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April 2005

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Cameron

Wow, bashing legal immigrants. I thought fell out of favor after everyone realized that Pat Buchanan was a racist.

I can only conclude from your closing remarks about EMTALA that you oppose it and therefore support patient dumping.

christine

My personal experience with the EMTLA is that a hospital can do triage screening and then bill for the entire emergency room visit, icluding doctors fees. All this without any physical exam or treatment of any kind. This happend to me when I arrived with dry-socket which is a dental problem. The hospital in question informed me after triage that it does not treat dental problems. I am in a billing dispute over $138.00 for emergency services in the emergency room (cost of triage?) and doctors bills in the amount of $164.00. This occurred in Brevard County in Central Florida. So that now we see that the hospital followed the letter of the law but not the intent of the law. They do not provide dental services and did not tell me this until a physicians assistant took me to an exam room. No exam was performed. Worse yet when I filed a complaint with AHCA the staff involved (1 PA and 1 Dr.) lied and said that they did preform an exam. Pretty scary when the medical establishment starts lying over billing disputes. It makes me wonder what they would do with a malpractice suit. I also wonder how many other hospitals are taking advantage of the EMTLA and billing for treatment not received. Talk about fraud! And it is legal fraud! This loophole needs to be closed. I acknowledge that people try to take advantage of a system, it has always been so. But how about the system taking advantage of people? That's legal so it is justified. This is a white collar crime, make no mistake about it. A reasonable fee for triage would be in order. Full billing for services not received is a deceptive and fraudulent practice!

CBB MD

I don't defend hospitals. But they would not be in a position of pushing the envelope to try and collect every possible penny if they weren't writing off huge sums to cover all the uninsured.

It's a law that creates imbalance, and this leads to an even further skewing of the system.

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