Hospital visits can be a little unnerving at the best of times, and it certainly isn’t made any easier when something goes wrong while you’re there, whether as a patient or as a visitor.
When things do go wrong, it can be helpful to think about the kind of things that you can do to make the situation a little easier to handle. So with that in mind, here are some of the thing that you should consider when a hospital stay goes wrong.
Imagine visiting a loved one in the hospital – perhaps an elderly parent or your young child – and you enter the room only to discover that the they are not being cared for properly. This could be any number of things, including rude, unhelpful or uncaring medical staff (I have seen this firsthand when my own father was in the hospital), unsanitary conditions or even lack of nutrition. Many times patients cannot speak for themselves and you be able to trust that the staff caring for them are caring and competent and doing the job they are there to do.
In situations like this, you might consider finding them alternative care elsewhere, such as another hospital, or moving them to a specialized care facility, such as a pediatric hospital, or a dedicated care home. You should also consider filing an official complaint with the hospital administrator and medical board. If the situation is particularly off-putting, then you might even consider reaching out to local newspapers, news stations, etc. If nobody speaks up, then nothing will be done to bring awareness to these situations and changes will most likely not be made. Actions such as these may help bring about real change that means people in future don’t have to experience the same thing you have.
Disputing the hospital bill
Financial costs can often be a fairly significant expense, even if you do have a good insurance policy in place. The level of expense involved can often mean that people are left with hefty prices to pay, and a lengthy bill that’s often rather difficult to fully comprehend.
After every hospital visit that lasts a little longer than usual, such as if you’re staying overnight for a couple days, make sure to check your bill thoroughly. You might find that the costs are far more than you anticipated, which may in turn indicate that you’re being overcharged. In fact, up to 80% of hospital bills have errors.
When this happens, make sure to ask for a fully broken down, itemized bill of charges and medical procedures received. If anything looks particularly out of place, your first port of call should be to contact your hospital’s billing department. They be able to discuss your bill with you in detail, and you might be able to push for a discount or a removal of certain charges. If all else fails, contact your insurance provider. They won’t be keen on paying for procedures or provisions that didn’t happen or were unnecessary, which will help give your claim that much more weight.
While it will largely depend on the nature of your stay and exactly what goes wrong while you’re visiting the hospital, you might find that there are some situations in which mental duress or physical harm was caused.
For example, if something went wrong during a surgery, such as if a healthcare professional performed a procedure incorrectly, you might end up injured further, or left with a significantly lengthier, more painful recovery period. Sometimes these situations can cause extended hospital stays, or necessary future treatments that can be financially draining and become an extreme hardship – many times for years to come. You might find that others have had the same experience and that there are some currently ongoing lawsuits (such as the hernia mesh lawsuit – just one example), that suggest you have some recourse to submit a claim of your own. Your family shouldn’t have to struggle over something happened due to carelessness or incompetence. Something that could have been avoided. There are options available.
When a loved one is in a hospital or care facility, it is always wise to personally visit every other day or so if possible, or try to find someone you trust to do so when you can’t. It will offer you great peace of mind to know that your loved one is being treated safely and humanely.