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Uninsured Patients

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NEWS
August 27, 1990 | From Times staff and Wire reports
City health officials are considering turning uninsured patients away from routine appointments if they have big overdue bills. "The assumption is there are some folks who use the services and really could pay but do not," said acting Health Director Florence Stroud. "Medical care is an expensive service. . . . You can't just provide it for everybody and still be able to provide it for those who need it most."
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 12, 2011 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
After more than 6,600 people overwhelmed volunteers at a free mobile health clinic in Los Angeles last year, California legislators passed a law making it easier for out-of-state medical personnel to assist with future events. But just over a week before the massive clinic returns, the state has failed to adopt regulations needed for the additional volunteers to participate. As a result, only medical personnel licensed in California will be able to treat patients and some people could be turned away.
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BUSINESS
August 11, 2005 | From Bloomberg News
A judge has approved Tenet Healthcare Corp.'s proposed settlement of lawsuits brought by uninsured patients who claimed they were overcharged at the company's 114 hospitals. Judge Wendell Mortimer of Los Angeles Superior Court approved the settlement Monday, lawyers for the patients said in a statement. Tenet is to refund amounts paid over certain pricing thresholds, and the company will offer uninsured patients the same rates as managed-care patients for four years.
NATIONAL
March 18, 2011 | By Stephen Ceasar
The Arizona Senate rejected five immigration bills Thursday, including two that would have barred automatic citizenship for U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants. The measures, which were intended to force the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve the issue, failed on votes of 12 to 18 and 11 to 19. "We finally stood up for what is right for the state of Arizona," said state Sen. Steve M. Gallardo, a Democrat from Phoenix. "We cannot solve a federal problem on the floor of the Arizona state Senate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 25, 2007 | Mary Engel, Times Staff Writer
Adults with no health insurance face waits up to a year or longer for gallbladder or hernia surgery in Los Angeles County, a backlog that community clinic doctors say has worsened since the county downsized Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital last year. The elimination of most specialty care at King-Harbor, formerly known as King/Drew, has hit Harbor-UCLA Medical Center near Torrance the hardest, the doctors say.
SCIENCE
November 17, 2009 | Karen Kaplan
Patients who lack health insurance are more likely to die from car accidents and other traumatic injuries than people who belong to a health plan -- even though emergency rooms are required to care for all comers regardless of ability to pay, according to a study published today. An analysis of 687,091 patients who visited trauma centers nationwide from 2002 to 2006 found that the odds of dying from injuries were almost twice as high for the uninsured than for patients with private insurance, researchers reported in Archives of Surgery.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 2010 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Ron-Gong Lin II
Emergency room doctors and on-call specialists treating poor, uninsured patients at private hospitals in Los Angeles County saw their reimbursement rate slashed by county supervisors Tuesday. The rate cut could lead private hospitals to close emergency rooms and send more patients to crowded county hospitals, officials said. L.A. County reimburses doctors 27% of estimated fees for patients' first three days of care at private hospitals under the Physician Services for Indigents Program.
OPINION
September 9, 2004
Unlike in Dr. John Elfmont's experience (letter, Sept. 4), my uninsured patients do not spend their money on frivolous items. Many are working two jobs to pay for basic necessities. They cannot afford the monthly insurance premiums, especially if they have a history of a major medical illness. Pat Convery MD Huntington Beach
NEWS
April 15, 1987
The federal government reversed its decision to cut off $24 million in Medicare funding to Brookside Hospital in San Pablo just eight hours before it was to have taken effect. The cutoff had been ordered on grounds that poor and uninsured patients were dumped on other hospitals, but Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Robert O'Connor said the reversal was ordered "because hospital emergency room practices were brought back into line with quality standards."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2004 | Lisa Richardson, Times Staff Writer
Under pressure from consumer advocates and legislators, the California hospital industry trade group is asking its members to ease their collection policies and provide financial aid to low-income uninsured patients. The California Healthcare Assn.'s new guidelines, which are voluntary, were presented to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday.
HEALTH
January 24, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
On Valentine's Day 2009, Danny Rodriguez, then 28, was leaving a party with friends in Pico Rivera when they were accosted by a group of young men from a gang active in the neighborhood. Rodriguez and his friends explained they belonged to no gang and just wanted to go home. But as they drove away, they made a turn down a dead-end street. Gang members followed them, opening fire. Rodriguez, in the back seat, was the only one hit. The bullet entered the back of his head and exploded into pieces as it drove through his brain's right parietal lobe and right frontal lobe.
BUSINESS
November 28, 2010 | Liz Pulliam Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I was involved in a car accident and had no medical insurance. The hospital bill came to $39,000 and a helicopter ride was $15,000. The only way I could pay this was using credit cards. I have high credit scores. Am I better off filling for bankruptcy? Answer: You were better off not using the credit cards. If you hadn't charged your medical bills, you probably could have negotiated a lower settlement amount with the hospital and medical evacuation company. In many cases, people without insurance are initially charged more than those whose insurance companies have negotiated lower rates.
BUSINESS
October 24, 2010 | Kathy M. Kristof, Personal Finance
In bygone days, when more workers had comprehensive healthcare insurance, the price of medical procedures was not much of an issue. But now, with many people having to make do with high-deductable plans ? if they have insurance at all ? price becomes a huge consideration. "We are seeing more and more of this, and it's only going to grow over time," said Martin Rosen, executive vice president and co-founder of the Health Advocate, a Philadelphia consulting firm. The situation has forced many consumers to become comparison shoppers when it comes to medical matters.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 26, 2010 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times
Doramay Bailey got the bad news last year. Her annual mammogram at the county's Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center in Willowbrook revealed a lump in her left breast. She needed a biopsy to determine whether she had cancer. But when she called to schedule an appointment at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, the disabled 58-year-old grandmother got more bad news. She was told the soonest she could be seen was February, five months later. Bailey is one of many women who have encountered increasingly long waits for biopsies at Harbor-UCLA, while those seeking biopsies at other hospitals are treated within weeks, if not sooner.
SCIENCE
April 14, 2010 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Patients without health insurance, and those who are insured but fear the cost of medical care, are more likely to delay seeking life-saving treatment when having a heart attack. For the millions of American adults who don't have health insurance, and those who have it but worry that illness might ruin them financially, the signs of an impending heart attack do not set in motion the kind of rapid, lifesaving response that medical professionals urge, according to a study conducted at 24 urban hospitals across the nation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 2010 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Ron-Gong Lin II
Emergency room doctors and on-call specialists treating poor, uninsured patients at private hospitals in Los Angeles County saw their reimbursement rate slashed by county supervisors Tuesday. The rate cut could lead private hospitals to close emergency rooms and send more patients to crowded county hospitals, officials said. L.A. County reimburses doctors 27% of estimated fees for patients' first three days of care at private hospitals under the Physician Services for Indigents Program.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 8, 1986
The dumping of uninsured patients into county hospitals by private and community hospitals continues at a rate that justifies tighter controls. Two bills that offer needed help--AB 3403, sponsored by Assemblyman Burt Margolin (D-Los Angeles), and S 1607, sponsored by Sen. Ken Maddy (R-Fresno)--are moving through committees in Sacramento and should be approved. Two elements are important.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 12, 2005 | Rong-Gong Lin II, Times Staff Writer
A group of former patients on Tuesday sued Catholic Healthcare West, the state's largest nonprofit hospital chain, alleging that uninsured patients in California have been overcharged for their care compared with patients on discounted insurance plans. The class-action suit, which was organized by activist K.B. Forbes, named as plaintiffs three former patients of California Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles.
SCIENCE
November 17, 2009 | Karen Kaplan
Patients who lack health insurance are more likely to die from car accidents and other traumatic injuries than people who belong to a health plan -- even though emergency rooms are required to care for all comers regardless of ability to pay, according to a study published today. An analysis of 687,091 patients who visited trauma centers nationwide from 2002 to 2006 found that the odds of dying from injuries were almost twice as high for the uninsured than for patients with private insurance, researchers reported in Archives of Surgery.
BUSINESS
November 1, 2009
Re: "How healthcare reform affects you," Oct. 18: I'd like to clear up two myths about payment for hospital emergency room care to uninsured patients. First, ER services are not free of charge. The patients are billed and hospitals pursue collection on these accounts, including reporting to credit agencies. The only patients who get free care this way are those who have no means of paying and no assets or wages that might be attached, who do not care about ruined credit or who make themselves scarce enough to avoid paying.
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