DeLand Woman Billed $6,325 for Coronavirus Care—My Response to a Medical Billing Careerist

Here is my response to someone who worked in hospitals / medical billing for decades and is arguing that the 23-year-old COVID-19 positive DeLand woman billed over $6,000 by AdventHealth and Emergency Medicine Professionals for her March 19, 2020 visit to AdventHealth DeLand’s ER should have not expected care for free and is being unreasonable:

It is clear. She called her PCP first and was told to go to AdventHealth DeLand. Obviously they gave her bad advice. I’m sure the first thing on her mind wasn’t billing and cost, but the article says she did do reading on this and thought her visit to Advent was covered due to the pandemic. In fact she has health insurance in Spain and might not have known it is invalid in the USA. It would have been “free” in Spain thanks to her health insurance, and in fact you yourself admitted her visit should be covered by the federal government of the USA under recent legislation… eventually. AdventHealth could have asked their billing department to send out notices instead of bills with a codicil that this might end up getting paid by the feds. Leadership requires action, not excuses.

Ordinary people do not know what you know about medical bills and billing. Even if she was given the sheet with the “patient bill of rights,” there was surely plenty of other paperwork to do and in practice, not many people read things like that. A real leader is interested in actual outcomes, not criticizing and holding individuals to impossible standards about what they “should” have known or done.

Not everyone teaching English has a TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) degree… often they just have a 4-year degree or even less in an unrelated subject. There is a strong need for English teachers overseas.

Who is going to turn down care they are told is medically necessary over cost? The cost isn’t disclosed up-front. Would you have also told victims of adjustable rate mortgages from mortgage brokers they trusted and thought were working for them to suck it up following the housing crash?

You and I know when going to the DeLand ER to expect multiple bills in the mail, from the hospital, Emergency Medicine Professionals, and possibly even more. For her, getting the AdventHealth bill for $4,356.28 in the mail, and then the Emergency Medicine Professionals bill for $1,969.00 in the mail 3 weeks later, was certainly a shock. She is also dealing with her mother being quite sick with COVID-19 and just recovered from COVID-19 herself. Have some empathy.

My additional response to a response from the same individual advocating against the patient, again:

Once again, you keep on showing that you are tone deaf. The PCP’s office, given her symptoms, told her to go to the ER. There could be legal consequences to tell someone to go to the Health department who needs emergency care. Furthermore, healthcare professionals prioritize saving lives rather than instructing patients on pricing. However, most Americans are not loaded with cash, and as [a commentator] said, it is completely divorced from reality to expect them to understand medical billing.

In fact, she is being asked to pay $2,840 in total—which already shows the $6,325 was a farce—chargemaster pricing is meant to make up for the huge proportion of uninsured patients who never pay their bills. At the same time, this cost will very likely be paid by the federal government if the hospital is patient (I understand they are struggling financially right now—so are their patients). AdventHealth is bungling this whole issue and it looks awful.

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