By Ayla Ellison, Beckers Hospital Report, Feb. 25, 2020.
An Alabama woman received an emergency appendectomy at Flowers Hospital in Dothan, Ala., in May 2016. Three years later, the hospital sued her for nearly $37,000, which included a $31,000 bill plus interest, according to CBS News.
KC Roberts didn’t have insurance at the time of the emergency surgery in 2016. She and her husband own a struggling T-shirt screen printing company and could no longer afford insurance in 2015. Ms. Roberts told CBS News she was shocked when she received a $52,000 bill from Flowers Hospital after her surgery. After applying a discount for uninsured patients, she owed about $31,000.
Ms. Roberts and her husband paid $25 per month toward the bill for three years. However, in September the hospital sued her for the full balance plus interest.
“I told my husband, ‘I wish you’d have let me die,'” Ms. Roberts told CBS News. “I’ve said, ‘Honey, I love you and I love my family, but if you had let me go, today you would not be going through this.'”
In a statement to CBS News, Flowers Hospital said it offers interest free payment plans and makes several attempts to contact patients before pursuing legal action.
“It is our strong preference to work directly with patients,” the hospital said, according to CBS News. “Unfortunately, some individuals refuse to engage with us to resolve their balances. Litigation is always a last resort and is only pursued after we determine the patient has the financial ability to make some level of payment based on employment status and credit record.”