Exorbitant medical cost and public assistance 
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 Exorbitant medical cost and public assistance

Subject: Exorbitant hospital cost and public assistance

     I am looking for some information and help from people
who may have suffered similar situations.  

     My 24-year old son spent the summer in a small town in
Alaska  working for a friend trying to get the friend's
sawmill up and running so they could fell wood and sell it.  
A boom crane
(I think that was the piece of equipment) fell on him and hurt
his back very badly.  He wanted to go to the GP in town to get

checked out as he didn't have the funds to afford anything but
that.  He is a student and not working, lives at home (we live
in California) and is currently actively seeking employment in

     He has no source of income and his only asset is a 1970
VW van.  
     The friend is not able to compensate for the costs of
the injury and there was no medical disability involved in
the job.      
     When he was injured, the people who were there at the
scene of the accident instead of taking him to the doctor in
town as he wanted, called an ambulance, in spite of his
pleading not to do that.  He was in so much pain that he
couldn't put up any kind of protest.  The ambulance took him
to the nearest medical facility and dropped him off.  They
took an x-ray and said there was a spot on the x-ray.  They
left him in agony on a gurney for hours without any pain
killer and helpless with pain.  They then ran a catscan in
spite of him telling them as best he could under the
circumstances that he had no money and could not pay; they
paid no attention to him and insisted that he stay overnight.  
In his condition there was nothing he could do.  
     By the time he left the hospital, he had incurred a
$3,000 debt that he has no way of paying.  There are
additional charges for the ambulance which he kept
protesting that he could not pay for.  Total charges amount
to about $3,800.
     At the hospital, they didn't do any medical procedures
for him but only did "tests" which he begged them not to do
because he knew he could not pay for them.  When a person is
in shock because of injury and pain, it is pretty difficult
to assert oneself.  
     Later, when he was able to, he looked the bills over
and found that they had charged him for an ankle x-ray which
he says never happened.  It seems to us that an $3,000
overnight hospital stay where nothing but tests, possibly
unnecessary tests, were done is an exorbitant charge.  
     So after all this explanatory description of the
situation, the questions are:  1) Does anyone know of a
medical arbitration board of some sort that can look these
bills over to determine whether he has been grossly over
charged for "testing" with unnecessary catscans and such
and, 2) whether there is some kind of public assistance in
Alaska that can help him pay the bills that are determined
to be legitimate.
     The bills have been turned over by the hospital to a
collection agency and they are after him to pay what seems
like an gross overcharge.  As he protested to them from
the very beginning, he has no way to pay.    
     Any input will be gratefully received.



Sun, 09 May 1993 13:14:41 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

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