Killed, Then Billed! Nightmares Part Two

This is part two in a series on the health care systems all over the world.

So many times, patients are victims of malpractice, negligence and worse than that and then after they die, their families are sent thousands of dollars in bills. Killed, then billed is what is happening all around the world, in countries where people pay highly for their health care, even when the health care is what kills them. Patients in hospitals should not have to pay for care that is grossly negligent nor pay for care that was obviously negligent or the cause of the patient’s death. Imagine going into a nursing home with a clean body, free of sores and ending up with sores all over your body due to lack of care or negligent care. Just imagine that. Then imagine dying as a result of the bedsores that lead to infection, and to other things that caused your death. You probably can not imagine that. But you can see it for real if you do enough research and speak with enough families about health care that happens inside of rehab centers and nursing homes. I am not condemning all of these places but rather trying to bring to light the places that are doing harm to patients, as we speak. There are some places that should be closed down. There are some places that need to be inspected on a weekly basis. And perhaps the saddest part of this true tale is that some of these horrible places are not even on the list of the “worst” health care facilities. They have not made it to the list so that you cannot protect yourself by checking the list out.

Here is the rest of the story regarding healthcare, healthcare systems, and nursing homes and hospitals.

I have heard from patients about improper billing and incorrect billing and overcharging, but worse than that is hearing from patients that some hospital employees allowed billing workers more access to patients than they allowed their own families access. What is wrong with that picture? It appears, yes, just seems to appear that some hospitals first concern is with their bills not with their patients’ health and well-being. And what about the bills? What are some of the errors in bills that patients and families are not catching due to codes? Check your bills. They are usually not itemized and there are many items marked as miscellaneous or codes that you do not understand. Check this out from the book that I recommend that everyone buy. The book is called, Take This Book To The Hospital With You.

Though I mention this book, this article that I write is not a book review, but more an article about what happens inside the health care systems across the world. Here is a quote from the book:

“What I have found through the years is a system so convoluted that it actually discourages accuracy and encourages errors: Just what kinds of errors am I talking about? Consider these examples:

  • One Virginia hospital billed a couple for the circumcision of their newborn. Not an unreasonable charge, really, except for the fact that the couple had a baby girl.
  • An Illinois hospital billed a man $186,000 for “heart valves” . Two hundred heart valves, that is.
  • Another Virginia hospital billed a patient for the use of its delivery room. Odd, since the man was in the hospital for heart surgery. “

So, why do I write this article? I write this article as a personal experience article because too many people have come to me with their own stories and with their own personal experiences of horrible care at the hands of health care professionals that simply are not doing their jobs and then added insult, patients and families are being billed for things that they should not be billed for.

Right now, this very week, another family member of a patient who recently died has been telling me about their story, their true story of the malpractice of some health care professionals and yet they cannot complain about it, because they are grieving, they are still in pain and they are still trying to get over the shock of how their family member died. Yes, there are unnecessary deaths happening every day in hospitals.

Yes, too, many people die in hospitals of natural causes that is already known. But the part that is unknown is that many times people are dying, and people are losing their health, limbs and sanity at the hands of unscrupulous workers, and under the hidden protection of administrators who have money in mind but not patient health care in mind.

So, we write because the grieving families cannot write or have no time to write or they just simply emotionally cannot handle complaining. So we write here to let you know what is happening in the American Health Care system. To anyone saying, “STOP!” your article is wrong!, let me assure you that this article is not about ALL hospitals but only about those parts of some hospitals that are totally offending and totally not taking care of patients. And, to make matters worse, these offending hospitals are billing patients and families for their errors.

Is that not adding insult to injury? Can you imagine yourself as such a victim. Could you even imagine going to a hospital with an ordinary emergency, perhaps a severe asthma attack or minor heart problem, and then ending up with illnesses or injuries ten times worse than those and then getting billed for the care in the hospital? You probably could not imagine that unless you have had the experience. But know, that as you are reading these words, there are some health care workers killing patients and then the hospitals and doctors are billing families and getting paid for their errors. Wow. What an sad statement that is. But it is a true statement of fact. Negligence kills patients. It might take a while, perhaps weeks or months for a patient to die from negligence, and you will never see “negligence” written on the death certificate, but when a patient goes into the hospital for one thing and dies of a totally unrelated -another thing, then you need to really examine what is happening in those hospitals and medical centers. Has that happened, probably, possibly , and yes, it has happened. Where has it happened? Check the Google section of your computer and search the words negligence and names of some hospitals and see what you come up with.

Here are some things that you can do to help yourself at times when you are having a long stay in the hospital. Some of these things might be helpful to you:

  1. Always know the name of the doctor or hospital staff person that you are speaking to. (It is easy to shift blame and responsibility when the patient or family does not know the name of the person who is treating them.
  2. Write everything down. You will not remember staff names or happenings. Hospital stays are entirely too complicated for that. Get a notebook for each time that you are in a hospital and write every single thing down. Write down the names of the medicines or treatments that you are receiving and write down the names of everyone. If you are in a rehabilitation and care center or nursing home, insist on using the recreation computer and write your things in there on a flash drive or on removable storage. Always keep records. Residents are permitted to use that computer, so go with the patient to the computer and assist them in making journal records or any records they need that detail their stay at the center.
  3. Ask for spelling of names. So many doctors shorten their names, “Dr. V” , or so many doctors use their first names as their names. If something happens and you later need to know which doctor that is , try finding Dr. G, in a hospital that has 100 doctors whose names begin with “G”. (These names are only examples and not real doctors’ names).
  4. If you can safely do this, insist on an immediate copy of any paper that you sign, this includes release forms and consent forms. This saves you the problem of trying to find copies or paying for copies later on . Ask your lawyer if you are entitled to immediate copies. Don’t leave these copies in the hospital but send them home with your family or your friends. I would tend to think that any paper you sign is a legal contract (otherwise they would not need your signature, correct)? And usually , it used to be that you were entitled to an immediate copy of any legal contracts that you sign. I do not know if the medical doctors or hospitals are exempt from this but ask your lawyer who can give you correct advice. ATTENTION: all lawyers, can you please advise me and let me know if a patient is allowed or permitted to have an immediate copy of any release forms or papers that a patient signs while at the hospital? My readers and I would love to know the details regarding this point. And, meanwhile, readers, consult with your own lawyers to find out the truth in this matter.
  5. If you have a person in serious condition who is weak, undernourished and cannot communicate well, wait for that person to be out of the hospital before you complain to the HHC, because if you complain while they are in there, they will just bother the patient with questions and interviews while the patient is trying to recuperate from their illness. That will not be a fair investigation as when you interview or question people who are weak , in pain and malnourished, most likely that person will not want to speak at great length and probably is not in good physical condition to give any information. So if you can, wait until the patient is stronger –released from the facility before you complain to the HCC.

So what came up when I googled some hospital names? First, Google with intelligence. Use many words in your search of the hospital name or you will probably just come up with hospital publicity (articles that hospitals pay for – to make the hospitals sound good). Do your search like this, take a hospital name and add the word negligent to it. Then search for those terms. For example, (and this is just an example – a sample , instructions on how to search and the results of my search). I put in the words “woodhull negligent” into the search bar, and this is what I came up with (this one article and some other articles),

If you value the life and finances of anyone that you love or of yourself, you owe it to yourself to get that book for yourself. There is another book that is quite helpful; please get this book from the bookstores or libraries: