Studies show that at least half of ground ambulance rides across the nation leave patients with “surprise” medical bills. And a $300-a-mile ride is not unusual. Yet federal legislation to stem what’s known as balance billing has largely ignored ambulance costs.
An uninsured Colorado man owed $80,232 after two surgeries — the second to correct a complication from the first. After months of negotiating with the hospital, he still owes far more than most insurers would pay for the surgery he had.
Two emergency room doctors, one in New York and the other in Houston, discuss their cities’ coronavirus outbreaks — and responses.
Carmen Quintero had symptoms of COVID-19, couldn’t get tested and ended up with a huge bill. She also was told to self-isolate and assume she had the coronavirus — which is hard when you live with elders.
A Los Angeles ophthalmologist’s offer on Instagram has ballooned into a loose network of physicians providing medical care to protesters who were injured while rallying against police brutality and racism. While clashes with the police have died down in some parts of the country, some protesters are seeking care for festering wounds from days-old injuries.
Off-duty medical professionals joined protests in Denver and elsewhere sparked by George Floyd’s death to treat injured protesters, risking injury themselves.
Emergency medical technicians, who have been on the front lines against the coronavirus, also play a key role in helping provide care during protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.
Health researchers are among the voices calling for police to stop using tear gas and pepper spray on protesters, because these chemical irritants can damage the body in ways that can spread the coronavirus and increase the severity of COVID-19. One example: Tear gas and pepper spray can sow confusion and panic in a crowd, causing people to rip off their masks and touch their faces, leading to more contamination.
Some California hospitals near the Mexican border have received so many COVID-19 patients the past few weeks that they have had to divert some to other facilities. Hospital officials say most of the infected patients are U.S. citizens or legal residents who live in, or recently traveled to, Mexico and came to the U.S. for care.
Of those who went without seeing a doctor or other medical provider, 11% experienced a worsened medical condition, according to the poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. In addition, nearly 40% said stress related to the coronavirus crisis has negatively impacted their mental health.