Saturday, March 10, 2012

Signing Out AMA (against medical advice)

I have encouraged people to sign out AMA if they don't want, like, can't afford, or simply just don't feel like going along with it all! Seems to me that since Versed, these medical people tack on all kinds of extras, beginning with a nice armful of poison. Imagine my surprise when I came across this article from Dr. Kevin's blog; Does leaving against medical advice stick patients with a bill? I have personal experience with this and the answer to this question is a resounding NO! Insurance companies do NOT punish the patient for refusing further medical treatment. Don't let medical personnel bludgeon you into staying by citing this absolute lie. I HAVE signed out AMA and not only did my insurance company pay their share, but they probably heaved a sigh of relief that I didn't go along with the absurd program at the hospital. FYI, I did also threaten to sign out once and at no time did the medical people involved in my care use this particular billing threat on me. Of course THAT was back when medical care was just that. None of this "drug the patient with Versed to prevent them from eloping, and then pretend that they agreed to stay and go ahead with the procedure."

Patients are not prisoners! The law states that we can stop the procedure at any time, even after beginning. We can also leave. I'm talking about people with a physical problem folks, not mental patients. There is no punitive action attached to leaving abruptly. Geez if it was true that if we decline medical treatment we would be on the hook for a huge bill, that would be really nasty wouldn't it? According to the article, a lot medical people actually BELIEVE if the patient leaves AMA their insurance company will refuse to pay the bill for procedure interruptus! That's right, medical genius's have this belief! Without checking the facts, they are threatening their patients with monetary damages for defying their infinite wisdom and leaving! Conversely, if these medical people DON'T believe this myth, then they are using strong arm tactics and an urban legend to scare patients into compliance. (this is not consent BTW. Health care workers are not allowed to coerce patients with threats.) Either way, it doesn't look good for them.

I didn't even have insurance when I broke my arm and *I* wasn't allowed to leave AMA! Somehow our newer medical people have gotten it into their minds that they are Gods and that we patients have no rights. Like the "patient relations" woman told me, "once you step inside the hospital you are consenting for them to do WHATEVER THEY WANT!" This is not TRUE. Patients are allowed to decline anything they want, at any time, even after beginning the procedure. It's the law. They are allowed to leave the hospital grounds without forfeiting their insurance. Your insurance company will pay for services rendered even if you sign out AMA. Don't let these health care workers intimidate you or use lies and coercion to force you into anything you don't want done to you! When you order your medical team to omit Versed and threaten to sign out AMA if they continue trying to force you to accept it, remember that you CAN sign out AMA and the insurance company WILL pay for services RENDERED. They may not pay for the rest of the procedure you never got, but whose problem is that? The one thing it isn't is the patients problem... Nice try medical people.

My advice is to call your insurance carrier. Ask THEM what happens with the billing if you sign out AMA. Tell them you heard a RUMOR and want to do a fact check and see if it is a modern myth. Just like any other person of even modest intelligence would do...

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