Woman Billed $700 After Waiting In Emergency Room For 7 Hours And Leaving Without Getting Treatment

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Woman in hospital bed

Healthcare in the United States has been a hot-button issue for decades, and as Taylor Davis found out, it can be expensive to not get treated as well.

After receiving a head injury in July, Davis did what anyone would say was the best thing to do when injured and sought emergency care at Emory Decatur Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.

Davis then proceeded to spend seven hours patiently awaiting treatment at the emergency room.

Finally, after an entire workday’s worth of sitting around awaiting treatment in the emergency room, Davis decided to leave.

Davis was later billed $700 for her ER visit.

Davis expressed her disbelief at the situation, saying, "I sat there for seven hours. There's no way I should be sitting in an emergency room.. an emergency room for seven hours,"

Extenuating circumstances aside, most people would be understandably upset at wasting an entire day waiting for emergency treatment for a head injury. Unfortunately for Davis, the salt had yet to be rubbed into the metaphorical wound.

A few weeks after Davis’ fruitless trip to the emergency room, she found out that she had been billed by the hospital for her “treatment.”

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Davis's bill totaled $700.

Davis, being a reasonable person, believed that this had to be a mistake and that the hospital couldn’t possibly have charged her for the seven-hour-long wait.

So, when Davis found out that the bill wasn’t a mistake, she was shocked.

Davis said, “I didn't get my vitals taken, nobody called my name. I wasn't seen at all,” but that she was told over the phone that it was hospital protocol that as soon you as you come in and enter your information, you will be charged no matter what.

So that was that. Davis had been charged $100 per hour for seven hours to sit in an emergency room and not even have any tests done, let alone receive treatment.

It seems like the hospital isn’t backing down either, although Emory Healthcare have stated that they are “looking into this matter” and intend to follow up directly with Davis.

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As ridiculous as the situation is, it’s Davis’s words about seeking care in the future that illustrates a sobering reality for 1 in 12 Americans.

After this infuriating experience, Davis said, “I'm very reluctant to go to the hospital now. That's kind of like the last resort now. Seeing that they're able to bill you for random things, it doesn't make me want to go. So that's not good.”

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Americans don't want to go to the hospital.

It’s well known that, without insurance, healthcare in the United States can be generously described as prohibitively expensive.

When people don’t want to go to the hospital, they wait longer and health issues go untreated for longer.

On any given day, 1 in 12 Americans could suddenly fall ill or become injured and find themselves in tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

With practices like charging people for not receiving treatment and the threat of massive, unpayable bills, it’s no wonder that Americans often think twice about going to the hospital.

No matter which way you look at it, it’s really expensive to get sick or hurt in the United States.

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Dan O'Reilly is a writer who covers news, politics and social justice. Follow him on Twitter.