1. I am 68 years old. This is too big of a financial burden to place upon a senior citizen with few years left on planet Earth. 2. My income is very limited and very close or at the poverty level. 3. I want to expose the fraudulent billing practices of North Florida Regional Medical Center that caused these unnecessary, frivolous, and outrageous medical bills to be placed upon me. In March and May of 2017, I ended up in the emergency room of North Florida Regional Hospital because there was blood coming out of my urine and the pain in my back was excruciating. I also had blackened out. It is highly unusual for me to seek medical treatment. I am mostly healthy at the moment, and I avoid doctors, but I am definitely getting older. I am also a part of a national group of victims who had their inheritance money stolen due to court corruption in the state of Florida. $1 million of my inheritance money – my entire inheritance money – was stolen from me by a few probate judges and attorneys in the state of Florida. I will never be able to recover from this loss. I work part-time on the internet as an adjunct college professor and earn a very limited amount of money. This job is very tenuous. I am offered five week contracts. There is never a guarantee that another contract will be offered to me. Without this little job, my only other source of income is social security, a mere $790 a month.
In March and May of 2015, I ended up in the emergency room of North Florida Regional Medical Center. The initial test was an X-ray, which showed that I had two medium sized kidney stones – one in each kidney. This was causing a back up of urine into my body and was excruciatingly painful. The wait in the overcrowded emergency room lasted more than 24 hours. During this time, I witnessed staff members literally screaming at a derelict patient, telling him that he would not be seen, and that they would kick him out if he didn’t stop shouting out. These harsh messages, delivered to a mentally ill man, was given in front of all of us in the emergency waiting room. The lack of respect for him was noted in the faces of all of us who sat quietly in the overly air-conditioned room throughout the night with bright lights upon us, waiting and waiting and waiting. What happened next to me is so egregious that I ended up researching North Florida Regional Medical Center on the internet. I then discovered that this hospital has an extremely bad reputation and that I am not the only victim. This hospital is known for recommending unnecessary and unwarranted surgeries on people. This is fraud. Indeed, that is what happened to me. You might say that it was a “bait and switch.” For, I came in for kidney pain and ended up being seen by a gynecologist announced to me that I, most likely, have uterine cancer and that a complete hysterectomy would be necessary. In fact, I do not have uterine cancer and I do not need a hysterectomy.
How did this “bait and switch” occur?First of all, the staff at North Florida Regional Medical Center knew that I only have Medicare Part A. Despite being fully aware of the fact that I am a low income senior citizen, they decided to go above and beyond with tests ordered. Instead of just an X-ray, to show the location of the kidney stone, they decided to do a complete CAT scan and also an ultra sound. So, instead of just one simple test, an X-ray, which would have been sufficient, they did three tests. When doing the CAT scan, they discovered a fibroid, about the size of a golf ball, that sits in the middle of my uterus. I have known about this fibroid cyst since the 1980s. A gynecologist at that time told me he could remove it but that I could possibly bleed to death. My mother died at the age of 92 with one of these fibroid cysts in the middle of her uterus and it never bothered her as well and had no relationship to her death at age 92.
So, while I was in the emergency room bed, this female gynecologist from India comes into my room and announces that I, most likely, have uterine cancer and that she is going to have me hospitalized. I was then placed upstairs in a hospital bed. An IV was placed inside my left arm and was so painful. I have very small veins and it had not been inserted correctly. I asked many times to have it removed, that it was hurting me so much, but the nursing staff stated in cold and harsh tones that it must remain. The Indian gynecologist returned to hospital room and said that she could not perform a gynecological exam while I was in the hospital, that I would have to come to her office. I told her that I only have Medicaid Part A. She said that she would be able to bill under Medicaid Part A.
Shortly after she left, I disconnected the IV saline drip because I was in so much pain. The nurse on staff then hollered at me and said she was calling for my release. In the middle of the night, I was kicked out of the hospital and had to call a friend of mine to come get me. Next, I made an appointment to see the gynecologist so she could take the biopsy. As a victim of sexual abuse as a child, I am not generally relaxed or cooperative during a gynecological exam. The gynecologist screamed at me and repeatedly ordered me to open my legs. “I cannot take the biopsy if you don’t open your legs! Now open your legs! Open your legs!” she literally yelled at me. I sat up, crying, and said I did not wish for a biopsy to be taken. She said she would then schedule for me to have a D and C at the hospital and that she would perform the biopsy at that time. Back in her waiting room, I was mandated to pay for the full services, even though no services had been rendered. I handed them, crying, my social security debit card. About half of my monthly social security was removed from my debit card for this five minute wasted visit with this rude gynecologist.
As far as the treatment for the kidney stones? I ended up finding a urologist on my own. I walked in the hospital and found a lovely urologist, an older man from South America, who took pity upon me and allowed me to schedule an appointment with him directly, since the emergency room had not provided me with the name of any follow up urologist. Together, we worked on getting me healthy again and I paid him directly, using my credit card. For the other wasted services, trying to get me to have an unnecessary hysterectomy, the hospital put $8,000.00 on me via a debt collector. I then filled out paperwork to show that I meet the poverty guidelines and that this $8,000 bill should be removed from my credit report and is ruining my credit. Upon receiving the paperwork, which proved through my IRS tax records that I earned a mere $14,000.00 in 2016 and 2017 each year, they wrote back stating that I do not qualify for medical assistance – that $14,000.00 per year of income is too high! I then called the hospital and a snooty customer service representative told me that below poverty is making less than $30,000.00 a year. I replied, “Then how did you determine that I don’t qualify when I earn only $14,000.00 per year?” She said that she could give me no further information.
By the way, the denial letter changed the price of what I allegedly owe for “services” rendered on 5/1/2017 and 5/2/2017. The original bill, as posted by the bill collectors, that ruined my credit was for approximately $8,000.00 After I completed all of the paperwork to prove that I am indigent, and was erroneously denied, they denial letter claims now that I own North Florida Regional $27,069.00. This is for a one day’s stay in a hospital that never treated me for the kidney stones but instead tried to convince me that I have uterine cancer, which I do not have. It has been nearly two years later. I have no symptoms, and certainly show no signs of dying from the fibroid cyst that has occupied the middle of my womb for more than 30 years.
I have published twice on Quora Digest the story of what the outrageous gynecologist did to me. I am including here the true life account and all commentary I have received, to date. Please help me to get this terribly unfair bill off of my back, for services that had nothing to do with kidney stone, and that wanted to encourage an unnecessary hysterectomy on me by this unscrupulous and unethical hospital. What is the rudest thing a doctor has ever said to you? 2.5m answer views 298.1k this month Top Writer 2018 Updated Dec 22, 2017 Okay, my turn on this one. First of all, I must say that as a survivor of sexual abuse, I’m not so keen on gynecological examinations. Several years ago, a gynecologist told me there was a fibroid cyst, about the size of a golf ball, located in the center of my uterus. He told me I could have this removed or just leave it alone. He said there was a risk that I could bleed to death during a surgery. So, I have left it alone all of these years and it has never grown in size, and it never bothers me. I refer to it as “the dinosaur egg.”
About a year ago, I ended up in the emergency room with kidney stones, a very painful condition. During the CAT scan, the dinosaur egg showed up. Although I was not concerned, a female gynecologist showed up in my hospital room and insisted that I may have cancer. She insisted that a biopsy was needed and that I must come to her office to have this biopsy performed. Reluctantly, I scheduled the appointment. This busy gynecologist has several rooms with patients waiting. She scurries from room to room, examining in haste. When it was time to examine me, she quickly turned on a light and was ready to insert a large instrument into my body. I panicked. “OPEN YOUR LEGS!” she shouted repeatedly. “OPEN YOUR LEGS RIGHT NOW! I CANNOT TAKE THE BIOPSY IF YOU DON’T OPEN YOUR LEGS WIDELY!!!” She began prodding me while continuing to shout at me. Shouting at me did not motivate me to relax. In fact, it had the opposite effect. I sat up and brushed away tears. I got dressed and left. Her front-room receptionist reminded me that I would be responsible for a hefty bill, since I don’t have insurance — even though no examination was actually performed. I paid the hefty bill.
It’s been more than a year now. I feel fine. The dinosaur egg remains in place. 16.6k Views · View Upvoters Stefanie Wandrei, Emilia Oancea, Robin Michael Hurley, and 46 more upvoted this 173 Upvotes Vicki Barnes d**n! I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I think I would have spoken to someone about the hefty bill and the doctor’s behavior. Doctors are supposed to be more empathetic than that. Neldine Wright Sep 8 Exactly what I was thinking. You shouldn’t have paid, and could still file a complaint. Priscilla Ballou Oct 6 · 2 upvotes I think that goes beyond rude into the category of abusive. I am so sorry you experienced her inappropriate and inexcusable behavior. I hope someone drops a dime on her to whatever administration or board has some kind of authority over her.
Given how often women have been sexually abused as children (or experienced other kinds of intrusive abuse), a fairly high percentage of her patients probably experience anxiety about and aversion to gynecological exams. She is violating the promise she made as stated in the Hypocratic Oath: First do no harm. Flo Jones Jun 12 · 4 upvotes I am so sorry you were treated like that. You’d think they’d have some sense to know how unsettling and unable to relax it would make you. I love how you’ve named it your dinosaur egg. Let’s hope it doesn’t hatch Barbara Battibulli Mar 6 · 2 upvotes Please report her. That’s no way for a doctor to practice. She’s no doubt done the same or worse to others. She needs to be reviewed and possibly censured. Glad you’re ok. You may not have been if that idiot doctor had broken the cyst. Gizelle Mawby Dec 21, 2017 Ugh! Dianne DeJong Feb 8 That WAS rude!!! 2.5m answer views 298.1k this month Top Writer 2018 5,323 Followers I then published the same story a second time. Here’s the additional views, commentary, and upvotes. What is the cruelest thing a doctor has done to you? Answered Jul 26 6.7k Views · View Upvoters Harry Schroeder, Eija Saarelainen, Thomas Rush, and 38 more upvoted this 81 Upvotes Tom Weiss Jul 26 · 5 upvotes including and Thomas Rush You certainly did the right thing by leaving. It’s a shame that working conditions can stress a heath professional out to the point that she would treat you so severely. Natalie Scibetta Aug 11 · 1 upvote You would think that a person going into the field of gynecology, especially a woman, would be aware of the mild to extreme anxiety that most feel during a pelvic exam and would practice compensating for this by being extra calm and extra gentle, but I have unfortunately found the opposite to be true in my lifetime. Trinity Marie Sep 24 i am sorry about what happened to you. More outrageous behavior by NFRMC In trying to get this unfair and outrageous bill off of me, I was connected to Erin Baird, Patient Safety for NFRMC. Erin said that paperwork would arrive and that I could apply for indigency help. Instead, Erin did her best to get my correct address, verify it repeatedly, and then stick the bill collectors on me more. She took notes when I told her what happened with the gynecologist and seemed more interested in defending her hospital and preventing a lawsuit than rectifying the situation.
When checking Google, a plethora of negative reviews come up. Look on YELP, for example. Please check Google reviews, as well. NFRMC has one of the worst reputations in the nation, with other victims making similar and/or the same claims – unnecessary surgeries, overbilling, fraudulent billing for unnecessary services, rude treatment, etc. This hospital needs to be investigated. Call to Medicare On November 16, 2018, I contacted Medicare and told them about the $27,069.00 bill for a one day’s stay at NFRMC for a potential hysterectomy when I actually had kidney stones. NFRMC attempted to bill Medicare for the following amounts: Sorissa, the Medicare representative, told me that NFRMC attempted to bill for the following amounts: $60.75 to Lee Ann, a nurse practitioner $1,967.00 $350.00 $70.00 $19.00 $179.02 $47.00 for an ultra sound As you can see, these attempted bills to Medicare do not add up to the hefty price of $27,069.00. Instead, they add up to $2,692.77. This is even less than the $8,000.00 that was reported to ruin my credit. Sorissa is mailing me a copy of the attempted billing statements by NFRC Please assist me with these unfair, outrageous, and unethical medical bills, and please investigate North Florida Regional Medical Center, their doctors, and their unethical business practices and abusive behavior toward patients in their emergency waiting room.