I hear a lot of medical billing horror stories. The latest involves Paul Witkowsky, an English professor at Radford University, who is fighting a bill for $18,590.99. He’s 64 and until February was in great health. Then he suffered a stroke early in the morning at his house.
His wife, Maria, dialed 911 and paramedics arrived shortly at his Radford home. Witkowsky was mumbling and couldn’t move the left side of his body.
The idea in such cases is to get the patient to a hospital as quickly as possible, especially to a place with a specialized stroke unit. Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital has one.
An ambulance took Witkowsky to the helipad at Carilion New River Valley Medical Center, where he was put on a copter and flown to Roanoke Memorial.
“I spent five days in the hospital, where I was given state-of-the-art treatment,” Witkowsky told me. The great news is, he fully recovered from the stroke.
Here’s the bad news: Med-Trans Air Medical Transport is now dunning Witkowsky for the unpaid balance of his helicopter flight to Roanoke. The Texas-based contractor provides medevac services for Carilion.
Witkowsky’s problem is that his insurer — Anthem, the dominant health insurance company in Western Virginia — has no provider agreement with Med-Trans.
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