There should be no ‘wrong’ hospital

There should be no ‘wrong’ hospital

If ever there was an example of the need for a fix to the Affordable Care Act is the story of Megan Rothbauer, and apparently quite a few others, who through no fault of her own, ended up in the ‘wrong’ hospital after a medical emergency. Folks, there should be no ‘wrong’ hospital.

Rothbauer told News 3’s investigative reporter Adam Schrager she is facing bankruptcy after being taken to St. Mary’s Hospital rather than Meriter Hospital which is in the network of her insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield. Had she been taken to Meriter she’d have faced an out-of-pocket expense of fifteen hundred dollars. But as a result of something called balance billing, the bill at St. Mary’s, which her insurance company does not cover, is more than 50-thousand dollars.

This is, of course, complicated stuff – as always when you have hospitals and insurance companies and health care policies involved. Real costs are not disclosed, blame is passed back and forth, etc. But if insurance doesn’t cover an unconscious person being taken to the closest hospital, which turns out to be the wrong hospital, what’s the point of having insurance.

Balance billing demands a fix. We’ll say it again: there should be no ‘wrong’ hospital.