View Poll Results: Should the hospital treat you or wait until they know if you can pay

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  • The hospital should treat you

    31 86.11%
  • They should find out if you can pay before treating you

    2 5.56%
  • Rutabaga

    3 8.33%
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Thread: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

  1. #11
    Educator Amandi's Avatar
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    I am quite sure that I am conscious and that I stated only after the patient has recovered from emergency treatment is the issue of payment addressed. Are you implying that since the treatment was "mandatory" that no bill is due for it?
    I dont agree with treating it like theft. I believe the person should be treated. Then their ability to pay is determined. If they have the ability to pay, this also includes whatever insurace can and will pay, then a payment plan is set up. If the person misses a payment then it should be treated like any other bill or credit card payment that a person misses.

  2. #12
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by FreedomFromAll View Post
    So you went for a jog and brought no ID with you. You have a stroke or got hit by a car or both. A citizen calls 911 a ambulance shows up takes you to the nearest ER, you cannot tell them anything because you are unconscious. And you have no ID on you at all no one knows you. Unfortunately your injuries were severe and you were in a coma for months, and no one was able to contact anyone that knows you. You wake up and cant remember your name or anything important. No money cant pay the huge bills that you owe for months of care and that ride to the hospital.

    At least you wont have a clue how screwed it is to be in jail now.
    Oh my, the lengths that one goes through to invent a trickier than usual case. I guess that is easier than dealing with the issue of payment for 99.9% of the typical cases.
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

  3. #13
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    You decide you need a little fresh air, so you go outside for a little stroll. Because you don't expect to be out long, or do anything of note, you leave without your wallet or purse and have no identification on you.

    While you're walking, a car goes out of control, jumps the curb and mows you down. You're knocked unconscious and you have several life-threatening injuries. An ambulance quickly arrives, scoops you up and brings you to the hospital where they have no idea who you are or if you are able to pay for the care you need.

    Should the hospital treat you or should they wait until they can make certain you can your bill for the care they're going to give you?

    Just a refresher for some of the more important points:

    1) You're at the hospital
    2) You're unconscious
    3) The hospital has no idea who you are of it you can pay
    4) You're dying
    In short, yes.

    Law aside, there is a long standing tradition in this country and in the medical practice that you treat critical care needs without asking for payment up front. Save the life. Deal with the bill after they're stable and recovering.

    Now that said, it's still the responsibility of the person responsible for the injury to pay; insurance of the car that hit the guy, or the guy himself if it was a stroke or heart attack, etc.

  4. #14
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    No, I merely asked if you think the hospital should treat the person without first ascertaining if they can pay for the care.
    I answered that clearly and then made further comments.
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

  5. #15
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by Amandi View Post
    I dont agree with treating it like theft. I believe the person should be treated. Then their ability to pay is determined. If they have the ability to pay, this also includes whatever insurace can and will pay, then a payment plan is set up. If the person misses a payment then it should be treated like any other bill or credit card payment that a person misses.
    Just who determines if they have the ability to pay? I would treat it at least as seriously as an unpaid traffic fine or missed child support payment.
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

  6. #16
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    AFAIK even today, and for years preceeding, the hospital will always take a patient under these circumstances.

    We had a scandal about 20 years ago. A guy came in with a knife stuck in him and they hustled him off to the county hospital without treating him beyond some tape to hold the kknife in place. This caused a huge stir and now all hospitals provide emergency care but the cops will take you to county. County collects very little of their bills.

  7. #17
    Educator Amandi's Avatar
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    Just who determines if they have the ability to pay? I would treat it at least as seriously as an unpaid traffic fine or missed child support payment.
    I guess that would have to be some sort of formula decided when the laws are enacted. I can handle it being treated like a missed child support payment.

  8. #18
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    You decide you need a little fresh air, so you go outside for a little stroll. Because you don't expect to be out long, or do anything of note, you leave without your wallet or purse and have no identification on you.

    While you're walking, a car goes out of control, jumps the curb and mows you down. You're knocked unconscious and you have several life-threatening injuries. An ambulance quickly arrives, scoops you up and brings you to the hospital where they have no idea who you are or if you are able to pay for the care you need.

    Should the hospital treat you or should they wait until they can make certain you can your bill for the care they're going to give you?

    Just a refresher for some of the more important points:

    1) You're at the hospital
    2) You're unconscious
    3) The hospital has no idea who you are of it you can pay
    4) You're dying
    Stabilizing truly critical injuries is fine, and for the record it is a very small percentage of our overall health care costs. In fact, emergency care in general is in the single digits, maybe as low as 2-3%, of overall health care costs.

    So the idea that we need universal health care by pointing to critical injuries involving unconsciousness and emergency room treatment is a red herring.

    What ERs should never treat are mild complaints. No more "I came here because I have a headache" leading to CT scans of the head leading to the patient asking for more Vicodin or whatever. Or "I came here because I was feeling suicidal, can I be admitted to the psych unit again?" That is called Malingering.

  9. #19
    Educator Amandi's Avatar
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    Stabilizing truly critical injuries is fine, and for the record it is a very small percentage of our overall health care costs. In fact, emergency care in general is in the single digits, maybe as low as 2-3%, of overall health care costs.

    So the idea that we need universal health care by pointing to critical injuries involving unconsciousness and emergency room treatment is a red herring.

    What ERs should never treat are mild complaints. No more "I came here because I have a headache" leading to CT scans of the head leading to the patient asking for more Vicodin or whatever. Or "I came here because I was feeling suicidal, can I be admitted to the psych unit again?" That is called Malingering.
    So, how do they determin if the person is "faking" if they arent treated?

  10. #20
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by Amandi View Post
    So, how do they determin if the person is "faking" if they arent treated?
    You don't need to put "faking" in quotations when I'm referring specifically to the patients who literally do fake it.

    There are several ways to determine that people do not need emergency medical treatment. The first is triaging. They already triage, but they over admit, presumably because the law requires it. Emergency physicians shouldn't have to rule out serious issues with expensive diagnostic tests when there are subjective mild complaints and no real evidence of any medical emergency. They should just point to the exit. Emergency rooms should be for objective, observable emergencies. This thread asks about people unconscious from their injuries/illness, which is objective and observable.

    Another thing they shouldn't do is admit so many people who have drugs or alcohol on board who are presenting with probable effects of intoxication.

    Police departments also shouldn't be required to medically clear inebriates through the ER before taking them to the drunk tank. I'm assuming someone was sued because some people died in the drunk tank. Who cares? That is no reason to legally require police to put all drunks through the ER before dealing with them. Deal with them cheaply. Abuse drugs and alcohol at your own risk.

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