Patient Care First-Waldorf Complaint - No Money? No Service!

Review by MOM418 on 2010-07-22
WALDORF, MARYLAND -- Patient Care First should be called BUSINESS CARES FIRST! I just had the most awful experience at the Waldorf location. I took my 14yr old daughter to the urgent care center after she injured her ankle during gymnastics. She was in pain and unable to walk. During triage, the clerk asked had we been there before. I replied I had with a different child. She pulled up the related information and discovered there was a $80 balance.

She informed me that I'd have to pay the $80 in addition to the $20 co-pay. I explained that I didn't have the $80 today but maybe I could work out a payment arrangement. She said ok, swiveled around in her chair for a business card that she passed to me and yelled over the intercom for the EVAL nurse. I assumed an EVAL nurse was coming to talk with me about the payment arrangements available.

NOT! She was coming to ESCORT me and my 14yr old out. The clerk explained to the Eval Nurse that we were about to leave, but I never once stated I was leaving. Apparently it wasn't up to me. SHE determined I was leaving. After attempting to plead with the nurse for payment arrangements so my daughter could be seen, the Eval nurse explained she was only making sure no one was having a heart attack and well enough to leave.

They never even LOOKED at my daughter's ankle, which was swollen, tender and painful. They had no clue whether it was broken, fractured, or sprained. How would they know if she was well enough to leave? They didn't care. What they cared about was the money. When I attempted to ask to call the number on the card, I was told they are likely closed but I could call them out there and was directed to find a way to make a call somewhere out in the waiting area which had no phones. I was humiliated and my daughter denied medical attention for what? $80??? Not $1,000; $80.00 Are they that desparate for money? I tried to call the number on the card but they supported the Waldorf Center's insensitive and heartless actions-BECAUSE OF THE $80 balance. They advised me that I could make payment arrangements but it would be up to the facility whether they would see my daughter or not. I told the thanked him but advised him that I would be a fool to subject my daughter to that humiliation again. In todays' economy, it's impossible to plan for unpredictable emergencies. Therefore, EVERYONE will likely have at least one occasion where they will not readily have amounts of $100 or more for doctor visits. It's deplorable to know that this is how people are being treated when they are unable to pay for the care they need. Perhaps if they considered that they or their loved ones may face similar mishaps, they may be a little more compassionate and a little less business oriented. If you need medical attention, don't go to a Patient Care First Center, otherwise you risk being humiliated for not being better prepared for an emergency.
Comments:6 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-08-02
Posted by Skye on 2010-07-22:
It's just like when you go to the doctor or dentist. Payment must be made in full, before services are rendered. They have bills they need to pay, as well as employee's, so for them to want the previous balance paid before treatment, does not seem unreasonable.
Posted by yoke on 2010-07-23:
Was this the first time you we aware of the $80 owed? They never sent you a bill?
Posted by Johanna on 2010-07-27:
Just be glad they haven't sent that $80 to collections yet.
Posted by maxinebb on 2010-07-30:
Yur daughter's ankle was not life threatening so they were not obligated to treat her. This sounds like a chain of offices and yes, their goal is FOR PROFIT. We have a chain called DOCTORS CARE. Before they treat/look at you, they run your insurance card and want out of pocket up front.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-07-30:
Was your daughter able to put her full weight on the foot, or partial weight, turn the ankle? Usually, large swelling indicates sprain and not a break or fracture. Applying R.I.C.E right away(rest, ice, compression, and elevation) as well as a pain reliever, could help until she could be seen, and if a sprain, is normally all that is needed.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-08-02:
You are welcome Mom418, hope your daughter's injury heals speedily.

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