The reason for the massive bill was that the health insurance company only agreed to cover the planned operation but not the costs caused by the heart attack on the operating table. The operation had removed the blocked arteries and, as far as the health insurance was concerned, that was all they would pay for. However, Dona’s father’s recovery in intensive care was far more prolonged than usually allowed for a quadruple heart bypass.
Their conclusion was that the bypass had cured him and her father didn’t need intensive care. His health insurance claimed that he was no longer disabled because the doctor cleared the clogged arteries and now he could go back to work. Dona remembers her reaction very clearly.
That this story is as relevant today, although it happened almost thirty ago, says something about the continuing problem in US healthcare where the patient is always being caught in the middle.
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