Last December 2011, her eight-year-old daughter was taken to ER by ambulance after she was in a car accident. She was staying with her father in Florida at the time, but Tami is her primary caregiver, so she is stuck with the bill, which totals $18,000.00!
"Because she didn't have the top portion of her seatbelt strapped on, my daughter hit her face, either on her video game or the door," says Tami. "Then she flew back and hit her head on the back of the seat. She was screaming because there was a lot of blood on her face but she didn't lose consciousness. The paramedics took her into the ambulance on a stretcher and her step-mother went to the hospital with her.
"Right away, she had a number of CT Scans, but as far as I know, nobody authorized them. She didn't require any stitches, but her face is still bruised and she was pretty shaken up, as anyone would be. The medical report says she suffered contusion to her face, and had scalp and neck abrasions and the back of her head was bruised. It was in and out, she was only there for 5.5 hours."
How could the ER bill come to so much money? Tami reads the itemized list:
Emergency Room Visit: $3,343
Pharmacy IV solution
(including Tylenol with codeine) $233.50
CT Scan of head and brain $4,582
CT Scan of maxillar facial without dye $4582
CT Scan of neck and spine $4,582
And a few other incidentals…
"I got this outrageous bill from my lawyer via my ex-husband's insurance company," Tami explains. "I was in shock when I saw the amount and clearly he is under-insured. I called the hospital administration and demanded to speak with one of the medical staff who was treating her because she has an auto-immune disorder, which means an injury can be really dangerous.
"Not only have I been overcharged, my daughter was also misdiagnosed. When she got home two days after the accident, I made an appointment the very next day with our family doctor. I knew something was wrong: she was disoriented and she just wanted to sleep, and she kept forgetting what she was doing. She couldn't even carry on a conversation with anyone. My doctor referred us to a neurologist at Healthworks in Morgentown, WV. He said she has a bad concussion and cannot do certain activities, and I have to monitor her.
"She has been in ER three times since then and has had diagnostics such as ultrasounds and MRIs at another hospital. Interestingly, they charged about 75 percent less than the Florida hospital.
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"As you can imagine, this has caused a lot of hardship on us, both financially and emotionally.
"My attorney says this isn't his field of expertise so I'm going to find an attorney experienced in ER overcharges lawsuits. I talked to my friend who is a nurse at my local hospital and she says those charges are outrageous. I went online and found a site that revealed different prices of scans for different parts of the body. This is just not right."