We the Patients

Patient Sent to Wrong Facility, Charged 20x More Than Expected – Brian Glancy, Ulster County

Brian Glancy needed medical testing. His doctor sent him to a facility Brian THOUGHT was just another in-network doctor’s office. He trusted his doctor knew best. He couldn’t help but feel the wool had been pulled over his eyes when he was hit with a surprise $2,000 medical bill. As Brian puts it, “The charges were twenty times what I’d expected and much more than I could afford.”

Brian fell prey to a situation many patients have experienced.

He went to a doctor’s office without knowing it was affiliated with a hospital. Brian was charged extra for utilizing outpatient services and the related facility fees. Patients like Brian who either don’t realize they are utilizing an outpatient clinic or don’t realize they can be charged more for the same service just by using the hospital’s facilities – are so often the unfortunate victims of expensive bills like these.

Unable to pay the bill, he began the lengthy process of appealing the hospital’s $2,000 charge.

In his appeal, he clearly stated the doctor’s office did not indicate that it was affiliated with a hospital and going to the facility was a recommendation from his doctor. His appeal was shockingly denied. Next he re-appealed the denial. In a last-ditch effort, with the help of a patient advocate he filed a complaint with the Attorney General. The Attorney General agreed with Brian’s argument and requested the facility reduce the bill. The facility said no. Brian was at a loss.

At this point Brian realized the insurance plan simply wasn’t going to pay the bill. Still unable to afford the bill, he called in the help of a patient advocate. Brian’s advocate suggested they apply for financial assistance from the hospital facility. Brian resisted, saying he probably earned too much money and wouldn’t get anywhere. The advocate encouraged Brian to try and helped him with the application and follow-up. Finally, after many months, Brian was awarded 100% financial assistance and the bill disappeared.