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An Anesthesiology Practice’s Busy Day in Court Collecting on Surprise Bills

Owen Loney’s surprise bill resulted from an emergency appendectomy in 2019 at a Richmond, Virginia, hospital. Insurance covered most of the cost of the hospital stay, he said. He didn’t pay much attention to a bill he received from Commonwealth Anesthesia Associates and expected his insurance to cover it. A few months ago, he got […]

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Rural Communities Left Hurting Without a Hospital, Ambulance or Doctors Nearby

STATENVILLE, Ga. — Georgia’s Echols County, which borders Florida, could be called a health care desert. It has no hospital, no local ambulances. A medical provider comes to treat patients at a migrant farmworker clinic but, other than a small public health department with two full-time employees, that’s about the extent of the medical care […]

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As Hospitals Fill Up, Paramedics Spend More Time Moving Patients, Less on Emergencies

GUNNISON, Colo. — The night after Thanksgiving, a small ambulance service that covers a huge swath of southwestern Colorado got a call that a patient needed an emergency transfer from the hospital in Gunnison to a larger one with an intensive care unit 65 miles away in Montrose. The patient — a 78-year-old man — […]

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A Rural Georgia Community Reels After Its Hospital Closes

CUTHBERT, Ga. — Lacandie Gipson struggled to breathe. The 33-year-old woman with multiple health conditions was in respiratory distress and awaiting an ambulance. About 20 minutes after the emergency call, it arrived. The Cuthbert home where Gipson lived was less than a mile from Southwest Georgia Regional Medical Center, but the ambulance couldn’t take her […]

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The ER Charged Him $6,500 for Six Stitches. No Wonder His Critically Ill Wife Avoided the ER.

Jason and DeeAnn Dean recently relocated to her hometown of Dellrose, Tennessee, where she grew up on a farm. Both in their late 40s, they’re trying to start a green dream business that combines organic farming with a health and wellness consulting company. They want to inspire people to grow their own food in this […]

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ICUs Are Filled With Covid — And Regret

It’s a struggle for Joe Gammon to talk. Lying in his bed in the intensive care unit at Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, this month, he described himself as “naive.”  “If I would have known six months ago that this could be possible, this would have been a no-brainer,” said the 45-year-old father of […]

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From Uber Vouchers to Patient Advocates: What It Takes to Increase ER Addiction Treatment

For years, Kayla West watched the opioid epidemic tear through her eastern Tennessee community. As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, she treated people with mental illness but felt she needed to do more to address addiction. So in 2020, when the state created a position to help hospitals improve addiction care in the emergency room, West […]

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How a Hospital and a School District Teamed Up to Help Kids in Emotional Crisis

In 2019, the Rockville Centre school district in Long Island, New York, was shaken by a string of student deaths, including the suicides of a recent graduate and a current student. “When you get these losses, one after the other, you almost can’t get traction on normalcy,” said Noreen Leahy, an assistant superintendent at the […]

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Watch: Cyclist Hits Olympic-Size Medical Bills After Crash

[embedded content] “CBS This Morning,” in partnership with KHN and NPR, interviews Phil Gaimon, a cyclist who had hoped to be in Tokyo next week as a competitor in the track events on the USA Cycling national team. Instead, a crash on the velodrome track in Pennsylvania in 2019 ended his Olympic dream and left […]

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Hospital ‘Trauma Centers’ Charge Enormous Fees to Treat Minor Injuries and Send People Home

The care was ordinary. A hospital in Modesto, California, treated a 30-year-old man for shoulder and back pain after a car accident. He went home in less than three hours. The bill was extraordinary. Sutter Health Memorial Medical Center charged $44,914 including an $8,928 “trauma alert” fee, billed for summoning the hospital’s top surgical specialists […]