Richard Garrison needed an outlet to speak about his mother's death and the dealings he had with Grace Hospital, in Morganton, in relation to their billing practice in lieu of her passing. I am passing this story along to you and I hope that Grace Hospital will rethink such a practice, and its propriety, during a man's time of mourning.
After a recent experience involving Grace Hospital in Morganton, I am left with dissatisfaction and the loss both of my mom and my ability to grieve that loss. My mom was transported from our home on May 5th, 2012, to Grace Hospital where she was treated for about two hours. Mom later passed away at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.
CMC sent a "regular" bill for the leftover amount due after mom was treated, and DID NOT contact the Mecklenburg County Clerk of Court, if anyone had the reason to they did, but CMC acted in a compassionate manner, as well as sending a sympathy card to me for the grief I was going through.
Grace Hospital wasn't HAPPY with over 9-thousand dollars, they really needed the additional 3-hundred dollars by whatever means they had to get it. Grace Hospital billed Medicare and State Health Plan more than $9500.00 dollars, and received over $9200.00 dollars. Without taking a breath, Grace Hospital FORGOT to send an ordinary, regular bill for what they say was an amount due of $320.31. Instead they ran down to the Burke County Clerk of Court's office and obtained a "claim" against my mom's estate.
The "official" document was delivered to me during the time I was dealing with the loss, mom had been gone only a short period then, and I was trying to organize affairs. I was forced to "STOP" thinking about the loss of my mom, and deal with this issue and when I did, I was further
surprised when an employee at Grace Hospital told me by phone that "She had placed a LIEN against the estate, and I could not close it until the balance was paid" I told her this was not true, and she was stating incorrect information. I confirmed what I told her was true with the local clerk of court the next day.
Since Grace Hospital has a 'KNOWN' reputation of 'selling out' debts to bill collecters before the ink has dried, I went to the hospital and asked to pay the balance. I realize this was not my debt; but I didn't want any additional unnecessary embarrassment. I was told by a cashier that the balance was ONLY $248.61 which is even LESS IMPORTANT than the $320.31 - OR - the loss of a mom or a dad.
I have filed this with the NC Attorney General's Consumer Protection, and I received a response from Grace Hospital by Associate Counsel David Pope, in which he states "this is our policy" The Attorney General's Office says it cannot help me, so now I ask, How can anyone, especially
a community non-profit hospital, act in such a careless and reckless manner, and then justify what they are doing as being acceptable ? On the surface, from a common sense standpoint, is this anywhere near fair, when considering that Grace Hospital is a non-profit community hospital ?
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Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Posted by James Thomas Shell at 11:23 PM