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A $20,243 bike crash: Zuckerberg hospital’s aggressive tactics leave patients with big bills

A $20,243 bike crash: Zuckerberg hospital’s aggressive tactics leave patients with big bills

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  • Again, the oddity here is in the defense. It seems transparently obvious that if your concern is serving the underserved, dazed people in ambulances certainly qualify. Don’t want to accept private insurance for the rest of your hospital? Potentially defensible. But the ER is a special zone and should be treated as such.

  • Incredible how we are letting a network of corporations, red tape and a systematic culture of powerlessness rule the healthcare of our citizens. It is indeed “terrifying” with no end in sight. Perhaps every ER should also include a “Loans and Pawn center”.

  • This is a disheartening story to say the least. Seems to me that the Zuckerberg foundation might want to look into this given that they asked for naming rights as part of their donation. Welcome to the world of branding.

  • I'm not a medical billing expert, but it's shocking that San Francisco's only tier-1 trauma center accepts no private insurance plans whatsoever.

  • From the bill to the hospital’s defense of the bill, this is absurd.

  • Okaaay. So the working man pays 20k at Zuckerberg’s hospital and those on Medicaid pay nothing? I love it. Really. Our system is so beyond f-ed at this point it’s a joke.

  • When everything you touch turns to...? It's unfortunate Zuckerberg's name is on the building, but I would argue SF General's billing practices were just as horrific before his donation.

  • This is fucking disgusting. The only Tier-1 trauma center in San Francisco.... doesn't take private insurance. Instead they charge people the same obscene prices out-of-pocket, preying on the sick and injured who are brought against their will to their ER.

    I really want to hammer home the sheer, callous

    This is fucking disgusting. The only Tier-1 trauma center in San Francisco.... doesn't take private insurance. Instead they charge people the same obscene prices out-of-pocket, preying on the sick and injured who are brought against their will to their ER.

    I really want to hammer home the sheer, callous evil in this policy. Let's say someone gets hit by a car, they're unconscious and are rushed by ambulance to the "busiest ER in the city." Then, they're told "you have to pay out of pocket at this hospital." The hospital that they were rushed to in an ambulance. While unconscious.

    "Two of the patients I interviewed were able to reverse their bills, both with significant time and effort. Three are still contesting the charges, arguing that they couldn’t have known that the hospital that an ambulance selected for them wasn’t covered by their health insurance.

    'It’s terrifying and it’s frustrating,' says Alexa Sulvetta, 31, who has so far spent more than $3,000 in legal fees contesting a $31,000 bill from her emergency room visit. 'It could make a huge impact on my credit at the point where we’re thinking about buying a new house.'...

    'I don’t think there is any way to avoid this,' she says. 'They took me to the closest hospital. I wouldn’t have been able to research the nearest in-network hospital. I couldn’t see.'...

    Premera spokesperson Steve Kipp told me over email that the insurer paid roughly twice what Medicare would pay for the same services. Zuckerberg was billing 12 times the Medicare price."

  • The sad state of our healthcare system is demoralizing.

    Having nurses and doctors for friends, I have been aware of how important it is to make sure you are treated by doctors/hospitals in-network. When my mother was taken by an ambulance with a broken femur and ankle to our local hospital’s emergency

    The sad state of our healthcare system is demoralizing.

    Having nurses and doctors for friends, I have been aware of how important it is to make sure you are treated by doctors/hospitals in-network. When my mother was taken by an ambulance with a broken femur and ankle to our local hospital’s emergency room, I remember that long pause in the emergency room corridor when I had to ask the attending physician if the orthopedic surgeon coming from another hospital to perform the surgery was in-network. I will never forget that bile-like taste in my mouth. It was awful that in that moment I had to ask such a question.

  • This is just one part of the examples in these cases but this insurance system might have some positive points.