Cancer Patient Forced To Pay $4,000 Upfront Before Hospital Will Perform Life-Saving Surgery

Posted On : 01/23/2018

The host of a popular podcast called Call Your Girlfriend has endometrial cancer. Her doctors caught it early and, with surgery, her prognosis is good. But had it not been for her credit card, she might have been denied the operation that could very well save her life.

Amintou Sow got a call on Monday from the hospital’s finance department telling her that she needed to pay her annual $4,000 deductible or they would not perform the surgery. Her procedure was scheduled for the next day.

As if having cancer isn’t unnerving enough, Sow was caught completely off-guard by the news. She had long-scheduled her operation and had verified with the hospital that everything was a “go” with her insurance company. Apparently it wasn’t. Sow took to Twitter to explain her disgust with the healthcare system.

“Money really is at the heart of everything that is fucked up with our healthcare,” Sow tweeted. “Case in point: I’m scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning. It’s been on the books for weeks. I’ve gone through extensive pre-testing and have followed up with the hospital every step of the way…  Then I get a call from someone in the finance department of the hospital. Along the lines of ‘oh your deductible is high and you haven’t met any of it yet’ yes no shit Jennifer from finance. It’s the 22nd day of January. Nobody has hit their deductible.”

While Sow was well aware of her high deductible and that it is too early in the year to have already met it, she didn’t expect the last-minute ultimatum. They should have already told her especially since she had inquired previously. But what they did was perfectly legal and appalling, nonetheless.

“Surgery is in ~18 hours and this woman is telling me that I have to pay my entire deductible before surgery,” Sow continued. “‘Please use a credit card.’ How polite. I am stunned. There is a long silence and she says ‘you at least have to pay half to get this surgery.'”

What Sow found so disheartening is the fact that there are so many people who struggle to even get medical insurance and still can’t afford to take care of themselves. Health providers can literally hold your wellness hostage over a dollar. Fortunately for Sow, she was in the position to make payment. Shortly thereafter, Chase sent her a fraud alert for the transaction. The irony was not lost on her.

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