This past summer my fiance, her son, and I went on a trip to Rhode Island. While there I suffered a severe (2nd degree) sunburn. I went to a local hospital where I was seen, gawked at and sent on my way without medication or treatment. I then received two bills for my short time (15 minutes) in the hospital. I contacted the billing agency and explained the situation; and was told to write a letter to the billing supervisory board for review. This is the letter I wrote them, so you can get a feel for my experience.
Dear Sir or Madam:
My name is Matthew Scully. My account number is ******. On the 18th of July, 2012 I made an emergency visit to Kent Hospital.
The injury in this case was a second-degree burn on both of my shoulders, due to extreme sunburn. I came to the emergency room at the urging of my fiancé and was soon made sorry I did so.
Before I go further, I should clarify I do not have any issue with the $56 charge for visiting the Emergency Department. I understand that is the charge for being in the hospital and availing myself of your services. My problem is with the $135 you are charging me for Initial Treatment of Burn.
I was seen by the intake nurse and brought to a room to be seen by a physician. I was seen by a nurse practitioner who confirmed my fear that it was a second-degree burn. She then asked me to wait. I waited, and waited as she gathered a nurse to come and gawk at my burns.
I could hear her in the hallway saying something along the lines of, “You’ve got to see this.” So, she did come to see it. The nurse came in to see my burns and made a few sarcastic remarks. “Oh wow, you did a good job.” “Did you think to use sunscreen?” Then she left. I could hear them in the hall outside my curtain having a good laugh. I felt like a sideshow attraction. That is not how one is supposed to feel when being treated by a physician, agreed?
The nurse practitioner returns and tells me it’s time to go. She tells me to go buy some cream to put on the burn and I was out the door. My burns were not examined beyond a cursory glance. I was not given any medication, either to treat my burns or the excruciating pain I was in. And just so you do know, I did inform the NP that my pain was at a seven out of ten. Where was the treatment, aside from the ridiculous treatment I received as entertainment for your employees?
I am not sure what part of “Initial Treatment” that was, but it is not one I intend to pay for. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope to hear from you as soon as possible so we can be done with this troubling situation.