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General Joy
01-08-2008, 07:00 PM
In my novel, my character is bitten by a bat and is taken to the ER by another character for postexposure prophylaxis to prevent rabies. However, he has no health insurance. So, the two options I'm considering are: he sets up a payment plan with the hospital and will basically be paying them forever, OR he uses the insurance card of the other character (who has good insurance), but without trying to deceive hospital staff. With choice 2, how likely is it that the hospital would go along with that? (On Scrubs, the doctors used the insurance of a deceased patient for one who didn't have any insurance in order to better treat her, but I know it's just a TV show :))

Thanks!

Jersey Chick
01-08-2008, 07:19 PM
Well, that'd be fraud and if he gets caught...

On the other hand, rabies postexposure treatment is a multi-step process, so he'd have to keep faking it the entire time. My daughter was treated for it and it took about six weeks, all told. She was exposed in the beginning of May, 06, and we didn't wrap everything up until the end of June. Plus, we had to go to the ER for each one. Total bill was about $1500.

Hospitals are usually more than willing to work with you on the payment plan - setting up what you can afford (we're doing this right now for my husband's hospital stay last summer). The hospital where he was treated is very good about that.

Hope this helps.

johnnysannie
01-08-2008, 07:20 PM
In the real world, someone without insurance would either have to pony up some cash before treatment or could be refused treatment. Many ER departments will have large signs in place on the wall that state what injuries that they will treat without insurance.

Even with insurance in today's world, patients arriving via the ER will be aske to pay a upfront payment. My family has health insurance through my husband's work and we have a co-pay of $90 for an ER visit that is payable before the patient is seen by a doctor unless the situation is life threatening.

Jersey Chick
01-08-2008, 07:21 PM
It might depend on the hospital - I don't think (and I'm no expert) a county-funded hospital could refuse treatment on the basis of not being able to pay. Especially for rabies, which would probably kill him if he had it.

joyce
01-08-2008, 07:25 PM
My daughter went to the ER about two months ago with no insurance. They took her in and made her pay nothing at the time of treatment. The hospital wrote off their bill because she was a poor student, but she had to set up a payment plan with the doctor. Our hospital has to take anyone regardless of their ability to pay.

Jersey Chick
01-08-2008, 07:27 PM
We pay our co-pay in the form of a bill that comes after the insurance company's paid the balance. It can take months.

HeronW
01-08-2008, 07:45 PM
Many if not all hospitals also have a debt-loss leader on a percentage of patients that they expect will not pay for whatever reason. These would be the indigent, poor/low income, or those whose insurance won't cover something for whatever reason.

WendyNYC
01-08-2008, 07:48 PM
It might depend on the hospital - I don't think (and I'm no expert) a county-funded hospital could refuse treatment on the basis of not being able to pay. Especially for rabies, which would probably kill him if he had it.


Yes, and from what I've seen, private hospitals will transfer patients who cannot pay to county. Depending on the severity of the injury, of course.

JoniBGoode
01-08-2008, 09:47 PM
It might depend on the hospital - I don't think (and I'm no expert) a county-funded hospital could refuse treatment on the basis of not being able to pay. Especially for rabies, which would probably kill him if he had it.

I think that might depend upon the state. In Illinois, they have no problem turning you down unless you are signed up with Medicaid in advance and have the card with you. (In my area, a single person has to make less than $16,000 per year to qualify for Medicaid.)

Here it's what J's Annie said -- pay in advance or hit the door.(Remember the news story in Sept. 2007 about the woman who literally died in the waiting room of a California hospital? Her husband dialed 911, but they wouldn't send anyone, because she was already in the emergency room. The hospital wouldn't treat her because she was uninsured and the staff had recently been warned about accepting too many non-paying patients. Nurses literally stepped over her as she was convulsing on the floor.)

Most hospitals and doctors will work out a payment plan for the copays if you are insured. (After all, they are still getting the majority of the fee, from the insurance company.) That doesn't mean they will do anything similar for someone who is uninsured. Most hospitals are eager to keep debt/loss to a minimum, and they do that by not accepting patients who can't pay.



I'd have a lot of trouble believing that the staff of the hospital would intentionally commit insurance fraud on this guy's behalf. For one thing, if they are caught, every staff member who was aware of the problem could go to jail and/or lose their license to practice. For another thing, the entire hospital might lose it's accrediation over the issue. It's just too big a risk to take.

And, why is this guy so special to the hospital staff? Trust me, they see -- and turn away -- uninsured patients every single day. There are millions of uninsured people in this country. Doctors and hospital administrators can't afford to feel sorry for every one of them.

As a freelance writer, I don't have insurance. I've had the same doctor for 12 years. He charges me $110 per office visit, instead of $120 -- that's the extent of the "empathy" extended to most patients without insurance. And, it's cash on delivery, no payment plan. (And he's a nice guy!)


I would think a much more likely scenario would be that your character would use his friend's insurance card, without the hospital employees being aware of it. So Joe Blow would pretend that he is Steve Smith, to use Steve Smith's insurance card. I've noticed that doctors and hospitals seldom ask you for i.d. in addition to the insurance card. (Maybe if they do, the two look enough alike that Joe could use Steve's?)

It could start as a mix-up and just progress from there.

General Joy
01-08-2008, 11:09 PM
Thanks for all the replies! I was banking on my character being treated despite him not having insurance. It is a county hospital, and it's in Arizona, so I should see if I can find if there's some policy on that in Arizona hospitals. But regardless, the hospital in my book won't turn my MC away, because as Jersey indicated, rabies will kill if not treated. And that's not how the story goes!

frimble3
01-09-2008, 10:14 AM
Also, attempted fraud is bad because: 1) it involves not just the hospital, but the insurance company, 2) in this case, rabies. Which is dangerous and rare. Using fake ID or another person's insurance for a broken nose or road rash is one thing, rabies is the kind of thing that people will remember and mention. "Look at that guy over there, he got bit by a rabid bat!" It's possible, I don't know the laws in Arizona, that the hospital may report the rabid bat-bite in the interests of public safety. Which means people asking lots of detailed questions. Is that what you want on top of a lie? Of course, if a doctor at the hospital was interested in rabies, he might help cut a deal on the bill?

Writer2011
01-09-2008, 11:00 AM
Well I went to the emergency room a few years ago---didn't have to pay anything at the time...But did set up a payment plan.

I do like having your character using a different card...pretty clever by the way :)

Mac H.
01-09-2008, 01:12 PM
In the real world, someone without insurance would either have to pony up some cash before treatment or could be refused treatment.Nonsense.

I was in the ER for about a week total with no insurance a couple of years ago.

I had MRIs, ECGs, a spinal tap and possibly other tests & treatments I've managed to forget.

I never signed a thing, and have never received a bill. There was no question of refusing treatment.

Of course, if by 'real world' you mean some impoverished third world country, then yes, I guess you may be right.

But certainly not here in the civilised country of Australia!

Mac
(PS: Sarcasm aside, it might not be as easy as simply saying 'The patient has a fatal disease'. For a start, the hospital may want to do a TEST for rabies rather than simply saying 'the animal was acting odd before it bit the patient'.

So the procedure may be closer to :

1. Either get a biopsy from the bite area and do a cheap fluorescence test, or get a saliva sample from the patient and do a more expensive PCR test.

2. Start the patient on the treatment with the Rabies vaccine

3. If the rabies result comes back negative, stop the rabies treatment

So a hospital may not be obliged to start a treatment - because there is only a possibility that the patient has a fatal infection.
Otherwise, wouldn't the hospital be obliged to do a full study of EVERY single patient until they have a definitive non-fatal diagnosis?

Good luck!)

**Note: Speculation continues below - It is becoming clear that they recommend vaccinations against ANYONE who has become exposed.

johnnysannie
01-09-2008, 04:56 PM
Nonsense.

I was in the ER for about a week total with no insurance a couple of years ago.

I had MRIs, ECGs, a spinal tap and possibly other tests & treatments I've managed to forget.

I never signed a thing, and have never received a bill. There was no question of refusing treatment.

Of course, if by 'real world' you mean some impoverished third world country, then yes, I guess you may be right.

But certainly not here in the civilised country of Australia!

Mac
(PS: Sarcasm aside, it might not be as easy as simply saying 'The patient has a fatal disease'. For a start, the hospital may want to do a TEST for rabies rather than simply saying 'the animal was acting odd before it bit the patient'.

So the procedure may be closer to :

1. Either get a biopsy from the bite area and do a cheap fluorescence test, or get a saliva sample from the patient and do a more expensive PCR test.

2. Start the patient on the treatment with the Rabies vaccine

3. If the rabies result comes back negative, stop the rabies treatment

So a hospital may not be obliged to start a treatment - because there is only a possibility that the patient has a fatal infection.
Otherwise, wouldn't the hospital be obliged to do a full study of EVERY single patient until they have a definitive non-fatal diagnosis?

Good luck!)


It's not nonsense. Not at all. By real world, I mean this United states of America. I know of real people, with names and faces (some relatives) who were turned away for no money. I know of a particular case where someone without insurance was not touched by ER staff until someone else showed up with cold, hard cash.

I would not presume to tell you how health care operates in Australia; please don't presume to call what I posted nonsense when you have no idea of the realities here.

Mac H.
01-09-2008, 05:15 PM
...please don't presume to call what I posted nonsense when you have no idea of the realities here.Sigh.

I thought it was pretty clear I wasn't serious.

Not only did I have obvious overstatements - I even had the much abused exclamation mark.

And to make 100% clear, I even started my 'PS' (which had my real post in it) with the phrase 'Sarcasm aside ...'

I know sarcasm can be easy to miss in written form, but when someone SAYS THAT IT IS SARCASM in the same post, it is undeniably clear.

When reading text and understanding what people say, here is a guide - sarcasm means that the phrase states the OPPOSITE of the literal meaning.

So when someone says 'Nonsense, that can't be true in a civilised nation - that would only apply to a third world country !' sarcastically, they really are agreeing that it is true, and using the opportunity to lament the state of civilisation.

What more can I do to make it clear?

I hope I don't have to resort to using those little 'winky' icons ...

Mac
(PS: And yes, Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. It must be true - I read it on the internet.)

Jersey Chick
01-09-2008, 05:49 PM
There is no definitive test for rabies in people - when we took my daughter, there was no testing done. They treated based on the possibility. Especially since we couldn't find the animal that scratched her. Unless the guy brought in the bat to have it tested, I think there is a greater likelihood that he'd just be treated as if infected.

Unless I'm reading this wrong: http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/diagnosis.html

Albedo
01-09-2008, 05:57 PM
This is an interesting discussion especially for the implication the char could be turned away. Totally tangential to the original question, but it's freaking Rabies, not a nail through the foot. Surely even in the USA the hospital would treat it as a matter public health because it's, you know, freaking RABIES??? Please tell me an affluent western democracy has some sort of contingency plan for uninsured people who are at risk of freaking Rabies? :Huh:

spike
01-09-2008, 05:58 PM
If someone comes into an emergency room and thinks they have rabies, they will be treated. They might be sent to a clinic or county hospital for the subsequent shots, but no hospital can turn someone away with the kind of health risk that rabies has.

And it's not a matter of being sued, it's a matter of Government Health Dept.

Mac H.
01-09-2008, 06:17 PM
Interesting. According to some guidelines (http://www.metrokc.gov/health/prevcont/bats.htm) :

When someone has had a bite or scratch from a bat or possible direct contact with a bat, it is called an exposure. ... If exposure of a person is likely to have occurred but the bat is not available for testing, Public Health and health care providers will recommend that the person receive rabies vaccination treatment
I wonder what would happen if you turned up at a hospital and simply said that you'd woken to find a bat in the corner of your room.

The guidelines clearly recommend treatment .. would the Public Health system pay for it ?

After all, you aren't saying you HAVE rabies, you even say that it is incredibly unlikely that you have rabies.

You are just saying that you found a bat in the corner of the room and now want free vaccinations.

What would the health system do?

Mac

Albedo
01-09-2008, 06:24 PM
I think direct contact means physical contact in this situation. Bats are dirty, dirty vectors, but if one was just roosting in your room you'd call animal control/WIRES, not a doctor. Unless you suspected you'd inhaled lots of guano. I know I've had enough close encounters with bats at night just walking under trees in Sydney, but haven't got rabies yet.

Jersey Chick
01-09-2008, 06:25 PM
They would probably treat as if you were exposed. According to what the doctor in the ER told us (and he was terrific - gave us a ton of info regarding rabies. More than I really wanted to hear, actually) they err on the side of caution because an unnecessary vaccination won't hurt you. Rabies will most likely kill you. And believe me, upon hearing what they do, no one accept a crazy is going to voluntarily go through the treatment. I've seen it - the first round is brutal.


ETA:
I think direct contact means physical contact in this situation. Bats are dirty, dirty vectors, but if one was just roosting in your room you'd call animal control/WIRES, not a doctor. Unless you suspected you'd inhaled lots of guano. I know I've had enough close encounters with bats at night just walking under trees in Sydney, but haven't got rabies yet.

Around here, if you called Animal Control about a bat in your room, they will usually recommed you see a doctor because you could be bitten and not know it. Again, this is according to the info we received at the ER. Just touching a bat won't harm you, but if it bit or scratched - there is a possibility of rabies, no matter how small. Again, though, by the time symptoms appear, it's usually too late.

DeleyanLee
01-09-2008, 06:29 PM
Well, my daughter was just admitted into the ER (then admitted into the hospital) about 1AM this morning. She has no insurance. They didn't ask her for money upfront. They haven't talked to her about how she's going to pay the bill. They told her that she'll have to go down and discuss that with the money people when she's discharged.

Can't get a whole pile more recent than that, I guess.

And, FWIW, they're still testing if it's appendicitis or not. Surgery is still possible for later today.

Albedo
01-09-2008, 06:33 PM
Fun rabies fact: 6 people have survived the onset of Rabies.

Ever.

Jersey Chick
01-09-2008, 06:33 PM
Here's a few :Hug2: and thoughts for your daughter and a speedy recovery.

Albedo
01-09-2008, 06:59 PM
Around here, if you called Animal Control about a bat in your room, they will usually recommed you see a doctor because you could be bitten and not know it. Again, this is according to the info we received at the ER. Just touching a bat won't harm you, but if it bit or scratched - there is a possibility of rabies, no matter how small. Again, though, by the time symptoms appear, it's usually too late.

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. With regards to the original question, there's no way in hell a potential exposee would be turned away, seeing if they have got the big R and they can't afford to do something about it they are DEAD. Even in a futuristic corporate dystopia people would still get mandated care for rabies, because you couldn't have the Infected running around the slums biting people and reducing your pool of cheap labour, now, could you. I am getting a story idea now. :)

This thread reminded me of the most horrible and depressing news story ever: What happens when idiots refuse post-exposure prophylaxis: meerkats die
(http://www.kare11.com/news/ts_article.aspx?storyid=131535)

Mac H.
01-09-2008, 07:02 PM
I know I've had enough close encounters with bats at night just walking under trees in Sydney, but haven't got rabies yet.Thankfully Australia is rabies free - even with wild bats.

There have been two people killed in the last decade from an infection after a bat bite ... but the infection wasn't rabies - it was a similar virus called Lyssavirus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_bat_lyssavirus).

Though if you get infected, I'm not sure the fact that it technically isn't rabies will be much consolation to you ...

Mac

Albedo
01-09-2008, 07:08 PM
Yeah, Bat Lyssavirus, just as deadly as rabies and belongs to the same sub-genus except we won't mention that because Australia is rabies-free, haven't you heard? ;)

General Joy
01-09-2008, 07:55 PM
There is no definitive test for rabies in people - when we took my daughter, there was no testing done. They treated based on the possibility. Especially since we couldn't find the animal that scratched her. Unless the guy brought in the bat to have it tested, I think there is a greater likelihood that he'd just be treated as if infected.

Unless I'm reading this wrong: http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/diagnosis.html

You're right, Jersey. There's no test for humans or animals... the only way to know with certainty if an animal or person is infected with rabies is to test the brain. The subject would have to be dead for that. As for waking up with a bat in the room, you are supposed to get treatment for that. You could pass on it if you want to, but doctors would generally advise that you get it.

DeleyanLee
01-09-2008, 08:07 PM
Here's a few :Hug2: and thoughts for your daughter and a speedy recovery.

Thanks. I just got back from visiting her. Things are stable and they're discharging her today. With luck, nothing untoward will happen until her health insurance kicks in on Feb 1st. :)

Tsu Dho Nimh
01-09-2008, 09:13 PM
I live in AZ: For post-rabies shots in Arizona, the victim would be eligible for free shots from the county or state medical service. The ER would not give the shots, they would refer her to the public health department that gives them.

General Joy
01-09-2008, 10:50 PM
Great, thanks for that info, Tsu Dho Nimh.

Tsu Dho Nimh
01-10-2008, 02:29 AM
Great, thanks for that info, Tsu Dho Nimh.

And, if you want to continue to the therapy, she'll get the shots in the arm. They are reportedly about as painful as flu shots.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabies#Post-exposure_prophylaxis
In the United States, patients receive one dose of immunoglobulin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunoglobulin) and five doses of rabies vaccine over a twenty-eight day period. One-half the dose of immunoglobulin is injected in the region of the bite, if possible, with the remainder injected intramuscularly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intramuscular_injection) away from the bite. The first dose of rabies vaccine is given as soon as possible after exposure, with additional doses on days three, seven, fourteen, and twenty-eight after the first.

CatSlave
01-10-2008, 02:46 AM
My daughter went to the ER about two months ago with no insurance. They took her in and made her pay nothing at the time of treatment. The hospital wrote off their bill because she was a poor student, but she had to set up a payment plan with the doctor. Our hospital has to take anyone regardless of their ability to pay.
It's the same in Maryland. The ER cannot refuse to treat you. If you have no insurance and no income, the hospital social worker would process paperwork to get you medical assistance through the state. Meanwhile you would get the medical treatment you need. You might want to call your local hospital social services and see what they say. I doubt you could get away with using another person's ID, and it would not be a believable story line. Maybe some hospital workers can chime in here.

GeorgeK
01-10-2008, 03:08 AM
I doubt you could get away with using another person's ID, and it would not be a believable story line. Maybe some hospital workers can chime in here.

The doctors probably never even see or ask about insurance. In an ER there are paperworkers who do that before the patient ever sees them. It is doubtful they would knowingly agree to submit a claim under a different patient since that would be insurance fraud. The penalties for that are very high.

Scrawler
01-10-2008, 03:09 AM
Years ago I went to the ER via ambulance due to a car crash and was treated (my injuries were not serious, so the treatment was very limited--a very brief exam and an xray.) I had no insurance. A few weeks late, the hospital called to discuss payment, I explained how I had no insurance and no job, as I'd just moved to the area. The lady noted my situation and I never heard back from the hospital, nor did I ever receive a bill.

I think I remember the word indigent being used, as in "So are you indigent?" "Yes, I am" "Okay then."

I'm not sure if this had anything to do with being indigent or if the hospital routinely dismissed very small charges. I don't know what the situation (payment arrangements) would have been had I needed thousands and thousands of dollars in emergency medical care.

Jersey Chick
01-10-2008, 04:50 AM
And, if you want to continue to the therapy, she'll get the shots in the arm. They are reportedly about as painful as flu shots.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabies#Post-exposure_prophylaxis
In the United States, patients receive one dose of immunoglobulin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunoglobulin) and five doses of rabies vaccine over a twenty-eight day period. One-half the dose of immunoglobulin is injected in the region of the bite, if possible, with the remainder injected intramuscularly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intramuscular_injection) away from the bite. The first dose of rabies vaccine is given as soon as possible after exposure, with additional doses on days three, seven, fourteen, and twenty-eight after the first.

My daughter, who was 5 at the time, barely flinched at the follow up shots. The first round is by far the absolute worst. The globulin vaccine (the initial shot) is thick and had to be injected into her wrist (where she'd been scratched). The first two vaccinations (given that same visit) were in her thighs. After that, she had them in her arm.

JoniBGoode
01-10-2008, 09:13 PM
It's the same in Maryland. The ER cannot refuse to treat you. If you have no insurance and no income, the hospital social worker would process paperwork to get you medical assistance through the state. Meanwhile you would get the medical treatment you need.

This is true if you have NO insurance and NO income. But, if you make $20,000 per year and have no insurance, you're out of luck. You make too much to qualify for Medicaid. And, you probably can't afford to pay for medical care, when even a routine ER visit can run to $1,000 or more.

Some areas do have free clinics or low-priced health care centers that charge based on income. Other areas do not.

Jersey Chick
01-10-2008, 09:28 PM
From my experience, most hospitals are willing to work with you re a payment plan - usually letting you decide how much/little you can/are willing to pay. They seem to only get testy when you don't pay them a dime, which I can understand because they have limited enough resources and a limitless stream of demand.

Jersey Chick
01-11-2008, 01:00 AM
You have a few days - I blogged about it when it happened, and I mentioned something about 72 hours, but I don't recall how far apart the post and the event were, so maybe it's 96 hours. Either way, it's a small window.

Jersey Chick
01-11-2008, 01:16 AM
Two summers ago, my MIL had a ruptured appendix for ten days before it was removed. The doctors were amazed that she didn't get septic and wasn't in agonizing pain. She thought she had a recurring stomach bug that just wouldn't go away. And a very high pain threshold, apparently.

ETA: What's funny is she was convinced she'd gotten hold of some bad butter. Bad. butter.

DeleyanLee
01-11-2008, 04:01 AM
I hope she gets better. My husband had his appendix removed at age 5 and he was fine. My son's best friend had his burst in class in high school and he's fine too. It will be overwith before you know it. Feverfew helps.
:e2cookie:

Thanks. She's fine but it was a big scare because my son nearly died 2 years ago because of the same thing. We're a little careful (read: paranoid) now.

wee
01-11-2008, 04:02 AM
It's not nonsense. Not at all. By real world, I mean this United states of America.



Most people who aren't from the US (and even most Americans, sadly) don't really realize why it is called the United States.

It's because we are a country made up of 50 individual states that get to make their own laws on a very wide variety of things. Having lived in 4 different states so far, including Tejas, Okie-Homa, The People's Republic of California, and Nuevo Mexico ... the only thing all four states have in common?

The g-D-DMV

Healthcare isn't dictated on a national scale in the US, unless you are a medicaid or a medicare patient. Even at that, it may vary from state to state. If I have insurance with company A and move to a different state, my rates, policy, and coverage will change dramatically.

County hospitals have an obligation to treat, as they are publicly funded. Ambulances will take indigent people to these hospitals. Many university hospitals will take you regardless of ability to pay. Private hospitals will NOT, and have no obligation to treat anyone. This is still going to vary, and if you have one hospital in town, it could be public or private. Whether the state government kicks in & provides a subsidy for non-paying patients in some cases...
:Shrug:
I was with a lady once who had badly cut her foot and needed stitches, in a state that wasn't her state of residence & she had no insurance of any kind. It took three hours of paperwork & grilling, and she had to come up with a hefty down payment on the spot, before they would agree to look at her foot or let her sign up for payments. This whole time she was bleeding in the waiting room. That done, we then had to wait our turn. We were there all dang day. In retrospect, I'm guessing that hospital was private.

For anyone to generalize based on what they know of the USA from movies or brief visits, or from only having ever lived in one place, is not useful to the OP at all.

Having once been in an ER with debilitating stomach pains that could have been anything from perforated-something to appedicitis, etc., and seeing how completely unalarmed and disinterested the staff were about whether I crumpled to the floor and died, or was ever seen by a doctor at all, I find it highly dubious that one of them would risk his/her job to help me in any way. If I had died on the floor in a pool of blood, I suspect they would have merely called the janitor in that same bored, nasally tone they were using with me.

wee
who thought she would be a doctor, all her life she thought this, until she worked for one -- should it take 5 full-time staff and one part-time girl to do the paperwork for ONE lowly general practice doctor? Egads, people! If you knew how many trees were slaughtered for your HMO every time you went to the doctor with a sniffle....

LIVIN
01-11-2008, 04:11 AM
I went to the ER a few years back without insurance... something bit me or stung me or something and my foot was all swollen. I did not have to pay anything beforehand. However, I had to sign a document saying I would pay the bill when it came in the mail. Shortly thereafter, a bill came in the mail and I paid it. WAM, BAM, thank you ER.

Jersey Chick
01-11-2008, 04:25 AM
I had to sign that waiver for my daughter as well - or something to that effect. I think my husband (or maybe I did it, it was about 4AM and I'd just driven 2 hours to meet him in the ER so it's a little fuzzy) also had to sign the same thing. But I think his ER copay was waived because the hospital admitted him. And then the saga began....

General Joy
01-11-2008, 07:51 PM
So it seems the likeliest scenario would be for my MC to pay a bill later for the treatment received, as you did, Livin.

Thanks!

GeorgeK
01-11-2008, 09:04 PM
The healthcare crunch is only going to get worse. In general if you have a family doctor, call them and they can arrange to meet you in the ER or have a specialist meet you or send you to their office and bypass a lot of the paperwork. It also saves a lot of money because then technically you aren't under the care of the ER which usually charges 1-2000 dollars just to say "Hi."

Depending upon whose figures you read (some include retired physicians) there is somewhere between 30-50% fewer practicing physicians per capita now as compared to 15 years ago. That "wasted time and money" on a once a year physical can quite quickly pay for itself if it avoids even one ER visit every 5-10 years.

"Hello Dr Normal? This is Jane American and I think little Johnny has appendicitis just like his sister did last winter."

"Ok Jane, my office should call you back in about 10 minutes. We'll get you an appointment at the General Surgeon's office and if she thinks it's that too, they can do a direct admit to the hospital and get this taken care of today, most likely. If she thinks it isn't appendicitis then come back here and we'll squeeze you in. I'll have my nurse draw some labs as soon as you get here, and in the meantime don't feed him. If he's going to have surgery, they will want his stomach to be empty."

Shwebb
01-12-2008, 02:38 AM
:Lecture:

I've taken the liberty of moving the debate part of the thread to the politics and current events forum--you can find it here. (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88977)

As interesting as the discussion is, please remember that debate is for other areas of the board.

Carry on! Quick, before I find my other blanket and water it down, too.