Saturday, October 31, 2009

Excessive Medical Bills for the Uninsured in Floyd County

I just did a Pap for a 46 year old women who had a hysterectomy three years ago for cervical dysplasia-she subsequently has lost her job and has not worked or had a follow-up exam since that time. She has custody of and is raising her grandchildren. She had to go to the FMC E.R. two weeks ago for pelvic pain/urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms. Her exam was normal and she did not have a UTI- but she did receive a $2400.00 bill from FMC. (A urine chemstrip to screen for UTI is ~ 49 cents). She applied for Indigent Care (ICTF) and was denied, she asked for a reasonable payment plan and that was denied. She was not offered a negotiated fee (and didn't know to ask). She was however offered a credit card plan/loan to help pay the bills—she was smart enough to decline that. I can’t give her legal advice, but I gave her information about how to appeal her ICTF decision, getting copies of her bills, talking to an attorney about negotiating her hospital bills if the hospital refuses, etc. I told her to come tell her story at the film showing next week. 11/8/09 3 pm, Rome library.

Reading and Negotiating A Client’s Medical Bills

NYT, Bargaining Down the Medical Bills
15 tips for paying high medical bills

10 ways to avoid outrageous hospital overcharges-Profit-hungry hospitals are overcharging consumers an estimated $10 billion a year. Some deliberately work to keep bills indecipherable. Here's how to fight back.

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