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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32339
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I recently has a kidney stone that was too big to pass. Went

Customer Question

I recently has a kidney stone that was too big to pass. Went to emergency with pain. They did xray, found 9mm stone. They gave me pain meds and I was referred to another hospital for treatment. I was there for 2 nights. They went in and dislodge the stone from being stuck to the kidney. I woke with the stone still in me. I aked why and was told because the shockwave machine wadnt avail and not at that hospital. They scheduled me a week later at another hospital to do the lithotripsy. With no insurance i might add. However, the first hospital took a payment that night of $3300 to settle at 50%. The second settled at $15000 stating that was 50% discount. Then the last hospital wants 42k for 4 hrs of being there. I paid 10 k to them so far. They want th rest asap. Im wondering about the decision of the first hospital to send me to a place that did not have the equipment to remove a big stone then having to return a week later and basically pay again. I essentially paid more than double just because of bad planning. I do have insurance now. I bought in in the middle of this mess but they claimed pre exsisting and wpuld not help at all. Any recourse on the sequence and planning on the hospitals? Respectively Lake Havasu city medical center, western arizona medical center then Valley view medical center in bulhead. Basically I think the poor planning is costing me big money.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Before I ask questions about your situation, I need to make sure that you understand how the website and rating system works.

Many times in healthcare law situations the law is not in favor of the patient. When that happens we have to give the person asking the question bad news. It's true, but sometimes it's not in their favor.

On this website the customer rates us experts at the end of the question and answer and every now and then a customer is unhappy about the law and gives a negative rating. Unfortunately, that negative rating is taken by the website to be a reflection on me, indicating that I wasn't polite, wasn't prompt, or provided a wrong answer.

I'm more than happy to discuss this with you, but I just wanted to make sure that you understood how the system works and that you will rate me on my professionalism and not on whether the law is in your favor or not, since I have no control over that.

With that understanding, do you want me to discuss this in more detail with you?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Doesnt the intitial hospital have a responsibility to refer or send a patient to the facility that has the right equipment to deal with the known problem? Because when I woke up to find the stone still in me and was told that its because the equipment to break up the stone was at another hospital 10 min down the street. I asked why I wasnt directed there instead and still have no answer..Causing me to pay twice after the initial emergency room visit. You would think all involved would know this..Gets very costly for the average person especially if it happens all the time. Thanks..
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 months ago.

No, there is no law that requires the hospital to verify the referral hospital has certain equipment. Conceivably it could be a breach in the Code of Ethics for either the person who made the referral or the facility itself. Many of the codes are general enough to where almost anything will fit as a breach of the code. You couldn't base a lawsuit on that, not and collect the damages you are talking about.

It is also possible that a lawyer might convince the judge that there is an implied contract that before you are referred to a different facility that the old facility will make the effort to find out whether the new facility has proper equipment. I don't see any case law on that, and have never seen it done, but it is a possibility.

However, there is another issue in that almost everything involving a health care facility is pulled into the heading of a "medical malpractice" case. If that happens then the case doesn't involve enough money to be able to pursue due to the economics. Due to the number of expert reports, medical records, etc. it is a minimum of $75k to get a med mal case ready for a trial. Most of those expense are what are known as "non-taxable" expenses which mean that you can't recover their cost even if you win so by the time you add that figure to the attorneys fees you can see that the minimum number you have to get at to 1) get an attorney interested in the case and 2) put money in your pocket has to be at least $250k.

You should still visit with a local attorney and see if they think the local judge will make you use the medical malpractice rules for the case or will let you proceed as a breach of implied contract case.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
i did read it. Not sure why it showed unread. I did get them to settle from 42k to $6500. But still dont like the fact that poor planning costed me a bunch. Other than not having insurance at the time.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 months ago.

I understand and there is a possibility that you can get there under the breach of implied contract. I think most people (juries) would think it was reasonable that if they referred you somewhere then they would make sure the equipment was there before you had to spend a lot of money.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.

Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered. In addition, once you issue your Positive Rating the question will lock open and no longer time out so you can come back to it anytime in the future if you think of any follow ups.