Surprise Medical Bills are Driving Americans Into Debt

Marty, why is it it seems like we’re paying more for our insurance premiums and our insurance is paying less of our bills? Pricing failures in healthcare are a big driver of the waste that everybody is paying for. Billing quality is medical quality. Financial toxicity is a medical complication. And when we take care of a patient, we’ve gotta take care of the whole patient. Look, most of the times, people are coming to us for help and then our services are getting bought and sold on a grid like it’s power system. And we’re completely cut out. Imagine a travel website with no prices. Yeah, would you ever go online to Google, type in flight– That existed?
I want that one! I mean–
I don’t care what it costs. No, you wouldn’t.
No! And the airlines could tell you, “We can’t predict, we can’t tell you the price. We don’t know if there’s gonna be a delay or a cancellation, or if you’re gonna consume a beverage. We just can’t give you a price.” Hospitals for 50 years have been telling us they can’t give you a price. Enough is enough! That airline industry with no prices; if it gauged everybody, you’d say, “That’s were all the money’s going,” pricing failures. So let’s talk really quickly about the surprise medical bills, because they’re driving Americans into more and more debt. One in six Americans are hit with surprise medical bills. Heck, we were reading through all these crazy stories of someone who had a $500,000 bill for 14 wet weeks of dialysis at an out of network provider. 14 weeks of dialysis, and that’s three times a week. But still, $500,000; so people are ending up with these surprise bills. The problem for most people when it comes to these surprise medical bills is that some hospitals are getting more and more aggressive in terms of how they’re going after collecting on these bills. Some hospitals are actually suing patients who can’t keep up with the cost. That’s what happened to Misty. She’s joining us now via Skype. And Misty, I want you to kida walk us through what happened, in terms of your local hospital filing a law suit against you, because you’re a nurse, right? Yes, yes, I am a nurse. I’ve been in the healthcare for about 15 years now. So you know healthcare, but how did it come to be that here you are, struggling with medical debt, and a nurse, in the healthcare system trying to help patients, but now getting sued by your local hospital? Can you tell us how that came about? Well, I’ve not only been sued one time by medical hospital. I’ve been sued five different times by the same hospital. I have three children: two that have asthma. They’re all three very active in sports. So with that comes injuries, of course, and multiple ER visits. I’ve also had my gallbladder taken out. It’s tough. Those bills add up. Do you know exactly what you were sued for? Oh no, no the… Some of the law suits will have what account and what dates of service you’re being sued for. But they are never itemized, they are never… You never get itemized bills in the mail. And the summons that you get, even if they have the account numbers, if they have they have them, that is, they don’t have what the services are for. It’s like it’s whited-out almost. And how has this affected your family? It’s been tough. The first lawsuit that I got… In 2012, I didn’t know what it was for. I… I’m an educated woman. I have my bachelor’s in Nursing. I didn’t understand all the legalities, what it meant, how to respond, what to do? So I didn’t do anything. Well they garnished my wages $900 a month. I ended up losing a vehicle. I almost lost my house. Um… Sorry. It’s ruined my credit. I had to sell furniture and appliances. Are you in a community, Misty, where there’s one central hospital and you don’t have many choices, in terms of your healthcare? Yes sir, and it’s the only hospital. We’re very rural right here. It’s the only hospital that we have. The next closest one is about 45 miles. Depending on traffic, it’ll take a good hour to get there. And you know, when you’re kid’s in pain or having a hard time breathing, you don’t wanna wait an hour to go get medical care.

2 comments

  1. I think hospitals get away with overcharging because many times the patient has no choice but to have a checkup or procedure done.

  2. THE DOCTORS NEED TO GO TO THE PRESIDENT TO ASK FOR HELP!!! I JUST E-MAIL THE PRESIDENT ABOUT THIS VIDEO!!! AND ASK FOR HELP WITH OVERCHARGING AND ITEMIZE FOR A FEDERAL LAW TO COME INTO AFFECT FOR HELP!!! THE MEDICAL FIELD HAS BEEN UNJUST FOR A LONG TIME!!!! ALL OF YOU HAVE TO TALK TO THE PRESIDENT ON MATTERS YOUR CAN GET NO HELP WITH WHEN A AGENCY IS AND ARE ACTING LIKE THIEVES!!! JUST BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT CAN AFFORD IT!!! MEDICAL FIELD IS IN THE WRONG!!! FOR THINKING THIS WAY!!!

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