I hurt my back during a clinical rotation and my instructor basically forced me to go to the ER in the hospital where we were working before I could find out if it was on my insurance plan (I have my husband's insurance not through the school). I was triaged and referred to their clinic - I was never examined or treated. Before I went to the clinic my husband called me back and said "No, they are not on our insurance". This is after my instructor and the staff assured me that "they are a county hospital, they are on everyone's insurance". (And the staff said they could not look it up to see) Needless to say I did not go to their clinic and my hubby took me to an ER that was on our insurance where I was treated. Low and behold I get a bill for $100 from the ER of the hospital where I was injured. Uh, I won't be paying for that! I was not examined or treated and their staff assured me they would be on my insurance!!! I am disputing it, but I was wondering if anyone else was hurt while working in the hospital for clincials, and what happened. I don't want to involve the school if I can settle it between me and the hospital, but I ain't payin' that bill!!!! Thanks!
Feb 20, '07
first of all, let me fill you in on a few facts about the injuries in the working world. whenever you are injured, any kind of injury, you should be seen by a doctor. your instructor who "forced" you to go to the er to get checked out was looking out for your rights under federal protection laws and absolutely did the right thing. it has nothing to do with your private insurance coverage. whenever you are injured in the course of work, the facility is responsible (unless you did something incredibly stupid to contribute to your own injury) and you are covered under their workman's comp insurance. that is mandated by federal law and guaranteed to every u.s. citizen. as a student, the school has agreements and/or contracts with the facility covering injury to any student that occur in the facility at the time they are engaged in clinical actions. your being seen in the er, whatever they did for you, should be covered under either the facility's workman's compensation insurance policy or your school's liability insurance. someone should have also had you fill out some sort of an incident report as well to document your injury. if not, go back to your clinical instructor and ask about this.
secondly, being seen generated paperwork that proves you suffered some sort of injury and followed the rules set forth by the insurance carriers regarding on-the-job injury. this is important because if, down the road, you have problems because of this injury all medical care relating to it is covered by the insurance company of the facility or the school. when an employee goes back later to attempt to get a bill for medical services paid for by the facility in which they were injured and it is denied it is often because they did not follow the facility rules on being seen by the workers comp doctor. many insurance companies will not pay a person's medical insurance bill when they see that the reason for the patient encounter was due to injury on the job. so, your private insurance company may still deny you payment of the services they gave you once they realize what the encounter was for. you might get a bill from them as well. this is because the workmans' comp laws are so clearly defined in the state laws and the insurance companies are going to fight over who ultimately has to pay out the money.
you were wrong to fight going to the er of the facility where you were injured. even if you get a bill for the services of the er, you merely call their billing department (there will be a number to call on the bill) and point out that you were injured while there as a clinical student of xyz college. the billers will work with you on how to get the bill written off.
as a nursing supervisor we had nurses as well as visitors sometimes injured on the premises. number one action was to send them to the er to be seen and checked out by the er nurses and doctors. the facility is liable for anyone who is injured on their premises. especially, if it is in the course of performing work for the facility. all you did was make an even bigger problem for yourself.
as a nurse who has a long term back problem i sincerely hope that your back problem is resolved. i can tell you that every time i saw one of the doctors for my back problem i got letters from the insurance company wanting information about whether or not my back problem was related to an accident or injury. getting pre-approval for my laminectomy was a nightmare. you know why? they were looking to find out if there was another insurance company that should be paying my medical bills on these claims instead of them (car insurance, workmans' comp).
Last edit by Daytonite on Feb 20, '07