- Posted February 22, 2013 by
Morganton, North Carolina
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Bitter pill: The cost of health care in the U.S.
My HORROR Story
After receiving this 'document' and experiencing extreme grief over the loss of my mom, I visited the hospital and paid the required amount because along with most of the people in this area, I know the reputation of Grace Hospital in "turning people over to collection agencies" and forcing people to FIX THE MESS themselves. I have continued to complain and write letters about this, and finally in late 2012, I gained the attention of a local CBS TV station who sent a news reporter to interview me for a "Problem Solver Investigation" that aired in late January on WBTV in Charlotte. I was intimidated and harrassed by Grace Hospital during bereavement. No one should ever have to experience this.
Last week, I received a letter from a Vice President of Grace Hospital, in which Mr. Jerry Davis stated that the amount I had paid was the amount due, and he felt I did not qualify for a refund, but offered an alternative, Grace Hospital would make a "non-profit" donation in my name and or my mom's name in the amount of what I paid to a non-profit charity of my choice. I responded asking what his motivation was in taking this route which would give Grace Hospital in Morganton an additional "tax write off" as if the fact they have millions or large sums of cash on hand were not enough. I DECLINED his offer in writing.
I continue to point out that as a news reporter and reasonably well known person in the Morganton / Burke County, North Carolina area, I did not want nor did I need any additional embarrassment from Grace Hospital during my personal time of tremendous GRIEF, so I paid the debt that was not my own using MY MONEY to PREVENT the possibility of being a news story and embarrassed as such at a time I was at a LOW POINT due to losing my mom unexpectedly.
I just want Grace Hospital to PAY BACK my MONEY !!
They billed $ 9513.00 for LESS THAN TWO HOURS that my mom was treated there.
They wrote off over $8,000 dollars and accepted about
$ 1,500 dollars from both Medicare and State Health Plan, my mom's insurance.
In addition to all of this, they had the NERVE to demand an additional $ 320.31. I was told to pay $ 248.61 and later received a receipt in the mail showing I had paid
$ 320.31 which I did not pay.
After doing individual research on my own, I learned of many different stories of improper billing, people that had been at Grace Hospital years earlier and had paid their bill in full, only to continue to receive "BILLS" year after year. In one instance, I learned of a friend who took his wife to Grace Hospital for "out-patient" surgery and due to a nurse NOT using surgical gloves to complete the procedure and removal of "staples" this lady developed a "staph" infection, and was required to have seven additional surgeries and take antibiotics that made her sick and throw up everyday. Grace Hospital continues to call her and her husband DEMANDING they pay the bill regardless of the fact the hospital caused additional medical costs to be incurred and in one surgery, the patient almost DIED. If Grace Hospital had provided "PROPER" and "SANITARY" medical care, this situation would have been avoided. The lady has been forced to use a wheelchair for two and half years now, and cannot walk by herself as she did before this attempt at providing health care by Grace Hospital.
The IRONY of all this is the fact that my mom was a retired nurse of 30 years, with her first actual nursing job working as an RN at this hospital, ( Grace Hospital ) in 1973 shortly after the NEW hospital building was built and opened. In 1996, I was hired and worked for 3-4 years as the hospital's 'postal mail clerk' and this is how Grace Hospital treats people that SERVED them and this community ?
My hope is CNN or some reporting agency will investigate this and report about it at some point in the future. Since last May and for years before that, I have only heard from people that say "I HATE GRACE HOSPITAL" most people in this area have their doctor's in other counties an hour or so away. CNN or others could do as I have done and find people in the Morganton / Burke County area and simply "survey" them about their feelings concerning Grace Hospital. I would bet based on my findings, CNN would develop a story here if some "looking into" this matter were to take place.
News Reporter for Cooper Broadcasting, Inc.
WMNC AM / FM - Morganton, NC
Longtime affiliate of CNN Radio News - Now due to CNN no longer offering radio news - we are an NBC News Radio affiliate
Morganton, NC 28655
(828) 437-2156 - Home
(828) 430-1620 - Cell
(828) 437-0521 - Work