Letters to the Editor

Outrageous medical charges and no patient recourse

How does one protect oneself from unnecessary, duplicated, unwanted medical procedures -- when incarcerated in a local hospital?

My wife recently incurred a head wound and was transported by ambulance to an emergency room where the wound was closed and two EKGs were run; $2,538. She was moved to Blake Medical Center semi-private accommodations: $5,000 for room and board for two nights, plus $18,327 "miscellaneous expenses."

My wife's primary physician refused to release her from the hospital until she was examined by a heart specialist. The "heart specialist" required another physician to perform two EKGs and a third physician to read the EKGs!

My insurance paid most of these charges over my objections.

Miscellaneous expense was hidden behind federal law HIPAA, which prohibits disclosure of services rendered!

I have EOBs for all charges in general.

James F. Smith