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CQC Shares Personal Stories of Floridians in #HealthCareFail Series

New Campaign Highlights Americans’ Frustrations with Health Care

Tallahassee, Florida – Consumers for Quality Care (CQC) is highlighting the roadblocks Floridians are encountering in the health care system – from emergency room denials and surprise medical bills to difficulties at hospitals and at the pharmacy counter.

Cristina – a mother from Florida – was left frustrated after taking her son to the emergency room for breathing problems. The trip ended in a miscoding of the visit as a simple cold, resulting in medical billing errors, multiple bills and extensive back-and-forth between the hospital, Cristina and her insurer. Ultimately, Cristina had to take time off work in order to conduct the follow-ups necessary to ensure that her son was able to get the medication and care her needed.

Another consumer – Lisa – also encountered a surprise medical bill after receiving an emergency surgery, receiving a bill for $140,000.

The #HealthCareFail campaign spotlights the real life issues being experienced within the system and calls on policy makers to address these challenges. As part of this effort, CQC encourages consumers to share their own stories on social media through the use of hashtags like #insurancefail, #hospitalfail, #rxfail, and #medicalbillingfail.

Floridian mother Nile took her six-month-old daughter to get her routine shots at the hospital, not realizing, until arriving for the appointment, that her insurer had cancelled her daughter’s coverage with no prior notice. Due to the cost of the fees that she would have had to pay out-of-pocket if she chose to get the shots without insurance, Nile had to leave the hospital without her daughter receiving the preventative medical care that she needed.

Another Floridian, Michelle, recounted having to fight with her insurer to get approval for a medication that her doctor prescribed. Her insurer told her that the prescription was too expensive, instead requesting that she take a cheaper version, which her doctor had informed her was less effective. Ultimately, Michelle had to take time to plead her case noting, “when I needed help with the cost, they did not want to assist me.”

“Our health care system has made strides in recent years, with more Americans insured than ever before. But more must still be done. Floridians, including Cristina, Lisa, Nile and Michelle are continuing to experience challenges when they try to access the care they need,” said CQC board member Jim Manley. “Americans across the country are facing similar difficulties – from surprise costs and billing complexity to a lack of transparency, and more. The goal of the #HealthCareFail campaign is to spotlight these consumer issues for policy makers to take note and help inform solutions, particularly as health care continues to dominate the 2020 election cycle.”

CQC mapped the consumer stories collected as part of the #HealthCareFail campaign, revealing that too many Americans, no matter their ZIP code, still struggle as a result of the unpredictable costs and lack of transparency within the health care system.

The experiences of consumers like Cristina, Lisa, Nile and Michelle further support the findings of a recent Ipsos/CQC survey which showed that a majority of Americans – regardless of their income level, age, gender, race or political identification – are worried about the cost of health care. The survey also found that Americans overwhelmingly want lawmakers to take real steps to alleviate these concerns instead of paying lip service to the issue.

CQC launched the #HealthCareFail campaign earlier this year to mark its second anniversary. For a list of #HealthCareFail stories shared with CQC and other consumer stories from around the country, visit https://consumers4qualitycare.org/healthcarefail/

From commissioning research into Americans’ issues in the health care system and highlighting the costs in need of fixing as part of the Cut Consumer Costs campaign to fighting harmful Medicaid work requirements and working to defeat anti-consumer emergency room policies, CQC works with a coalition of 16 partner organizations to ensure that consumers are at the front and center of the health care debate.

ABOUT

Consumers for Quality Care (CQC) is a coalition of advocates and former policy makers working to provide a voice for patients in the health care debate as they demand better care. CQC is led by a board of directors that includes the Honorable Donna Christensen, physician and former Member of Congress; Jim Manley, former senior advisor to Senators Edward Kennedy and Harry Reid; and Jason Resendez, community advocate and Executive Director of the LatinosAgainstAlzheimer's Coalition.

To learn more about Consumers for Quality Care and the issues consumers are experiencing, visit www.consumers4qualitycare.org.


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