There is a new series on CBS called Medical Price Roulette and I love it. Listen to how the insurance company screwed this patient:
Frank Esposito says it started last March with unrelenting back pain. He could barely move, and an MRI soon showed a bulge in his spine. A specialist told him to go to the closest hospital — immediately.
Doctors at the emergency room said he needed surgery. The herniation was so severe it could cut his nerve, Esposito said, and render him paralyzed.
The surgery was a success, but then the bills started coming: over $650,000 in all.
His insurance company said his back surgery didn’t qualify as an emergency and wasn’t medically necessary.
“What was my choice? Just be paralyzed for the rest of my life?” asks Esposito, a tool and die maker from Long Island, New York. “Then to get these bills that were so overwhelming. You say, this can’t be real, I mean, I really don’t have to pay this. How am I gonna pay this? And you sit there. And you start cryin’ ’cause you don’t know what you’re gonna do.”
Are you f%cking kidding me? As much as I hate the government running healthcare, I hate these guys the same.
Esposito has already taken $49,000 from his retirement savings. He hired a company to negotiate down some of his bills. After appeals, Esposito’s insurer, Oxford United Healthcare, did pay some of his doctors’ bills. But he still owes $220,000 — CBS News is still waiting for a response to questions about that balance.
Still owes $220K! These companies need to be stopped. The hospital could also eat this. This kills me as a doctor. And as a human.