounds about right. Really she’s lucky it wasn’t more serious - she could have died while waiting, and then her family would not only have been charged the $700 but also various corpse-handling fees.

The Aristocrats!


Clearly! I mean, that bill was way too low for the standards and practices of a US hospital. They’ll be following up with that particular customer with additional billing to ensure that she’s too bankrupt to afford to go around talking to reporters and such.


The sad part (other than the woman’s injury and bill) is that Emory used to be an awesome hospital / medical center. (I had major surgery there as a kid.)

They were, obviously, associated with Emory University and had only one medical campus. But then greed took over, and they started building hospitals and clinics around the metro Atlanta area (and beyond), and buying out local hospitals.

At that point, Emory turned away from its medical teaching and research origins to a profit machine. Which is unfortunate.


Face Palm No GIF

There are still plenty of good people who work there. But yes, it’s a major problem with Emory.


I once waited three hours in the ER and left without being seen, but fortunately they didn’t even have a chance to record billable hours. They did send me a customer satisfaction survey, which got filled out appropriately.
A couple years later the hospital had completely rebuilt its ER into a new building with vastly improved service.


I still don’t understand how hospital billing is legal. If you walked into an auto repair shop and were told to wait and then left without getting your vehicle serviced, they wouldn’t be allowed to charge you for waiting.

If you went to a salon and asked to get your nails done and the person started doing extra things you didn’t agree to while you were asleep, you wouldn’t be obligated to pay for it. And they’d be able to tell you in advance how much the service would generally cost.


Absolutely not, a single payer plan might somehow help poor people, or worse yet poor people of color. It’s not racist when I say it like that, is it? Helping poor people isn’t what a Christian nation is all about.


In some cases it isn’t. Occasionally people manage to get bills rescinded in court because they were never meaningfully informed of the charges in advance, which seems like it should apply here.


Because we live in a country that prioritizes profits over human life.


Many years ago an American online tried to convince me that the US had all the universal healthcare they needed in the form of personal bankruptcy. After all nobody is going to lock you up or break your bones and that means that effectively everyone can afford all treatment.


Pop Tv Reaction GIF by Schitt's Creek

I know I don’t need to tell you this, but obviously, that’s a crock of shit.


I had an inkling.