Taylor Davis claims she received a medical bill for several hundred dollars following a trip to the emergency room for a head injury. However, the Georgia woman said the only problem is, she was never treated. Instead, she says her wait period reached seven hours before she ultimately left without being seen.
Davis told WAGA-TV she visited the Atlanta-area Emory Decatur Hospital emergency room in July but instead of treatment all she got was frustration. “‘I sat there for seven hours,” Davis told the news station. “There’s no way I should be sitting in an emergency room — an emergency room — for seven hours.” She said her vitals were never taken, and “nobody called my name. I wasn’t seen at all.”
When Davis called to see if the bill for $688.35 was received in error, she was shocked to learn that it hadn’t been and that the fee was called “emergency room visit fee.” According to the news station, that charge is common, but usually goes unnoticed because it is included in a patient’s overall medical bill.
Davis later received an email from an Emory Healthcare patient financial services employee which stated that “If you come into the ER and leave before being seen you still get charged.”
“You get charged before you are seen. Not for being seen. This is hospital protocol. Sorry about that. But the balance is valid.” The letter left a number Davis could contact if she needed “financial aid.”
In a statement to the station, Emory Healthcare said it “takes all patient concerns seriously and appreciates this has been brought to our attention. Our teams are currently looking into this matter and will follow up directly with the individual.”
After this experience Davis told reporters she’s “reluctant” to take a trip to an emergency room and that it’s become “kind of like the last resort now.” She added “Seeing that they’re able to bill you for random things, it t make me want to go.”
The Daily Mail reported that “roughly 1 in 5 emergency visits and 1 in 6 impatient admission will trigger a surprise bill.” It’s unclear whether Davis will still have to pay the bill.