Admission to wrong hospital for cardiac arrest bankrupts woman
13 November 2014
Megan Rothbauer, 29, of Wisconsin got the shock of her life when she received a bill of over $250,000 for medical expenses from the hospital to which she was admitted for treatment of cardiac arrest.
WSIC-TV reported Rothbauer collapsed last year while she was at work and the room she was admitted to was out of her insurance network.
Her heart had tremors for about an hour while she was rushed to St Mary's Hospital instead of Meriter, located just three blocks away.
Her stay at the hospital included 10 days in a state of medically-induced coma and a week-long stay in the cardiac unit of the hospital, after her recovery from a near-death situation.
Rothbauer told WSIC-TV that she owed a part of her life to the doctors as also to the nurses who treated her at St Mary's Hospital. She added that she was in coma and could not even say clearly, 'take me to the next hospital.'
The bill was supposed to be just $1,500. However due to the Affordable Care Act, the 30-year old now owed at least $50,000. Her insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield took care of extra $156,000 in order to cover her 16-days hospitalisation. According to the TV station, the hospital St Mary, cut her bill by $90,000.
Rothbauer's plans are on hold now due to her unexpected $50,000 debt. She and her intended fiancee are considering getting second jobs, filing for bankruptcy and cashing out retirement accounts in order to clear the debt and proceed with their engagement plans if the cost was not reduced again.
However, the $250,000 bill could have been cut to $1,500 if the ambulance had driven four-tenths of a mile to a hospital in her network, the report said.
Meanwhile according to emergencycareforyou.com it was important for people to know what would be covered under their insurance plan and what would not be covered, and what kind of plan they had.
The two plan types are managed care and indemnity or fee-for-service. In a fee-for-service plan, the insurance company was billed and paid part of the bill, while the patient was billed for the rest. In a managed care plan, medical costs were negotiated and the plan member could then take advantage of lower costs, for a monthly fee.