I had a similar experience with billing from Northwell as described by Steve Hicks in your December, 2018, issue. In March of this year my young adult son awoke on a Sunday morning with what appeared to be ‘pink eye’ or conjunctivitis. As it was a Sunday we went to Lenox Hill Greenwich Village. The place was empty and we were soon seen by a physician’s assistant who looked at my son and confirmed that it was conjunctivitis. She faxed a prescription to our pharmacy. The encounter with the physician’s assistant took less than five minutes and there was no treatment provided. The bill for this service was $2,077.00. After our insurance covered their share we were billed $1400.00. While the financial aid department eventually reduced this amount considerably based on my son’s income, it is still unjust that such an amount would be charged.
I am going to refer back to our explanation to the billing question from last month.
Emergency departments are not largely profitable. We are a not-for-profit organization that is mission driven. We treat many many people every year that have no ability to pay.
There are certain health insurance plans that have high deductibles which determine what the out of pocket cost would be. So these costs are dictated by the health insurance plan that is chosen.
Please understand that bills for emergency departments are billed at emergency department rates. Our rates are similar to that of all emergency departments. With our goal of bringing a full range of medical services downtown we have also opened a number of urgent care centers in Manhattan and two in lower Manhattan not far from the Lenox Health Greenwich Village emergency department. The cost of going to an Urgent Care Center is lower than that of a full emergency department. These centers have lower overhead costs and are appropriate for lower severity level patients. Our emergency department has board certified emergency medicine physicians, specialty trained advanced practice providers and nurses as well as a variety of other specialized staff at all times. We are open 24/7/365, have advanced life support ambulances on site, have advanced diagnostic equipment such as Cat Scan machines, digital X-Ray units, Ultrasound units, onsite laboratory and pharmacy and we are a sexual assault forensic examination certified facility. We are currently helping over thirty six thousand patients per year and have saved many lives. We do also see a large number of patients who do not have an ability to pay. We see every patient regardless of their ability to pay.
When anyone has challenges in paying their bill we are always more than happy to help with our very robust financial assistance plan. Our financial services department works with any patient presenting with financial challenges by creating a payment arrangement plan.
We have worked diligently to bring back vital healthcare services to Greenwich Village. Everyone at LHGV loves this community and are proud of the work we do each and every day. It is a shame that I have not seen any of the many positive testimonials from patients who have been helped or whose lives have been saved published in the WestView newspaper.
Lenox Health Greenwich Village