Today at the IHC hospital in Cedar City in the ER they sent a student nurse from
SUU (wearing her tan student uniform) to collect the copay and ask for payment
for ER services. I watched as this student nurse made the rounds as bill
collector. The registrar at the front was adamant that she collect the money
from everyone and if they gave excuses to take none of it! It's scary to
think of Accretive teamed up with IHC and shame on Mike Leavitt for damage
control. IHC is getting far away from their non profit status. I have had
difficult interactions with IHC financial personnel. In Cedar a financial
worker snipped "Medicaid is our charity care" when I inquired about
charity care. I also asked if Accretive had anything to do with the collection
techniques I have witnessed in the ER and if they were aware of the patient
dumping laws. It will be interesting to watch the Accretive and IHC team play
out in ER's and IHC facilities. What is a student nurse doing as a bill
collector? Yank the tax exempt status from IHC until they drop Accretive!
This should prove to everyone that IHC shouldn't be allowed to continue
calling themselves "non-profit". They are a monopoly. They own the
hospitals and doctors, as well as the health plans that funnel all of the
patients to their providers. The answer to this problem is very simple. Revoke
IHC's status as non-profit and TAX them like everyone else. The fact that
they have been allowed to do this for years is appalling. Tax IHC.
Hiring a debt collector is added overhead and reduces profit. There must have
been a need. If the debts remain uncollected, the rest of us are changed to make
up the differences. Under current arrangements, "free medical care"
means sending the bills to our grandchildren.
I can't believe that IHC would hire MORE AGGRESSIVE collectors. While I
was sitting in the emergency room at their hospital in Murray with severe chest
pains with an EKG machine hooked up to me and a nurse administering nitro
glycerin to me, a collections person came in to speak to my wife and I about our
insurance arrangements and to collect payment for my co-pay. Luckily he had a
computer right there so he could enter my wife's credit card information
for the co-pay, otherwise I felt like they would kick me to the curb. It was so
out of place and so insensitive. It really made me feel like they didn't
care at all about me, just my insurance and credit card.