Emergency Care fees
BRADENTON, FLORIDA -- In March of 2003, My husband went to the Emergency Room at Manatee Memorial Hospital for an Eye Injury. He had a small piece of metal stuck in his eye. Shortly after he arrived, in a waiting room full of people, His name was called & he followed a nurse to a room where she proceeded to take his blood pressure & heart rate.After she did this, He expected a Doctor to be looking at his eye but instead, He was directed to go back to the waiting room until his name is called again. Stunned by this seemingly odd order of care, & noticing how many people were in the waiting room, He thought to ask ...
"Approximately how long will I have to wait to see the Doctor"? & When she replied ..."It's about a four hour wait" He said "Forget It... I'm out of here!" & He went home & went to bed... Without seeing the Doctor. The next morning, He went back to the Hospital, hoping that they weren't as busy.
They didn't appear as busy but he asked them up-front, right away... "How long of a wait"? when they told him approx. 2 1/2 - 3 hours he said "Forget it, this is ridiculous & left"!
He had to go to work & suffered through the day & it wasn't until later the following day that he was finally seen by a doctor because he couldn't bare the discomfort any longer. He was seen by a wanderful doctor At Urgent Care where I called ahead to inform of the problem & although the office hours were over, The Doctor waited for my husband. Low & behold, The metal was RUST and not only could my husband have gotten lead poisoning, but the rust could have stained the blue in his eye & who knows what else could have resulted without proper care. The Doctor had to perform eye surgery right then and there. Afterward, My husband gratefully paid the Doctor for his care which was worth so much more than what he charged!
Anyhow, The appalling thing that happened, occurred within a week of my husband's eye injury when, He received a BILL FROM MANATEE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL IN THE AMOUNT OF $115.25! More than the Doctor's fee at Urgent Care! I tried to dispute this fee with the Hospital But, I got nowhere.
I painfully paid 68.00 (after Insurance paid their part)to the hospital just to take my husband's vital signs! (at night!)
I feel that the Hospital had no right to charge anything at all. when you consider the fact that my husband could have stopped at the local
Winn Dixie to have his blood pressure / Heart rate checked for free by one of those machines and got a print out for the Hospital. besides, He did not go to the Hospital for any reason that would signal a warning of heart attack or stroke, He went to get medical care for his eye injury and he never received that care at the hospital. Further more, His vital signs could change in FOUR HOURS of "Waiting" to see the Doctor!
I feel that this was an Emergency Room Scam! If they take your vital signs right away, They have you locked-in to owing them no matter what! My husband was unaware of this... who would think of it?
My Advice? I can't give any medical advice But, Unless it's a Life or Death situation, or you are unsure of what is wrong, try to avoid the emergency room! If you must go, ask in advance how long of a wait before they do Anything or you could find yourself in my husband's situation And they waste no time sending you a bill!
This had me so burned up that, when I came across this site, It came to mind and I feel that the time into writing about it or even paying what I did, would be worth it if I could save others from this happening to them.
I just can't believe that they are able to get away with it! Either that or... I haven't taken my complaint to the right places!