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Letter: One way to help: Pay your bills

I thought I was reading an article on health care in New
York.

(In reference to “Where it hurts,” on page 1 of the Nov. 21
Business Journal.)

I thought I was reading an article on health care in New
York. There is one way our patients/community can help us all. For those
patients who are making use of our emergency room and have insurance: Please
pay your deductible and co-pay. People who have the means realize that a
hospital must treat them and cannot spend a lot of effort in collecting this
money, so the bill gets ignored, and the phone bill gets paid. At the hospital
I work at, we wrote off close to $3 million for co-pays and deductibles from ER
visits, and the collection agency returned them as uncollectible. The
collection agencies don’t expend much effort because the cost isn’t worth the
return.

So as we all discuss the uninsured and the rise in charity
care and bad debt, let’s not hide behind these issues and pay the hospital our
responsibility.

Let’s get the message out.

-Jim McNiff,
New York

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