Grand Strand Regional Medical Center

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MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA -- I am a self employed business owner without insurance. Times are hard. Upon having symptoms visited my doctor who sent me to have an x-ray. I called the hospital to see how much a procedure would cost and gave them the exact information the doctor had written on a prescription pad. I was told there would be a charge of $ 365. I would need to pull my bills to get exact information but this is close. I got to the hospital and asked again how much the procedure would cost and showed my information written by the doctor and again was told the same amount of money yet an additional charge would be for the x-ray to be read. FOR $168. OK a could swallow that.

I paid for the hospital service the day I was there with a credit card. I then received a bill a month or so later for another almost $500. saying that there were two parts of my body x-rayed and two charges the 2nd being about $500. !!!! Now months later I am still getting bills two separate billings for the x-rays which were read. I called the hospital and told my situation to a biller and she told me she would get back to me. I never heard back from her but did hear back from a collection agency who said that I was told nothing could be done and that the charge stood as billed.

Grand Strand Regional is a for profit hospital and
the most important thing to the hospital as a whole is money. But are they deceptive?

I am not the type of person who has a lot of trust in hospitals and find it difficult at best to have any procedure done. This whole situation has further fed my mis trust. It is important that the public be given the correct information. SOME Hospitals have full control of what they charge and how they treat patients and do not deserve the trust placed in the facility. What choice do consumers have? Only not to use this hospital!!!!!

I had even asked for something in writing and was told that since I was paying the day of service that would be in writing!

This is an outrage!! I can say that not one person showed an bit of concern for the situation and acted as if I were the idiot.
     
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Anonymous on 2008-05-29:
I hope I can help. Insurance (you are uninsured) typically discounts the second service by up to 50%, or only pays for one service (like x-rays). The x-ray is billed (as a procedure) and the reading is a separate service. Again, insurance typically 'bundles' those charges and the provider agrees to accept the insurance payment in return for the contract to provide care to members of the policies. Uninsured people have no contractual protections. As a result, they end up paying every conceivable combination of charges (x-ray #1, x-ray #2, reading #1, and reading #2). An insurance company would have paid less than half (Medicare about 25%) of what you paid. Uninsured people are subsidiziing cheap medical care for insurance companies and Medicare/Medicaid. It stinks!
cherpep on 2008-05-29:
It truly does stink, Doc! I believe that when everything is complete, upon leaving the hospital, the patient should be provided with an itemized list of services they received. Every time I or one of my family members are in the hospital, I receive several invoices from several parties that I didn't even know were involved in the care! Sometimes, I've received those bills about 1 year later! How do I know that this lab or this doctor or this technician or this anesthesiologist actually did something for me? Also, you should be able to say whether or not you want that second xray, especially if the money is coming straight from your own pocket!
Anonymous on 2008-05-29:
I've been self-insured for years (Health Savings Accounts). As a physician, I have 'contacts' with other docs who are delighted to be paid in cash. Hospitals and clinics are another story. After one hospital stay after an accident, the hospital sent me an un-itemized bill for $28,000. When I demanded an itemized bill, they tried to scare me by telling me "Okay, but it is likely to be even higher." It wasn't. It was lower after I found several charges which were obviously not mine ('feminine hygiene products at $12/ea!!!). As I say, most (individual) Docs are honest about billing. It's the corporate providers (hospitals and large clinics) that are scum feeding off of people's misery. I never got upset if a patient asked if a test or procedure was 'necessary'. It's their body and my duty was to explain how it was necessary...the choice was theirs.
yoke on 2008-05-30:
Doc I have a question. When my son broke his ankle he was seen by the PA the entire time (she was wonderful), yet we (the insurance) got billed as if a doctor had seen him. The entire 8 weeks he never once saw a doctor, only the PA. Why do they not bill for the PA?
Anonymous on 2008-05-30:
The doc billed because the PA was directed (albeit behind the scenes) by the doctor. PAs are 'dependent practitioners'. As such, they cannot (in most states) independently bill for services. If the PA was employed by the doctor, the doctor cut the PA a check...keeping some for him-/herself to compensate for the given supervision of the PA. Good question, yoke!!
yoke on 2008-05-30:
Thanks for the answer. I didn't have a problem with it, I was just wondering. Just wanted to make sure the PA got paid.
Anonymous on 2008-05-30:
You're welcome, yoke. A lot of people ask doctors the same question. Sometimes they're pretty upset (they liked the PA, and are wondering if the doc is trying to get unearned fees).
yoke on 2008-06-01:
In our case my sons fracture was simple. The doctors I'm sure were so busy with patients with surgery and such. Like I said the PA wa awesome and knew exactly how to make my son at ease.
Anonymous on 2008-06-01:
A good PA is worth his/her weight in gold. You find good PAs working with good doctors, and vice-versa.
yoke on 2008-06-01:
I have to agree with that Ghost. All of the PA's I have ever had have always been wonderful and they are a compliment to the doctors office. Most doctors are very busy and can not see every patient. The doctors office's I have been to that have PA's are the best doctor's when you need to see them. I think that is because they can spend more time with you since the PA is taking care the minor issues.
Anonymous on 2008-06-01:
PAs are awesome if they are skilled and well-supervised. I've had a couple of them scare me though...the old saying about 'a little knowledge' applies.
oleish on 2009-02-12:
Write a complaint letter to Doug White, CEO at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center. Copy this letter to Head of Medical Staff as well.
oleish on 2009-02-12:
Reply to fellow regarding multiple charges for x-rays as he was uninsured.
Write a written complaint to Doug White, CEO and to the Medical Board at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center. Your situation falls into the category of non professional GREED. Good luck.
Sociologist on 2010-06-09:
Before you get service, go to the hospital business office and ask for a written estimate of all charges, including physician fees. Ask about payment plans. Not all hospitals will provide an estimate. Find one that will. Ask your doctor about nearby free-standing imaging centers where x-rays may cost much less. Shop around. Some will negotiate for a set fee for a "procedure without complications". Whether a hospital is for-profit or not-for-profit makes no difference in terms of a hospital wanting the make money. The for-profit/not-for-profit distinction is, for the most part, just an IRS distinction. For-profit hospital have a profit margin. Not-for-profits have excess revenues. Semantics.
DCT on 2011-07-25:
If having blood work done...do yourself a BIG favor...go on line to Walk in labs or econolabs...DON"T go to Grand Strand Regional...have your family doctor tell you what type of blood test he/she wants you to have then order it online and pay for it on line at a fraction of the cost. My husband's blood test were $717---I had the same thing done for $139...do the math-what a savings. $578.
cloughman on 2013-01-08:
It doesn't have to do with you not being insured at the time. I was insured at the time of the birth of my daughter, 17 months ago. I am still fighting with them to send my claim to my insurance company. Every month to two months I get the same bill in the mail for 2,300.00 that should have been sent and paid for over a year ago. They gave me a discount for not having insurance.. I HAD insurance. Also, having my daughter at that hospital was the worst experience I have ever had, I worked in a hospital, as a tech for 15 years, my daughter was my second child. I didn't go in not knowing anything, it wasn't my first rodeo! The RN thought she was an OB/GYN, my daughter was having a skin reaction to the diapers they provided (later realization) and I had to practically BEG for some diaper rash cream while at the hospital, TERRIBLE experience..
posted 8/21/13 on 2013-08-21:
How about spending an hour and half in the emergency room to have a bill of $31,000.00 they charge 19,305.00 for a phone call from the ambulance to the doctor because the doctor said it might be a trauma case including the patient was talking /walking etc.
One hour and a half could"t have been to serious. Why can the hospitals get away with this.
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Grand Strand Hospital, Unsafe
Posted by on
MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA -- Please, if you need medical services, go somewhere else. If you go to the ER, you may wait days in the hall for a bed. That is if you are sick enough to be admitted. If not, they will treat n street. Once on the floor, you may be 4 people to a room..can you say HIPPA violation? Don't have surgery by the Grand Strand Surgeons. Go to a private surgeon. DO not have robotic surgery, oh yeah, none of the surgeons can do robotic since one of the docs nearly killed several people with it. If you do have surgery, you are just a number. A statistic. No one cares about you the patient, only getting you in and out of the OR quickly so that the numbers are good.
     
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Anonymous on 2011-11-28:
Having more than 1 person in a hospital room is not a HIPAA violation
Skye on 2011-11-28:
What happened to cause you to write this complaint?
drugdoc121 on 2011-11-28:
Also waiting days in the ER is not uncommon either. Boarders in the ED are taken care of while they wait for an open space in a hospital. That is how busy healthcare is at the moment. Would you rather be sick and discharged or taken care of in the ED until a bed is open?
takemyadvice on 2012-10-04:
Over work staff, never no when doctors will see you, meds admistered without scanning your wrist band that id you. give meds with putting notes in the system then another perosn comes in and give it to you again because it was not documented. this could be very, very fatal . Leave patient in the room for long period of times without checking on them, take a long time to answer patients call because of staff shortage, come into room witout knowing you know who they are . Call for help 20 times no answer/no response I witness this as well it was a shame. Had to go get someone . You have people coming into the room and start working on you and you have no clue who they are. They lie to you and about you if you complaint nurses, and nurse heads. You can go for days and not see a doctor and when he comes in and out your room so quick you do not know how they could check for anything. No one ever knows when you will see a doctor no one they come we they come, as quote by a nurse that what they hate the most, painful for the patient because they stay dope up till he comes because nurses get tried of the patient complainting and they can not help them so they just stay out the room, dope them up so they do have to be bother . I know I witness it over and over and it was very distrubing. You can go for days with bath. The staff talk about other staff member in halls were patients can hear themm they complaint how over work, given more patients than they can handle which cause very, very little attention of care and very poor care is given to patient. It about money, money how much they can make off a patient. Keep you in their for days and you do not even know what wrong with you because no one discuss your chart and what is on it. Do not get permission to discuss your business in front of others in the room, no respect for your privacy. You have no privacy people just come in your room no clue who they are and start working on you. Somethings they were doing things they should have not been doing if they had read the patient chart which cause the patient great pain and disconfort to the patient. Nurses, and staff come in room and start working on you and have no clue to what is wrong with you they ask the patient, because they do not read the chart, poor, poor, I would not recommand the place to no one . If you question them about what they are doing they get attitudes, and might hurt your love one, if no one is in the room with them. It happen to my love one. Very nasty nurses, . Patient will not be bathe daily. Nurses do not tell you they have pagers or put their number on boards. They suppose. When patient calls they tell patient they will come and never do they take their time, they sometimes will not ans when you call them, my love one call 20 time for help and got no respone and was in deep, deep pain. You sty dope up so they do have to come and see about you. Very Very unprofessional , uncaring, group of people, if you ask questions they look at you like you crazy, and do not much of noting, all you could hear I do not know, . You will never , never know when you will see a doctor. My love one stay in the MRI for a hour and was in pain because they could not get it together. Experience was horrifying. Please do not go to this place, it all about money, money, making big bills, they do not care trust me, go at your own risk. It was a living hell , nighmare, that I would not want anyone love one to ever, ever, ever, ever, experience. Not a hosptial , but a corporate bank and the patients pays for it at the end. sad some may even die because of greed, and not for the passion to care for those who can not care for themselves, maybe other will come out and share their horrifying experience. peace
cloughman on 2013-01-08:
I completely disagree with littleshorty. Yes having more than one person IS a HIPPA violation. When a physician or etc..enters your room and discusses your diagnoses or prognoses with you and your roommate(s) and THEIR familys' can hear everything that DR is discussing with you, YES that is a HIPPA violation. There are hospitals undergoing major changes because of this EXACT reason. Privacy. If I can tell you and my entire family what was wrong with you when I leave the hospital, THAT'S A VIOLATION of YOUR privacy. Now as far as the hospital, worst I have ever seen. Over worked, understaffed, I assume, WAY WAY under paid (note the UNDERSTAFFED, theres the reason) Nurses that over step themselves as being nurses, not enough Physicians, billing issues, ignored issue with my daughter. The urgent care is good, South strand iv not had any issues there.
Mandana on 2013-10-10:
I had one ER situation were they diagnosed me immediately after coming from another hospital that failed to diagnose. Spent over a week in intensive care, surgery and couldn't be more pleased with the staff, the doctors and the surgical results.

However I have had trouble with doctors associated with the hospital for outpatient services. Their nurses are rude, and will not allow access to the doctors. One essentially has denied me timely access to medical service which is resulting in being forced into a physical stage that will require intrusive cardiovascular services that could have been prevented. I feel I am being manipulated into services I do not need and invasive highly risky proceedures that are unnecessary. I believe the doctors and staff are being set to a standard that requires numbers and dollars rather than personalized treatment. After they lost a 2 million dollar lawsuit for malpractice they are under the gun to bring their treatment numbers up. The problem, in my experience is that other local hospitals are are much worse. poorly staffed, and in one case dangerous. I think health care in general in this area is very lacking, its impossible to get appointments and if you go to the ER it is at least 8 hours to get into a bed if you are lucky to find one. That however is not unusual for any hospital I have ever been in. If beds are full, they have to wait for a morning discharge or put you in the hall. Again that is true of most hospitals. I was in Grand Strand once when all beds were full and the halls were filling up. Expect that of our health systems and it most likely will get worse. I'm on Medicare and sometimes I feel like the doctors don't want to treat us unless they see big money coming in.

Regarding staff, I found them to be in general very nice, helpful, and well trained, I only had one nurse who was nasty to me, we had a fight over my treatment and she bullied me, told me she would not treat me. so rude and mean spirited she was horrible. Others were wonderful, kind and treated me better than in other hospitals. I have been to Grand Strand ER several times. Not bad service in my estimation.

Non emergency doctor services is next to impossible to attain. No reason for the excessive failure to treat other than they are overworked and under staffed.
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