It's Not a Charitible Hospital if They Demand an Insurance Card
Recently I read a Chicago Tribune article called Burden higher for nonprofit hospitals, Illinois Supreme Court says. I was appalled at how little charitable care nonprofit hospitals truly provide, yet they reap all the benefits of nonprofit status. In my world, simply not distributing profits to shareholders is not enough to call an organization a nonprofit.
Fast forward to our recent visit to an emergency room at our local, nonprofit hospital. The first thing the admissions clerk did was demand to see our insurance card. As my husband was sitting in a wheelchair, clearly in agony, she refused to let him be treated until I produced an insurance card.
The hospital's web site says, "Concern for our patients is at the very core of every decision we make and each action we take." What part of demanding an insurance card before seeing a doctor shows concern for patients?
The admission clerk finally allowed him to see a doctor after the nurse pleaded his case. I sat there while she finished the admissions process. The final straw for me was when she said, "It will take a minute to verify your insurance."
At this point I snapped. I said, "I thought this was a charitable hospital. Are you saying he doesn't get treated unless we have insurance?" She stopped for a minute and didn't say anything. I continued with, "He works for the insurance company. We are well-insured."
I relayed this story to several people who said, "Imagine what it is like to people who do not have any insurance." I do think about it quite often.
If the hospital is going to claim nonprofit status, then it must provide care whether or not a person can pay. Given the way we were treated at our local nonprofit hospital, I'm glad the Illinois Supreme Court is making the burden of proof for nonprofit hospitals higher. I'm pretty sure my husband would not have received immediate care and emergency surgery if I had not produced an insurance card.
An original Chicago Moms Blog post. Image courtesy of Stock.Xchang.
Shari is busy reminding her husband of his post-surgery limitations. When she's not saying, "No, you cannot do that," she's blogging at Two Times The Fun.