$20,000 For 24 Hours At Jersey Shore Medical Center
I decided to go to the Jersey Shore Medical Center’s emergency room because I thought I was having another Angina attack. You see in September 2014 I had a major Angina attack.
My main artery to my heart was 99% closed and bleeding. This condition can be deadly if not taken care of immediately, this is why they call it the “Widow Maker”. Men go to sleep at night and never get up in the morning.
At first I wasn’t sure if it was a heart attack or another Angina attack, but either way I didn’t want to take any chances. I knew that Jersey Shore MC, was the heart hospital in our area. My wife and I got in the car and headed south to Jersey Shore.
2014 My First Visit to Jersey Shore Medical Center
We got to the Jersey Shore Medical Center and I explained to admissions that I thought I was having a heart attack. Instead of taking me in immediately they had us wait in their waiting room for 3 hours. Then into the emergency room where they did an electrocardiogram that apparently didn’t show anything major at that point.
We waited another hour there and no one came to see me, so I decided to check out. They tried to give me a hard time and I told them they could do what they want, but “I am leaving”.
Later that day after doing some stupid work on the garden, I knew I was in serious condition and decided to go to the emergency room at Bayshore Hospital who immediately took me in.
I had 6 or 7 doctors and staff attend to me and found that my main artery was 99% closed and bleeding. Since Bayshore is not a cardiac care hospital and couldn’t treat me there, they had me transferred the next day to Riverview where they had a Cath Lab. They took me in immediately and prepped me for the insertion of a stent into my main artery.
2018 I Feared I Was Having Another Angina Attack
Thinking that this was another attack and Jersey Shore Medical Center was the only area hospital that can do the proper heart procedures. In addition my cardiologist is affiliated with Jersey Shore, so I had no choice but to try them again.
My past poor experience I had hoped would not repeat itself this time. Big Mistake…it was worse.
On entering the hospital emergency room reception, at first it didn’t seem crowded at all, so I thought we should be O.K. Once we actually got into the Emergency Room we saw it was a mess with at least 30 or more patients on gurneys and sitting around in the emergency room area.
There were so many patients in every hallway on gurneys and in every treatment room. It was simply overflowing with emergency room patients.
I should have turned around as I had done in the past and gone home, but I was afraid that might be a mistake considering my medical history. I asked how long it would take to see a doctor and was told there could be a 4 hour wait.
At that point if I was smarter, I should have again checked out and gone back to Riverview’s Emergency Room.
Now when I finally got into the emergency room area, a staff member did come over to me and insert the IV hookup in my arm just in case they needed to use it. He also took a fast electrocardiogram reading, that showed I was stable for now.
Now I thought that I would be wheeled into a room for further treatment or at least a treatment area, but instead they simply moved me in to a hallway on the gurney.
There were at least 30+ patients on gurney or in chairs all waiting for a doctor to see them and of course me.
Most of us were asked to put on a mask to prevent catching any germs, another warning not to go to hospitals.
The hallway I was in was very cold and they gave me a thin sheet to cover myself. The stench in that hallway was so bad that staff had to come in and tiny spray bottle to spray it in an attempt to kill the smell. Of course that didn’t work.
We weren’t sure if the smell came from some of the homeless patients there or if we were near the door to the trash outside. It was horrible and my wife and I, as well as others wore masks to stop some of the horrible odors and of course to prevent catching any germs that might be flying around the area.
My wife and I waited 4 – 6 hours on a my gurney in a hallway before a doctor even came to see me. I was given the doctor’s business card and after I told her why I was there and thought it might be another Angina attack she agreed it might be.
Of course no one, the doctor or nurses did anything but agree me that it could be an angina attack. No one, I mean no one, other than their billing department personnel took any time with me. They never took me to an exam room, offered me any food after many hours there, I was simply neglected as was many of the others there.
Those that came in with drug overdoses, serious wounds, or those being brought in my the police got attention. Some of that attention meant being handcuffed to a gurney.
It was now after midnight so I sent my wife home. There was no reason for her to wait standing in the hallway near my gurney.
I continued to wait for someone to talk to me or do some tests and finally they decided to take a chest x-ray. I thought maybe now I would get a room and get some rest, but no, I was taken back to the hallway and left to just lay there and wait some more.
No one came to me with any results, another doctor walked over and you guessed it, he gave me his business card too. I wonder if they will now bill Medicare for their services too. What a racket this is.
So me and about 30 other patients continued to wait on gurneys in the hall hoping someone, anyone other than the people from their accounting office would come over to see how we were doing, or maybe get us a room for the night.
By 2 AM I was starving, no one offered me or the others any food r drink after 12 hours since I was admitted. No care or attention at all to the patients other than the drug addicted man who was handcuffed to a gurney and cursing at the 6 officers and security staff while they held him down.
He was screaming I know who you are and I am going to “F” you up when I get out of here. One man with Parkinson’s, sat on the side of his gurney for hours shaking and not one person came over to him to talk to him, comfort him or offer him or me for that matter, any food or drink.
Finally at around 3:00 or 4 AM they started to wheel me to what I thought would be a room. I thought I would now have some rest, but that wasn’t going to happen.
Instead of a room, they wheeled me into a treatment area with a curtain and hooked the electrodes to me chest and side so it could monitor my heart.
Unfortunately, laying on my back and trying to sleep was not working since each time I would move, even a little the electrodes would come loose and the machine started to beep, beep, beep.
You would think that would get a nurse to check on me, but nope they didn’t until I kept hitting the nurses call on my bedside remote.
Now I was just about ten feet away from the floors nurses station. There were at least six nurses sitting or standing there, but I still couldn’t get anyone to come into my area.
Now hours passed and I was very cold, my gurney was right under the ceilings air conditioning vent. I was so cold, couldn’t move or the monitor would go off again and I kept hitting the call button and a nurse finally came in. I told her I was cold and asked if she could bring me a blanket, 20 minutes later after another call to the nurses station, a nurse finally came in.
I had asked why it took so long to just get a blanket she replied in a nasty voice, we are very busy. Really, 10 feet away from me and six nurses and they couldn’t bring me a blanket.
I Made It Through The Night
Now the next morning, still no sleep at all that night, I was taken in for a chemical stress test that my cardiologist would administer.
I was not allowed to eat before the test, so now 20 hours without any food or drink.
Nuclear Stress Test
I was going to have a chemical induced nuclear stress test, rather than the physical test I have been given on a treadmill in the past.
“A pharmacological Cardiac MRI stress test is a diagnostic test used to check the blood flow to the heart. An exercise stress test is another way to check the blood flow, but if you cannot exercise or if your heart rate does not go up enough with exercise, this test may be done instead. The test can help determine if your heart is getting enough blood while you are active compared to when you are resting.”
When they injected me with the medication used in this test, it was a very scary feeling. My heart started to race and it was a very scary feeling. Now my cardiologist is monitoring the heart on an electrocardiogram machine.
After the test you once again go into the MRI unit for another look. I was happy to hear that my heart rate and blood flow was normal and I was finally able to get some food and liquids in their waiting room.
On To My Room 179, But It Wasn’t A Room At All
They then moved me to another hallway with a screen to offer some privacy, not much however. They called this hallway and gurney Room 179. I am sure the reason is so they could bill Medicare or an insurance company for a room when in fact it was a spot in the hallway with a screen, unbelievable….
I just wanted to get out of there, but I had to wait hours until my doctor read the report from the stress test and he could sign the release. They did bring me something to eat finally and I continued to threatened to walk out.
They told me that if I did against doctors orders that Medicare might not pay. So I pleaded, begged, called my doctor’s office and finally got released.
I Felt I Was In Prison
In the 24 hours there I saw a drug addict screaming at the police that were holding him down handcuffed to a gurney. I watched as others, like myself waiting for anyone to come over to them and treat them.
I witnessed the lack of any care given by the nurses and the two doctors that handed me their business cards that told me I have the symptoms of an angina attack.
I guessed for the lack of any care or medical services, no room or food during my stay that they would bill Medicare at least $10,000 for nothing other than the stress test I got, which I could have gotten in my doctor’s office.
Statement from Mutual of Omaha…
I have Medicare coverage and my secondary insurance company is Mutual of Omaha. They pay the 20% of the medical costs that Medicare doesn’t cover.
You can see from the scan in this article that Jersey Shore billed $20,820 for my care. They took three chest X-Rays…and of course the nuclear stress test…that was $7,000 and my stay overnight in the hallways was $13,000.
The Mutual of Omaha statement you see shows MOH paid about $500 which is the 20% not paid by Medicare. Although I haven’t seen that statement you, you can assume that Medicare paid about $2,000.
So they billed over $20,000 and will receive about $2,500. Do you think there is something wrong with this? Imagine if you had an insurance policy that only paid part of this, you would be on the hook for the rest. Now if you have no money as many that I saw there being treated, you wouldn’t be required to pay anything.
Do you think there is something wrong with this system. You see all the new hospital shows on television now and some showcase the billing practices and how abusive they are. As many of my own doctors have told me over the years…The medical industry is broken, I have to agree.
Shame on Meridian Health
This is the second poor experience I have had at Jersey Shore Medical Center. I will never, ever go back.
Their excuse for this very poor service was “We are the only trauma center in the area” They service Neptune and Asbury Park and of course heart patients in our area.
I was told that drug dealers sell their drugs near the hospital and overdoses and trauma patients take first priority even though they do not pay for their treatments.
Other patients that go there in an emergency get very poor care if at all and sit or lay on a gurney in the hallways. Never Again….would rather die in my house than in this hospital