An Atlanta-area woman says she was billed nearly $700 for a trip to the emergency room — even though she NEVER received any medical treatment or saw any hospital staff!!!
Taylor Davis spoke to Fox5 Atlanta about her ordeal on Friday, explaining that she received quite the surprise in her mailbox weeks after her hospital visit took place this summer.
According to Davis, she went to the Emory Decatur Hospital‘s emergency medicine department back in July to treat a head injury. Once in the ER, she sat in the waiting room for SEVEN HOURS before deciding to leave on her own, with no end in sight to the long wait times.
As she explained to the local news outlet, she received no medical care at the ER that day — not a nurse taking her temperature, not an intern with a tongue depressor, NOTHING!
“I sat there for seven hours. There’s no way I should be sitting in an emergency room for seven hours. I didn’t get my vitals taken. Nobody called my name. I wasn’t seen at all.”
That is bad enough, though in these difficult times of COVID, we can at least kind of understand what’s happening. Hospitals have been stretched dangerously thin by the pandemic — which isn’t helped by folks refusing to take the obvious step of getting themselves vaccinated.
But what happened next is worse: several weeks after the non-visit, Davis received a bill for $688.35 in the mail from the Emory Healthcare system!
For WHAT, though?! Sitting in the waiting room for seven hours?? Seriously??
Convinced the bill must be a mistake, she called the hospital.
They promptly and heartlessly informed her it was not a mistake, and the amount is an “emergency room visit fee” administered to all who walk in, regardless of whether they receive treatment:
“So I called them, and she said it’s hospital protocol even if you’re just walking in and you’re not seen. When you type in your social, that’s it. You’re going to get charged regardless.”
An email sent to Davis later by an Emory Healthcare financial services worker doubled down on that assertion, with the employee telling the frustrated non-patient (below):
“You get charged before you are seen. Not for being seen.”
Needless to say, that is a TERRIBLE system.
Then again, pretty much all of American healthcare is a terrible system, and yet here we are…
The bigger problem here is that this ridiculous ER visit not only helps nobody (except faceless hospital administrators), it in turn makes people who actually need medical help less likely to go in!
Davis explained to the news outlet:
“I’m very reluctant to go to the hospital now. That’s kind of like the last resort now. Seeing that they’re able to bill you for random things, it doesn’t make me want to go. So that’s not good.”
Yeah, no kidding. Emory Healthcare released their own statement about this situation, defending themselves:
“Emory Healthcare takes all patient concerns seriously and appreciates this has been brought to our attention. Our teams are currently looking into this matter and will follow up directly with the individual.”
Blah, blah, blah.
Here’s the full Fox5 Atlanta report on Davis’ situation:
WTF, Emory Healthcare???
Remember when Barack Obama wanted Americans to have universal healthcare but Republicans fought him tooth and nail over it, no matter how many compromises were made??
Yeah, this current system is totally better than giving every American equal and reasonable access to the healthcare system…
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