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Consumers in All and across the country face too many challenges when it comes to accessing the care they need. Find All #HealthCareFail stories here.

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CT Woman Receives Surprise Bill From Hospital She Did Not Visit

Consumers For Quality Care, August 22, 2019
Ashley Stearns has a family history of multiple sclerosis (MS), so when she started suffering from leg weakness, muscle spasms, and vision issues her doctor suggested she get an MRI. Stearns’ doctor booked the imaging test at Evergreen Imaging in South Windsor, CT, WFSB reports. Initially, she had wanted to go to a less expensive […]
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Centene Under Fire For Medicaid Practices

Consumers For Quality Care, August 22, 2019
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has criticized insurance giant Centene, calling it callous, The Dallas Morning News reports. The comments come after Casey met with Centene CEO Michael Neidorff to discuss the insurer’s handling of its Medicaid business. The Dallas Morning News previously reported that Centene’s Texas subsidiary denied life-sustaining care to sick and disabled children […]
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MA City of 100,000 Grapples With Closure Of Only ER

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Katie Stanton has become well acquainted with her local emergency room in Quincy, MA. Stanton, who is epileptic and cannot drive, relies on the proximity of Quincy Medical Center’s ER from her house, just 2 miles away, The Patriot Ledger reports. “It’s a vital resource for me,” she said. “If I have a medical emergency, […]
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CT Scrutinizing Hospitals’ Activation Fees

Consumers For Quality Care, August 21, 2019
Consumers in Connecticut may be charged a “trauma activation fee” if they arrive by ambulance at one of the twelve hospitals in the state. These charges can amount to thousands of dollars. The fees, which are charged by hospitals, are currently unregulated and mostly hidden from the public, according to The Middletown Press. These fees […]
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VA Woman Reacts To Balance Bill

Consumers For Quality Care, August 21, 2019
Sallie Smith was in the midst of her summer routine, packing snacks and the swim bag for her kids, when an unexpected e-mail popped up in her inbox. The Virginia mom assumed that it was something from a doctor’s visit for one of her kids, NBC 12 reports. The last time Smith herself had been […]
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Community Rallies Behind OH Teen With Rare Disease

Consumers For Quality Care, August 14, 2019
Photo by Heidi de Marco/KHN In January 2018, 14 year-old Ella Golden was diagnosed with the rare autoimmune disorder PANDAS. The disease causes physical and behavioral symptoms and has caused Golden to suffer from severe anxiety, OCD and agoraphobia, according to WYTV. Golden’s symptoms have become so severe that she hasn’t left the house in […]
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CO Woman’s New Insurance Plan Comes With Narrow Network

Consumers For Quality Care, August 14, 2019
When Colorado resident Mary Bonser retired, she knew she needed an insurance policy to fill the gap between her employer-sponsored insurance and Medicare. So, she turned to the state’s ACA marketplace to select a plan, KOAA reports. Having worked in human resources, Bonser knew that she needed to be diligent about selecting the plan she […]
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Insurer Denies IL Woman’s MS Treatment

Consumers For Quality Care, August 14, 2019
For a while, Ivy Marcucci was able to rationalize her sporadic symptoms. Her vision blurred and doubled as she sat in a movie theater with her parents. Her father, Jared, an emergency room physician, noticed his daughter squinting and realized that her eyes were not moving in tandem, The Chicago Tribune reports. He took Ivy […]
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CA Boy Denied Lifesaving Heart Surgery

Consumers For Quality Care , August 14, 2019
Noah Connally was born with a rare heart condition, and by the time he turned one, he had already undergone three separate heart surgeries. Now at 3 years old, he needs another lifesaving heart surgery, KTLA reports. Niccole and Sean Connally scheduled their son’s surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital. They were set to fly to […]
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MI Mom Battles Insurer For Her Daughter’s Heart Surgery

Consumers For Quality Care, August 14, 2019
Jessica Fitzsimmons is desperate to get her 12-year-old daughter, Aiden, the heart surgery she needs. But she says that her insurer, Total Health Care, will not cover the surgery, WXYZ reports. Aiden was born with a heart defect. She had her first surgery when she was 2, but now she needs a second. Jessica says […]
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NY Hospital Sending Increased Number Of Unpaid Bills To Court

Consumers For Quality Care, August 8, 2019
Glens Falls Hospital in New York is the latest to receive scrutiny over its legal actions against patients. The hospital is suing dozens of former patients in civil court over unpaid medical bills, The Post Star reports. The report comes after similar practices by hospitals in Maryland, Tennessee, and Virginia have been called into question. […]
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CA Woman’s Ultrasounds Prices Highlights Lack Of Transparency In Health Costs

Consumers For Quality Care, August 8, 2019
When Mika Moore’s doctor thought she might have internal bleeding, she went to an Orange County medical center for a pair of ultrasounds, The Los Angeles Times reports. Mika and her wife, Jennifer, have insurance with Cigna and she went to an in-network facility. A few weeks after the tests, the couple received a bill […]
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GA Woman’s Cancer Care Caught Between Doctor’s Plans, Insurer Approvals

Consumers For Quality Care, August 8, 2019
Photo by Heidi de Marco/KHN When Georgia resident Kim Lauerman, 57, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, her physicians started her on chemotherapy and wanted her to begin taking Neuogen. The drug prevents infections and fever during chemotherapy. Lauerman’s insurance, Anthem Blue Cross, denied the medication, Associated Press reports. Physicians say insurance denials for consumers like […]
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PBM Denies CA Woman’s Cancer Treatment

Consumers For Quality Care, August 8, 2019
When Norma Smith found out that she had stage-three multiple myeloma, which had spread extensively and attacked her bone marrow, she wanted to start treatments immediately. Smith and her husband, Rodney, are both retired. The couple considered their $500 a month Anthem policy to be “very expensive” but “the best” coverage, according to the The […]
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Consumers Feel Relief From NH Medicaid Work Requirement Decision

Consumers For Quality Care , August 7, 2019
Sixty-three year old Diane Roberts has worked for decades hauling trash in Merrimack County, New Hampshire. She would wake up before the sun, driving her 1988 Chevy dump truck across the county. One day in 2015, Roberts fell out of the truck in a work accident, hitting her head on the cement below, Concord Monitor […]
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MD Hospital Criticized For Debt Collection Practices

Consumers For Quality Care, August 6, 2019
John Hopkins Hospital has found itself under fire over its treatment of low-income patients after accusations that the hospital targets them for lawsuits to recoup unpaid medical debt, WAMU reports. The controversy comes shortly after similar reports about Methodist University Hospital in Memphis and Virginia’s Mary Washington Hospital. [M]edical workers and labor organizations rallied outside […]
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Fed Up With Medical Denials, MN Employer Switches Insurance Coverage

Consumers For Quality Care , August 6, 2019
Real estate developer Kelly Doran, along with his company’s 250 employees, were covered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, when the insurer denied a routine scan his doctor had ordered. Doran, a lung cancer survivor, soon learned that he was not the only person at his company to have issues with the insurer, […]
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Carrie From Georgia Discusses Receiving Surprise Bill After A Mammogram

Consumers For Quality Care, August 5, 2019
Carrie from Georgia had a mammogram done every year and it was covered by her insurance. She recently needed to get a diagnostic mammogram as a follow up to the annual exam, and was left frustrated after she received a $400 surprise bill.
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Cristina From Florida Discusses Dealing With Medical Billing Errors

Consumers For Quality Care, August 5, 2019
Cristina from Florida was left frustrated after her son’s visit to the emergency room for breathing problems ended with a medical billing error, multiple bills, and a back and forth between the hospital administrator and her insurer to have the visit covered Cristina from Florida described the long process of getting the medical billing error […]
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Elizabeth From Washington Discusses Her Struggle To Find An In-Network Doctor

Consumers For Quality Care, August 5, 2019
Elizabeth from Washington described her struggle to find a doctor in her insurance network to get treatment for an eating disorder. She talked about her disappointment when she thought she found a provider and went in for an appointment only to have it turn out they also did not accept her insurance.
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Ashley From California Describes Her Family’s Struggles To Pay Mounting Medical Bills

Consumers For Quality Care, August 5, 2019
Ashley from California described her family’s financial struggles with managing mounting medical bills as her mother’s health has deteriorated. With her mother’s many hospital stays and difficulty getting insurance to cover procedures, including amputations and kidney failure, Ashley says “it just feels like insurance doesn’t care about you.”
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Ashishkumar From Illinois Describes Insurance Denying MRIs

Consumers For Quality Care, August 5, 2019
Following a serious car accident, Ashishkumar from Illinois underwent multiple surgeries and needed regular MRIs to track his recovery. In the years since his accident, he has needed to go through multiple rounds of appeals with his insurer to get these tests covered.
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Arden From South Carolina Describes Receiving A Surprise Bill

Consumers For Quality Care, August 5, 2019
Arden from South Carolina described her confusion after she received a surprise bill following a hospital visit. She spent time looking for other hospitals in the area that may be more affordable, but worries she may receive another surprise bill in the future.
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Amber From Texas Discusses When Her Insurance Stopped Covering Her Medication

Consumers For Quality Care, August 5, 2019
Amber in Texas talked about her frustrating experience when her insurer stopped covering her Lupus medication. As she worked alongside her doctor to appeal her insurer’s decision, her disease flared up and she still feels the effects a year later.
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Tara From Texas Discusses Her Surprise Bill

Consumers For Quality Care, August 5, 2019
Tara in Texas confirmed that the facility and provider were in-network with her insurance when she went in to have a post-miscarriage procedure. She shared her frustrating story of then receiving a $3,000 surprise bill because the anesthesiologist was out-of-network and how dealing with this unexpected financial hardship made the healing process that much harder […]
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Matina From New Hampshire Discusses Her Experience Navigating Insurance Pre-Approval

Consumers For Quality Care, August 5, 2019
Matina in New Hampshire talked about her frustrating experience navigating insurance pre-approval for a new medication her son needed to treat his severe eczema.
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Erika From Michigan Discusses Having Medical Bills Coded Incorrectly

Consumers For Quality Care, August 5, 2019
Erika in Michigan described her frustrating experience after her gallbladder surgery was coded incorrectly. It took her months of going back and forth between the insurer and hospital, including collections agency involvement, to get it resolved. Erika also expresses her frustration with the lack of clarity when it comes to the prices of services and […]
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CO Family Fights For Coverage Of Daughter’s Fatal Disease

Consumers For Quality Care, August 5, 2019
Nineteen-month-old Maisie Green has Type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a progressive terminal disease that attacks the body’s muscles. Ciji Green, Maisie’s mother, says that 95 percent of babies with the disease die from breathing complications before their second birthday, KJCT 8 reports. Maisie is currently being treated with Spinraza, a medication that slows the progression […]
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FL Woman Fights $343K Hospital Bill

Consumers For Quality Care, August 5, 2019
Jennifer Talavea from Florida received a shocking bill after her twins spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit. Her insurance company said she would be required to pay $343,000 out-of-pocket, according to NBC 6. Talavera says that she was baffled how she would be able to both pay the bill and continue to prepare […]
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Poll Finds That Middle-class Consumers Feeling The Squeeze Of Health Costs

Consumers For Quality Care, August 5, 2019
As high deductible insurance plans have become increasingly common and Americans grapple with surprise medical bills and insurance denials, middle-class consumers are feeling the squeeze. According to a new analysis from The Los Angeles Times, financial pressure has increased consumers’ anger and resentment towards their health care. Brenda Bartlett has about $2,500 in medical debt […]
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TN Family Fights Insurance To Transfer Son To Children’s Hospital

Consumers For Quality Care, August 5, 2019
Ellie and Josh Ingle’s son, Crew, was born with Down syndrome and a respiratory condition that has left him connected to breathing tubes and under 24-hour care. Crew hasn’t been able to leave the hospital since he was born roughly 5 months ago. While his parents want to be able to bring Crew home, they […]
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Walk-in Clinic Refuses To See OH Girl Over Outstanding Balance

Consumers For Quality Care, August 5, 2019
When Jessica Vance’s 8-year-old daughter fell sick with a cough and fever, she knew that a trip to the emergency room would result in a costly bill. Instead, the Deer Park, Ohio mother opted to take her daughter to The Little Clinic walk-in clinic inside a local Kroger grocery store, FOX 6 reports. When they […]
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NH Woman Sues Insurer Over Denial

Consumers For Quality Care, August 5, 2019
In 2017, Lancaster resident Carolyn Daigle was helping an elderly relative get out of the shower when she fell. After the accident, Daigle went to see her primary care physician, thinking that she had hyperextended her back, according to the Union Leader. At her doctor’s direction, Daigle took over the counter pain medication and started […]
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Dialysis Treatment Results In $540K Bill For MT Couple

Consumers For Quality Care, August 5, 2019
When Sovereign Valentine finally made it to the hospital in Plains, Montana, he had been feeling run down for months. Valentine, who works as a personal trainer, had tried to change his workout and diet but continued to feel worse. On the day he went to the hospital, he couldn’t stop throwing up, NPR reports. […]
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MA Families Struggle To Pay For Cost Of Treatment

Consumers For Quality Care, July 31, 2019
Photo by Heidi de Marco/KHN Tiffany Uttam’s son was nine years old when he suddenly fell ill. He was anxious and paranoid, unable to sleep without one of his parents, and too sick to go school. He developed verbal and physical tics. Uttam took her son to the emergency room, afraid that he was having […]
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MN and CA Consumers See Medical Debt Erased

Consumers For Quality Care, July 31, 2019
American consumers increasingly face significant amounts of medical debt. A recent report from West Health and Gallup found that American consumers borrowed $88 billion to pay towards the $3.7 trillion in national health care spending in 2017. As more and more consumers struggle with surprise bills and insurance denials, the significant, long-term financial hardships that […]
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Survey Finds VA Consumers Worry About Health Costs Despite Medicaid Expansion

Consumers For Quality Care, July 24, 2019
According to the Virginia Consumer Healthcare Experience State Survey conducted by Altarum, Virginia residents remain concerned with the cost of health care despite Medicaid expansion in the commonwealth. The survey found that more than half of Virginians had been burdened by the price of health care in the past year, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. Of […]
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Bills, Collections Calls Unwelcome Reminder For IL Sexual Assault Survivor

Consumers For Quality Care, July 24, 2019
Erin was a recent graduate working three jobs and adjusting to her new life. One night, six years ago, she went out for a drink in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, NPR reports. Erin talked with a man at the bar that night and woke up the next morning at home, her body aching and covered in […]
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WA Couple Faces Surprise Bill After Husband’s Back Surgery

Consumers For Quality Care, July 17, 2019
Monte and Kristy Jones thought they were being diligent when Monte needed back surgery for a bulging disk. Before scheduling the surgery, they talked to their insurance company to get prior approval and confirm they would not have any expenses beyond their co-pay, KREM 2 reports. “They said, ‘You’re approved, go ahead and schedule it,’ and that’s what […]
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NE Teen Fights Rare Cancer, Insurance Denial

Consumers For Quality Care, July 17, 2019
Braydon Yardley was at the end of his football season during his senior year of high school when he complained of stomach pains. Braydon had loved sports since he could walk and his mother, Renee Yardley, didn’t want him to miss his last game. After the season ended, Renee took Braydon to the doctor to […]
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OH Family Receives $900 Surprise Bill

Consumers For Quality Care, July 12, 2019
Jodi Creasap Gee and her family were getting settled after their move to the Cleveland area when her daughter came into the kitchen screaming with a cut on her foot, WOSU reports. “There was just a trail of blood behind her. Her foot’s all bloody and I’m going, ‘oh no.’ I don’t even know where […]
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Painful Shoulder Leads To $256 Surprise Bill For PA Woman

Consumers For Quality Care, July 12, 2019
When 80-year-old “bowling queen” Kathleen DeRosa went to her doctor’s office, she was in the middle of her season with the Guys & Dolls League and her throwing shoulder was hurting her. She had seen her physician previously for a bowling injury and received a cortisone shot that cost a $10-copay, The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. […]
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Rural Consumers in Kansas and Across US Face Less Access To Care After Hospital Closures

Consumers For Quality Care, July 12, 2019
As rural hospitals across the country close, patients have had to find an alternative plan for their treatments, Kaiser Health News reports. Karen Endicott-Coyan, a 65 year-old woman with multiple myeloma, has to drive an hour from her home in Kansas to seek treatment. In 2018, Mercy Hospital Fort Scott faced possible closure and the […]
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TN Hospital Scrutinized For Lawsuits, Wage Garnishing

Consumers For Quality Care, July 8, 2019
When Carrie Barrett arrived at the emergency room at Memphis’ Methodist University Hospital in 2007, she had a shortness of breath, tightness in her chest, swelling in her leg, and her toes were turning black. Barrett had a family history of high blood pressure and had been recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Doctors performed […]
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VA Hospital Under Scrutiny For Suing, Garnishing Wages Of Consumers

Consumers For Quality Care, July 8, 2019
Daisha Smith, a 24-year-old night shift worker at a home for the elderly, was sued by Mary Washington hospital, where she was hospitalized for two weeks in 2017 while uninsured, NPR reports. Smith says she was not even aware she had an unpaid medical bill until the hospital began garnishing her wages. Smith was not […]
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PA Newspaper Helps Consumers Navigate Prior Authorization Process

Consumers For Quality Care, July 8, 2019
Consumers often need to receive prior  authorization before receiving medical care. The process, however, can be confusing and cumbersome. While the practice has been criticized, including by the American Medical Association, it is still required for many consumers. In a new article, The Philadelphia Inquirer helps consumers navigate the prior authorization process in order for […]
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Arkansas Medicaid Work Requirements Hurt Consumers

Consumers For Quality Care, July 8, 2019
Photo by Heidi de Marco/KHN As more states have adopted Medicaid work requirements, CQC and other consumer advocates have warned about the potential harmful consequences for some of the nation’s most vulnerable populations. A new study highlights the program’s shortcomings in Arkansas, which was the first state in the nation to implement such requirements, Kaiser […]
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Program Aims To Provide Help, Health Education To WY Residents

Consumers For Quality Care, July 8, 2019
Photo by Heidi de Marco/KHN Gary and Celeste Havener spend much of their time growing vegetables and horseback riding on their land in southeast Wyoming, 40 miles outside of Laramie. When Celeste recently fell off her horse, she lay on the ground trying to assess how hurt she was. At the same time, she was […]
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CA Warns Insurers About Discriminatory HIV Prevention Denials

Consumers For Quality Care, July 8, 2019
California’s Department of Insurance recently issued a warning to insurance companies that have denied policies to consumers taking HIV-preventative medication, The Los Angeles Times reports. The warning comes after an investigation, which started in early 2018. The investigation found that a number of insurance companies had “denied, limited or charged higher rates for life, disability […]
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NJ Twins Need New Hearts And Lots Of Generosity

Consumers For Quality Care, July 2, 2019
24-year-old twins Edwin and Edward Roman each need a new heart and a lot of generosity. The Romans have already had surgeries costing more than $2 million. The twins have cardiomyopathy, a condition that causes the muscles in the heart to enlarge and harden, which restricts its ability to pump blood through the body. The […]
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Small Error Leads To Surprise Bill For TX Woman

Consumers For Quality Care, July 2, 2019
Earlier this year, severe stomach pain sent Dawn Roberts to the hospital. Roberts says she was careful to make sure she went to an in-network facility, so she chose Baptist Hospital. The hospital kept Roberts overnight and gave her a CT scan, according to News 4 San Antonio. Roberts said she thought she would be […]
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CA Man Wrestles With Billing “Misinformation” Given At Hospital

Consumers For Quality Care, July 2, 2019
When Joe Garber went to a Los Angeles area emergency room, he didn’t know how much it would cost but he knew it had the potential to be very expensive. Not wanting to take too many chances, Garber asked the ER staff what his tests would cost, he recounts in HuffPost. He couldn’t get any […]
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Horrific Accident, Son’s Injuries Spark TX Dad’s Efforts To Help Other Consumer In Need

Consumers For Quality Care, July 2, 2019
Tim Allen was driving his 7-year-old son Will home after his little league practice when another car collided head-on with their truck. Tim pulled himself out of the vehicle and collapsed. When he saw Will still trapped in the truck, he thought he had lost his son, HuffPost reports as part of its “Life and […]
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PA Consumers Face Unexpected Medical Bills

Consumers For Quality Care, July 2, 2019
Emily Christian-Michaels was 20 weeks pregnant when she went to UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh for a routine scan. Unbeknownst to Christian-Michaels, the hospital instead performed an extensive scan. It was not covered by her insurance and resulted in an unexpected $1,900 bill, according to Trib Live. Christian-Michaels appealed the bill twice and was denied […]
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Nile From Florida Discusses Cancellation of Her Daughter’s Insurance

Consumers For Quality Care, June 27, 2019
Nile took her six-month-old daughter to get her routine shots at the hospital. When she got there, she was surprised to learn her insurer had canceled her daughter’s insurance without any prior notice. Watch the video below to hear her story.
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Michelle From Florida Discusses Her Attempt to Get Insurance Pre-Authorization for Prescribed Medication

Consumers For Quality Care, June 27, 2019
Michelle is a Floridian who had to fight with her insurer to get approval for a medication that her doctor prescribed. She tells her story in this video.
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Lisa From Florida Discusses Her Surprise Bill

Consumers For Quality Care, June 27, 2019
Lisa from Florida received a confusing, surprise bill from the hospital after receiving emergency surgery. Hear her story, told in her own words.
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Back Surgery Leads To $94K Bill For TX Woman

Consumers For Quality Care, June 26, 2019
For as long as 26-year-old Liv Cannon can remember, she has dealt with pain. Chronic pain in her back and legs have limited what she can do and imposed what she came to accept as her new normal, Kaiser Health News reports. No doctor had even been able to explain the cause of her pain. […]
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CO Woman Fights $11K Bill

Consumers For Quality Care, June 26, 2019
The morning she was due to fly home after a Las Vegas work convention, Colorado resident Cristina Ford began to experience contractions, The Denver Channel reports. “When I called the doctor, what was alarming was that the contractions were very consistent, they were not Braxton Hicks,” she said. “She said, ‘Absolutely do not get on […]
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One in Six Women Mistreated During Child Birth

Consumers For Quality Care, June 26, 2019
Tanefer Camara had every intention of giving birth in the hospital. When she went into labor at 38 weeks, she called her midwife, who told Camara to wait a while longer at home even though Camara thought it was time to go to the hospital, Vox reports. Camara’s labor progressed quickly. Sprawled out on her […]
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Utah Family Fights for Son’s Care After Insurance Denial

Consumers For Quality Care, June 26, 2019
Last August, the police showed up at Leah’s home in Utah. Her son had texted his friends that he was going to take his own life, so they had used the Safe Utah app to notify the police, KUTV reports. Leah took her son to his longtime doctor. The doctor told Leah that he should […]
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OH & KS Consumers Sue Insurance Company Over Flimsy Plans

Consumers For Quality Care, June 26, 2019
After her divorce in 2016, Ohioan Elizabeth Belin shopped around for an ACA plan. Belin says she spoke to a broker who told her he would find a plan that fit her budget. Belin was not told, however, that the plan she purchased was actually a plan with limited coverage, The New York Times reports. […]
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Debt Collector Targets PA Woman For Already Paid Bills

Consumers For Quality Care, June 19, 2019
In 2017, Judy Politzer went to Crozer-Keystone Health System to have a colonoscopy. When she received her bill from the hospital it included a charge for anesthesia, which Politzer had not received. She spent months trying to resolve the billing issue to no avail. During that period, the bill was sent to collections. Finally, she […]
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Family Of CO Boy Finds Success Crowdsourcing To Pay For Medical Care, But More Is Needed

Consumers For Quality Care, June 19, 2019
Maxwell Freed, a 2-year-old, has a genetic disorder so rare that it is only known by the name of the gene it affects, SLC6A1. Maxwell, who lives in Denver, is among 50 people known to have the disease globally, HuffPost reports. SLC6A1 could leave Maxwell “with permanent, severe intellectual and developmental disabilities, and a form […]
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Insurer Denies Coverage For PA Woman’s Insulin

Consumers For Quality Care, June 19, 2019
As a Type 1 diabetic, Sharon Pennock needs insulin to live. Recently, her physician decided that her insulin prescription needed to be adjusted; she needed one more vial per month than her previous prescription allotted, KYW reports. When Pennock went to pick up the medicine at a Philadelphia-area pharmacy, she was shocked by what happened […]
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State, Federal Governments Loosen Short-Term Health Policy Regulations, Put Oklahoma Consumers At Risk

Consumers For Quality Care, June 19, 2019
As consumers look for affordable health care, short-term limited-duration insurance plans can often seem attractive. However, these policies often leave individuals vulnerable, with coverage gaps and the potential for expensive surprise bills. Actions taken by both the federal government and the Oklahoma legislature may leave consumers in the state even more susceptible to the negative […]
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GA Consumers Face Anxiety Over Cost of Cancer Treatments

Consumers For Quality Care, June 19, 2019
Lack of transparency, high deductibles, coverage denials and confusing provider-networks often leave consumers seeking to obtain the care they need with financial burdens. As Consumers for Quality Care has highlighted, even those with the most detailed understanding of how the country’s health care system works can face unforeseen costs. Thomas Lyles says there was a […]
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CO Paper Highlights Consumers’ Struggle To Obtain Mental Health Care

Consumers For Quality Care, June 19, 2019
As part of a yearlong investigative series, The Colorado Springs Gazette is highlighting consumers’ struggle to grapple with gaps in Colorado’s mental health care system. The series, “Mental Health: A Crisis in Colorado,” examines issues impacting Coloradans’ ability to get the mental health care they need, The Gazette reports. Despite 300 annual days of sun, […]
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TX Woman Faces Surprise Bill

Consumers For Quality Care, June 12, 2019
When Yvonne Nassar’s primary care physician told her to go to the emergency room due to chest pains, she listened. Nassar knew that she needed to be careful about going to a facility that was in her insurer’s network, News 4 San Antonio reports. Earlier this year, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas’ network became […]
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Expecting Couple Fights Surprise Coverage Cancelation

Consumers For Quality Care, June 12, 2019
Caitlin and Corey Gaffer were shocked when they opened their mail, last October, to a notice saying the insurance they had been covered by for two years had been canceled, Kaiser Health News reports. The couple was in the middle of their first pregnancy. The couple thought they had paid their premium, as they did […]
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Freestanding ERs Have Unforeseen Issues For Consumers

Consumers For Quality Care, June 10, 2019
Texas’ WFAA is urging consumers to better understand the difference between freestanding emergency rooms and urgent care centers. Texas has more than 200 freestanding emergency rooms, which often seem like an attractive care facility, offering short wait times and spacious facilities in convenient locations. However, seeking care at a freestanding ER can have costly, unforeseen […]
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First, A Brutal Attack. 7 Years Later, A Surprise Medical Bill

Consumers For Quality Care, June 10, 2019
Dec 18, 2011 started like any other day for Yue “Alex” Kui Cen. He and his wife, Phuong Ly Cen, owned and operated a convenient store in Miami. Both are immigrants who “worked around the clock to build a humble existence” for their family, the Miami Herald reports. Everything changed on a December day when […]
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Proposed Rule Could Change Medical Debt Collections

Consumers For Quality Care, June 10, 2019
Consumers for Quality Care has highlighted the stories of consumers who have faced the most severe consequences of surprise bills and medical debt, like home liens. Now, NPR reports that federal regulators are proposing a rule change that would impact how debt collectors can contact consumers about these debts. These changes could impact how consumers […]
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Florida Health Care Reporter Shares Her Experience With Cancer Treatment

Consumers For Quality Care, June 10, 2019
It is no secret that the health care system can often feel daunting for consumers. Research conducted by Consumers for Quality Care found that 91 percent of respondents wanted to better understand the costs of their health care; 87 percent said it is difficult to get itemized bills from hospitals; and 75 percent said medical […]
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North Carolina Children’s Hospital Grapples With Bad Outcomes For Cardiac Surgery Patients

Consumers For Quality Care, June 10, 2019
In a recent article, The New York Times reported on physicians at North Carolina Children’s Hospital who grappled with declining outcomes for their cardiology patients. In 2016, after a number of children were faring worse than the physicians had expected them to, the doctors fought to find what was happening and questioned what care they […]
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MS Doctor Denied Cancer Treatment

Consumers For Quality Care, June 10, 2019
Bryan and Lauren Hierlmeier did not expect to stay forever in Mississippi when they moved to the state for Bryan’s residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). The couple fell in love with the state and Bryan ultimately decided to accept a job as a cardiac anesthesiologist at the hospital, according to the […]
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AZ Mom Fights Surprise Bill

Consumers For Quality Care, June 10, 2019
Sarah Wilson feels blessed to have her new son, Ethan, in her life, and says that they both are happy. Except for one thing – Wilson has to fight a surprise bill that resulted from his birth, ABC 15 reports. Wilson’s physician told her that she needed a caesarian section. Before having the surgery, she […]
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Laughing Gas For Delivery Results In Nearly $5K Bill

Consumers For Quality Care, June 10, 2019
When Karli-Rae Kerrschneider was preparing for her own delivery, she wanted to have as comfortable of an experience as the patients she helps as a midwife. Kerrschneider had an epidural for the birth of her daughter in 2016, but she didn’t like that it confined her to the bed for labor, NPR reports. So, last […]
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$2 Mistake Leads To $1,300 Surprise Bill for Texas Family

Consumers For Quality Care, June 10, 2019
Isaac Chukkula was days away from his first birthday when he became ill. When he started to develop breathing problems, his parents Paulette and Kishore decided to take him to the emergency room, CBS reports. Isaac spent two days in the hospital being treated for bronchiolitis. A year later, Isaac’s hospitalization felt like a distant […]
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Insurer Denies 5-Year-Old’s Brain Surgery

Consumers For Quality Care, June 10, 2019
5-year-old Berkeley Daniels is not able to run and play the way other children do. Berkeley has a rare genetic disorder, Dystonia 28. The disease has fewer than 100 reported cases worldwide, Fox 12 reports. It makes Berkeley’s muscles contract involuntarily and affects her ability to speak, eat, and walk independently.  Dystonia 28 is degenerative […]
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TX Man’s $7K Surprise Bill Reduced

Consumers For Quality Care, June 3, 2019
In a recent installment of News 4 San Antonio’s “Show Me Your Bill” program, reporter Jaie Avila helped San Antonio resident Bill Vick reduce his surprise emergency room bill by $7,000. Vick pays $300 a month for his insurance, which he got through the ACA marketplace. Vick admits he knew his insurance was limited. Vick […]
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TX Woman Describes Fight With Insurer, State

Consumers For Quality Care, June 3, 2019
34-year-old Brittany Parsons woke up the morning of February 24, 2018 with a rash and unfamiliar leg pain. The pain increased throughout the day and by the time she put her kids to bed, she could barely walk. Her temperature spiked to nearly 104. Parsons’ doctor told her to get to emergency room immediately and […]
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Consumers Should Stand Up To Denied Medical Claims

Consumers For Quality Care, May 28, 2019
Photo by Heidi de Marco/KHN Consumers for Quality Care regularly highlights individuals who have battled with their insurance companies over denied medical claims. It seems, now more than ever, consumers are struggling to get the care they need covered by their insurers. It is not unusual for consumers to believe that their care will be […]
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Insurer’s Confusing Website Leads To $3,600 Surprise Bill

Consumers For Quality Care, May 28, 2019
Amanda Bienek is a busy single-mother who runs a daycare out of her home. Still, she finds the time to look after her health. When she went to have her annual mammogram, it showed possible calcifications and Bienek scheduled a breast biopsy at her doctor’s recommendation, News 4 San Antonio reports. Bienek scheduled the procedure […]
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AZ Student Fights for Medical Records

Consumers For Quality Care, May 22, 2019
Caitlin Secrist went to a renowned specialist at John Hopkins after her rare form of pancreatitis failed to respond to numerous other treatments. She wanted to have her pancreas removed, in a radical treatment, according to AZ Central. The physician told Secrist to make sure he was performing the correct surgery, he needed to see […]
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Cancer Patient Describes “Scary” Medication Denial

Consumers For Quality Care, May 22, 2019
Charlotte Ortiz’s health declined quickly. In January, she was healthy enough to pass a fitness assessment for her job with the National Guard and ice skate with her daughter. But by mid-February she was hospitalized with severe backpain, Columbus Dispatch reports. At the hospital, her health deteriorated even further. First, she suffered paralysis from the […]
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Physician Describes Arizona Family’s Fear of Medical Cost

Consumers For Quality Care, May 22, 2019
An Arizona physician described his experience pushing back against a patient experiencing an emergency and his mother, who was afraid to receive medical care out of a fear of cost, to KJZZ. Mayo Clinic neurologist, Dr. Joseph Sirven, says he was working in a free clinic when a young patient started to have a seizure. […]
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Rural Hospitals Face Uncertainty, Closure

Consumers For Quality Care, May 22, 2019
When Fairfax Community Hospital’s remaining staff was summoned to CEO Tina Steele’s office, there was only about $12,000 left in the bank. Under normal circumstances, that $12,000 would keep the Oklahoma hospital running for a few hours. For months, the hospital had been running out of supplies. Paychecks hadn’t been issued in nearly 3 months. […]
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Report Highlights Insurance Denials In MN

Consumers For Quality Care, May 15, 2019
In a new investigation, Minnesota’s KSTP highlights a pattern of insurance companies denying coverage for consumers seeking care for mental illnesses. Consumers for Quality Care has previously highlighted how lack of mental health parity can hurt consumers. KSTP’s story comes during Mental Health Month and after a review of medical, state and court records found […]
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Boat Accident Results In Over $165K In Surprise Bills

Consumers For Quality Care, May 15, 2019
Bob Ensor was cleaning a sailboat when the boom swung violently and hit him in the face, Kaiser Health News reports. Ensor was taken by ambulance to Riverview Medical Center near his Middletown, N.J. home. At the hospital, X-rays revealed he had broken his nose and several bones in his left eye socket. Ensor was […]
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More Consumers Have Their Medical Debt Erased

Consumers For Quality Care, May 8, 2019
Shortly after Consumers for Quality Care highlighted a story about a Tennessee news station helping eliminate consumers’ medical debt, consumers in Kansas learned that their debt was also paid off. KWCH reports that $2.2 million of Kansans’ medical debt has been eliminated. Pathway Church in Wichita worked with RIP Medical Debt to pay off the […]
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Preventive Care Leads To Surprise Bill

Consumers For Quality Care, May 8, 2019
When Fan Fan Wainer went to her doctor for an annual check-up, she thought it would be fully covered by her insurance. Most health plans are required to provide preventive services free of charge under the Affordable Care Act. So when she received a bill for $98, she thought it was a mistake, WOOD TV […]
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TX Consumer’s Hospital Bill Reduced By $22K

Consumers For Quality Care, May 8, 2019
News 4 San Antonio’s Jaie Avila is launching a new initiative, “Show Me Your Bill.” With the program, Avila hopes to help consumers like Lavera Vincent fight back against surprise medical bills. Before Vincent went to the emergency room for chest pains, she called ahead to confirm that the provider took her insurance, Allied National. […]
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Same Insurance, Same Hospital, Different Bills

Consumers For Quality Care, May 1, 2019
Layla Parast and Erin Tylor felt lucky to have each other when they both were pregnant with their first children in 2014. Both women have doctorates and worked at Rand Corporation’s headquarters in Santa Monica, CA analyzing health care issues, NBC reports. Together, the women used their backgrounds in health care, and their friendship, to […]
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PA Cancer Survivors Caught In Fight Between Health Care Giants

Consumers For Quality Care, May 1, 2019
Consumers in Pennsylvania and beyond are bracing for potential impacts as two health care giants head towards a May court date, Kaiser Health News reports. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield are in the midst of a decade-long feud. Consumers fear it could result in a loss of […]
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Texas Teachers Face High Health Insurance Premiums, Hospital Bills

Consumers For Quality Care, May 1, 2019
When Liz and Jeremiah Peña had their first child in 2000, their health insurance cost $100 per month. Two years later, when they welcomed another child, the premiums doubled. Liz and Jeremiah both work as teachers near Fort Worth and weren’t thrilled about the price increase, but said they could afford it. This past year, […]
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Author Highlights Trends For PA Consumers

Consumers For Quality Care, April 30, 2019
In a recent article, reporter Sarah Gantz highlighted the major trends she’s seen in the year since she began examining Philadelphia consumers’ medical bills for The Inquirer’s Philly Health Costs project. I’ve talked to insurers, hospitals, economists and analysts about the problems you’ve experienced; and written about what I found out. Everyone seems to have […]
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MA Patients Respond To Surprise Bills

Consumers For Quality Care, April 24, 2019
Cheryle Reidel is no stranger to surprise bills. The first came after a 2012 cancer biopsy. The second, after an anesthesiologist and nurse billed her $2,600 for a procedure. The latest, totaling nearly $2,500, was the result of a colonoscopy. Reidel thought the procedure would be fully covered, but it turned out that the anesthesiologist […]
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Family Receives $3,700 Surprise Bill After Son’s Birth

Consumers For Quality Care, April 23, 2019
Laura and Adam Parkinson were happy about the birth of their son Nathan, last year. But just days after the birth the couple found themselves, like 57 percent of Americans, facing a surprise bill. CBS reports that the Parkinsons did their homework and selected an in-network hospital and obstetrician. They tried to avoid any surprise […]
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NY Woman With Cancer Appeals Insurance Denial

Consumers For Quality Care, April 23, 2019
When the pain in Diane Conine’s stomach was so unbearable that she was throwing up and her urine was filled with blood, her daughter drove her to the emergency room. She had already been to an urgent care center, where she was told she had a bladder infection, according to the Albany Herald. Conine spent […]
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