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Insured Californians Getting Gouged by Out-of-Network Providers

Insured Californians Getting Gouged by Out-of-Network Providers June 16, 2020. By Jane Mundy.
Santa Clara, CA Back in 2017, a law was passed to protect Californians against surprise medical bills for non-emergency care. Before that, AB1611 was proposed: it was supposed to protect against emergency room overcharges but California consumers are still getting gouged by out-of-network providers.
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Getting Caught Can Reduce Emergency Room Overcharges

Getting Caught Can Reduce Emergency Room Overcharges May 14, 2020. By Jane Mundy.
San Francisco, CA Last year Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital reduced a patient’s emergency room charges from $20,243 bill down to $200—after the patient, Nina Dang, contacted the media. She broke her arm on the pavement in a bike accident. Can’t reach the media? Of course lawyers experienced with negotiating ER overcharges can also substantially reduce hospital costs, both for insured and uninsured patients. “It’s frustrating that I have to hire a lawyer, but so far it’s been worth it,” said another ER patient, Alexa Sulvetta.
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Emergency Room Overcharges –Surprise!

Emergency Room Overcharges –Surprise! April 16, 2020. By Jane Mundy.
Santa Clara, CA Almost one-third of Americans with health insurance who wind up in an emergency room find out after the fact that their health plan doesn’t cover as much as they thought. Given that there are about 140 million ER visits each year, and “surprise” emergency room charges are so frequent that 59 percent of Americans have been contacted by a debt collector and 16 percent of Americans’ credit reports include medical debt due to overdue medical bills, it’s not such as surprise that this debt totals about $81 billion.
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Emergency Room Overcharges with Coronavirus Test

Emergency Room Overcharges with Coronavirus Test April 5, 2020. By Jane Mundy.
Santa Clara, CA Despite the $2 trillion coronavirus aid package that includes over $100 billion for hospitals and medical needs, and despite a law signed by President Trump on March 18 that supposedly allows Americans to be tested for coronavirus free of charge, some patients now face emergency room overcharges. While the tests may be free, both insured and uninsured patients are still charged the ER visit to get the test.  And keep in mind that insured patients visiting an emergency room during this crisis could face huge ER costs.
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Patients Battle Surprise Emergency Room Charges

Patients Battle Surprise Emergency Room Charges February 20, 2019. By Anne Wallace.
Washington, DC Dr. Joaquin Lopez ‘s surprise emergency room bill came after he and his insurer had already paid $11,000 toward the cost of emergency gallbladder surgery. For dentist Brad Buckingham, who fell off his bicycle, the shock was a $70,000 bill to repair a broken hip. For Stacey Shapiro, it was a $6,720 emergency room fee to treat sudden spell of low blood sugar.
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Discrepancies in Emergency Room Overcharges Cause Frustration and Financial Woes

Discrepancies in Emergency Room Overcharges Cause Frustration and Financial Woes February 11, 2019. By Jane Mundy.
Scottsdale, AZ: Emergency room care in the US is the highest-priced care a patient can receive. Even a minor condition can set you back thousands of dollars, which in itself can cause health issues—financial problems are stressful. It can get worse: one patient dinged with outrageous emergency room overcharges later discovered that another patient with similar treatment paid a lot less.
Read [ Discrepancies in Emergency Room Overcharges Cause Frustration and Financial Woes ]

ER Charges: Underserved and Over-Charged thanks to Upcoding

ER Charges: Underserved and Over-Charged thanks to Upcoding January 10, 2019. By Jane Mundy.
Los Angeles, CA: When a nine-year old accidentally had gasoline splashed in her eyes, her mother immediately drove her to the closest hospital emergency room. They were directed to the eyewash station but it was so dirty they couldn’t use it, so Brianna’s mom rinsed her daughter’s eyes at a regular sink. Turns out, they would have been better off using the gas station’s eyewash, which was free. The ER sink cost $1,400: the hospital charged $600 and the ER doctor fee was $800 (for walking into the room, saying Brianna needed an eyewash station and walking out). Upcoding has become common practice, resulting in emergency room overcharges and increased health costs for everyone.
Read [ ER Charges: Underserved and Over-Charged thanks to Upcoding ]

Michigan Patient Billed Over $1,000 for Sitting in the Waiting Room

Michigan Patient Billed Over $1,000 for Sitting in the Waiting Room February 23, 2018. By Gordon Gibb.
Grand Rapids, MI:Judy Burton did what most people do when they begin suffering unexplained pains while at home on a Saturday evening: she proceeded to the nearest emergency room to get checked out. The Michigan resident told FOX 17 News (11/17/17) that she wound up not requiring treatment after her pains subsided and after about an hour simply left the waiting room and went home. Imagine her surprise when she received a bill about 2 weeks later for over $1,000 in emergency room charges.
Read [ Michigan Patient Billed Over $1,000 for Sitting in the Waiting Room ]

Medical Billing and Hospital Overcharges - What Happened to the Hippocratic Oath of "first, do no harm"?

Medical Billing and Hospital Overcharges - What Happened to the Hippocratic Oath of "first, do no harm"? February 19, 2018. By Jane Mundy.
Tampa, FL: Attorney Ben Stewart is seeing an increase in hospital overcharging, mostly to uninsured people. "Look carefully at your medical bills. If you have been overcharged and have either started a payment schedule or completed payment, you may be entitled to monetary damages," says Stewart.
Read [ Medical Billing and Hospital Overcharges - What Happened to the Hippocratic Oath of "first, do no harm"? ]

ER Bills and Hospital Overcharging: It’s Not Getting Any Better

ER Bills and Hospital Overcharging: It’s Not Getting Any Better October 30, 2017. By Gordon Gibb.
Boston, MA: Regardless of the machinations undertaken by the Trump Administration to replace the so-called ‘Obama Care’ with something that may, or may not be superior the fact remains that health care costs continue to balloon, with hospital billings and emergency room charges chronically higher than rates set by Medicare. With such hospital overcharging going on, it’s little wonder patients seek justice with an ER bill lawsuit, or similar.
Read [ ER Bills and Hospital Overcharging: It’s Not Getting Any Better ]


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