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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Call hospital trickery with Medicare patients what it is -- fraud

Blood pressure
A patient undergoes a physical with a doctor.
(Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

To the editor: Dr. Andrew Taylor’s account of his recent hospital experience, after which he was billed more than $25,000 because Medicare covers only admission and not “observation,” is truly unsettling. It certainly calls for our careful attention to the obligations we undertake when assuming financial responsibility for expensive medical care.

However, it fails to state that most hospitals do admit patients for serious surgery. The hospital that performed major surgery on Taylor was not just taking advantage of a loophole in Medicare, it engaged in deceit and trickery, commonly referred to as fraud. This hospital should be named and shamed.

I hope Taylor pursued his legal remedies and did not pay this outrageous bill.

Michael Telerant, Los Angeles

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To the editor: It was a hospital that gave Taylor a $25,000 shock, not Medicare. This subterfuge only works so long as the patient has no idea that he has not been admitted to the hospital, despite having lived there for three days, and as long as he is unaware of the implications.

This is part of the pattern of keeping patients in the dark about their financial exposure while it is being incurred.

Siegfried Othmer, Woodland Hills


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