Las Vegas Sun

April 19, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Costs for ER can be staggering

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Some people have been led to believe that if they don’t have health insurance, they can go to the ER and everything will be OK. The truth is the cost can be staggering and you will be billed.

The hospital will not turn you away. They will treat you, but you are told to see your own doctor for any follow-up care. If they have trouble collecting what you owe, your credit could be ruined, your wages garnisheed, and you could lose everything.

Your only recourse then would be to file for bankruptcy.

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  1. Yes, the costs for an ER visit can be staggering, I know first hand from three heart attacks. And yes, failure to pay can ruin one's credit rating.

    But I want to see something to back up the claim that wages can be garnisheed if one fails to pay a medical bill. The fundamental problem with our healthcare system today is that people use the ER for a regular doctor's visit and then don't pay the bill, resulting in hospitals passing those costs on to those who have insurance coverage.

  2. The indigent and elderly have access to Medicare and Medicaid, both on the brink of insolvency and in dire need of reform. True grit Mitt gave President Obama a lesson in these healthcare programs last night at Denver University. And Governor Romney scolded the president for scrubbing Simpson-Bowles for 4 years and kicking the problem down the road.


  3. <<The indigent and elderly have access to Medicare and Medicaid...>

    Carmine, you sure have a lot to learn about the indigent and elderly. Even those on Medicare with limited incomes have medical bills to pay and for some, that could be a choice between buying food and their meds or paying those bills.

  4. "Even those on Medicare with limited incomes have medical bills to pay and for some, that could be a choice between buying food and their meds or paying those bills."

    Precisely the reason for Medicaid.


  5. The nation's emergency rooms face of burden that is nothing short of staggering. There are only a few thousand left and they see over 120 million patients a year. We have lost nearly a third of our emergency rooms in the last few decades and many more are on the brink of going bust.

    Not only are record numbers of emergency room visits seeing no payment whatsoever, many who go don't even give their real names or correct numerical identifiers. Brian Brenneman runs UMC. Ask him about uncompensated care. It's destroying the entire hospital.

  6. Anna, try to collect a past-due (or any) bill owed by an illegal invader? Best wishes. We, the taxpayers and citizens, get to pick up the tabs. Tis why UMC is bankrupt no matter how much funding we provide. It is impossible to provide adequate health care for all of Mexico even when they pick up the travel to and from Vegas.

  7. Last night Mitt Romney went on about his Healthcare Plan. Another lie.

    Here is his plan from his website:

    "M I T T ' S P L AN
    On his first day in office, Mitt Romney will issue an executive order that paves the way for the federal government to issue Obamacare waivers to all fifty states. He will then work with Congress to repeal the full legislation as quickly as possible."

  8. UMC is broke because of the illegal invaders?? UMC and its satellite clinics see hundreds of thousands of patients a year. Half the people that go to the emergency room pay nothing. I don't know how many are illegal invaders. My guess is a fraction of 1%. UMC as well as the rest of the major hospitals in this country are going bust because people can't afford to spend $15,000 for an average hospital visit or well over $100,000 for major surgery. This holds true for Americans as well as illegal invaders.

    The hospital is charging these 84 illegal immigrants almost $29,000 a month per patient for dialysis. $29,000 a month! I just don't understand why they can't pay the bill?? I'm sure you would have no problem paying $29,000 a month if you had kidney issues.
    How many Americans could afford these ridiculous bills. Almost none!

  10. Gerry: Nevada, sanctuary state, has the HIGHEST percentage of illegal workers--above 12%. You think they and their kids don't go to UMC. CCSD shows above 30% of the students are transitional Hispanics--illegals with no roots in the community. We're paying for them. You estimate a fraction of 1% of UMC patients??? The Commission has discussed the horrendous costs of illegals--repeat dialysis as emergency treatment cause they don't do routine dialysis--costing over $100,000 a year per illegal patient.