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View Diary: NYT: Debt Collectors In The E.R. And At Your Bedside During Recovery (168 comments)

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  •  Why do the hospitals allow (17+ / 0-)

    anyone besides a patient's family and the personnel tending to their medical needs, access to these patients? I thought Doctors took an oath to "First do no harm". Allowing debt collection vultures anywhere near a patient that's having a medical emergency and is at their most vulnerable seems not just harmful but absolutely criminal.

    Would they allow an abusive spouse to stay in a room if they knew they were verbally abusing the patient and totally stressing them out? I don't think so. Why are they letting total strangers do this?

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

    by Siri on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 02:50:30 PM PDT

    •  There was a time when a patient or family (7+ / 0-)

      member could keep out visitors of any kind and only allow doctors, nursing, housekeeping, and food service in the room.

      My father was so ill his last visit in the hospital when it was determined his cancer was terminal and he only had 2 months to live. We wanted to get him strong enough to come home and die in hospice in the house he loved.

      We were able to do that but my mother had to restrict all visitors but family members who had to call ahead as he was not getting any rest with friends, neighbors, church members and such dropping in constantly.

      My little 5 foot tall, 110 lb mother was one strong women, had worked in a nursing home and she could hold up a person by their arm and their feet never touch the ground. She had some grip on her and she would tossed out bill collectors bodily and said...

      Damn the consequences.
      I miss my parents, tough old birds.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 03:27:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  After my hysterectomy, my tiny mother helped (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Siri, cai, JayRaye

        me walk down the hall and get to the bathroom the next day. I had to ask her to ease up on my arm, she was gripping it too tight and my feet never touched the ground. She was about 65 at the time but strong!!!! LOL

        She would toss these bill collectors in no time flat

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 03:29:34 PM PDT

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      •  They sound awesome. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Siri

        For others' reference, I suggest getting a Caring Bridge or Care Pages account and giving friends and family access to it.  

        It's great for giving updates, including ones that indicate a patient is not up for visitors.  (And those who use the internet can spread the word to those who don't.)

    •  The hospitals contracted with Accretive (8+ / 0-)

      So I think a lot of the blame belongs to the hospitals.

      As a growing number of hospitals struggle under a glut of unpaid bills, they are turning to companies like Accretive. To win promised savings, all hospitals have to do is turn over the management of their front-line staffing -- ranging from patient registration to scheduling and billing -- and their back-office collection activities. Accretive says it has such arrangements with some of the country’s largest hospital systems to help reduce their costs.
      •  Indeed. Can't blame this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlueSue

        solely on Accretive, I have no sympathy for what those vultures have done and they need to pay for their mercenary tactics. I also have none for the hospitals admins that contracted with Accretive to begin with.

        What sort of hideous hospital management would allow this to go on? Surely they were not entirely unaware of the tactics being used.  Is it not up to the hospital administrators to monitor what their contracted employees do? It most certainly is the case in the facility I work for. They cannot be allowed to wash their hands of choosing Accretive.

        Let's throw some anger at the hospital administrators as well and penalize them for their choice to use Accretive.  I think we should, as much as possible, boycott facilities that choose profit over mercy.

        •  I wonder about effect on healing (0+ / 0-)

          I wonder if you're in a hospital room recovering from an illness or surgery and a bill collector comes in and starts asking for money, what the effect is on healing - does it prolong it, does it cause other health issues? Does it harm the doctor/patient relationship because the patient may be resentful or embarrassed?

          I don't trust that these bill collectors are all nice and calm and wouldn't use scare tactics like "we'll have to release you from the hospital if we don't get a payment."

          I think this is a really bad idea.

    •  Because hospitals (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ratzo, cai, Siri

      are the new profit centers, bottom line is that they get paid and there is no outstanding bills owed to the hospital.  The more people have big deductibles on their healthcare policies the bigger the stakes for the hospitals.  Most medical practices and hospitals have their own debt collectors that work for them.

      "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

      by zaka1 on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 04:12:42 PM PDT

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    •  There may be HIPPA violations as well (0+ / 0-)

      and that's a federal law.

      Tell this to the "collectors" when they intrude on your protected space. Tell them they are committing multiple HIPPA violations by being there and asking questions that violate your medical record privacy.

      "What have you done for me, lately?" ~ Lady Liberty

      by ozsea1 on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 06:36:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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