Lincolnton grandma says hospital billed her $5,600 more than expected for surgery

Lincolnton grandmother says hospital billed her $1,000s more than expected after asking price ahead of time

LINCOLNTON, N.C. — Nancy Shupp said she was with her grandchildren at a farm when she tripped over some hay, broke her wrist, and needed surgery.

She said she went to the hospital, Frye Regional Medical Center.

Shupp doesn’t have traditional insurance, so she had to pay out of pocket. She told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke the hospital representative told her she’d have to pay $10,000.

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“So, I repeated that back to her. I said, ‘Are you saying that, if I pay this today, I won’t owe anymore. That this will take care of the entire surgery?’ And she said, ‘Yes,’” Shupp said. “And then I asked again, ‘Now, if we do this today, this will take care of the entire surgery?’ And she said, ‘Yes,’ again.”

Shupp decided to pay and have the surgery. She said time went by and she got another bill, one for $5,600.

“It was very clear to both my husband and I that the agreement was that, if we paid the ($)10,000, that would be it. So, to come back and ask for another ($)5,600 after that, I didn’t understand,” Shupp said. “I worked with them for about six weeks, trying to go up the chain of command.”

But Shupp, who works in the medical field, said nothing changed -- so she turned to Stoogenke.

Action 9 emailed Frye. The hospital didn’t share its side of the story -- probably for patient privacy reasons -- but Shupp said it contacted her.

“They finally agreed to write off the $5,600,” Shupp told Stoogenke. “My husband and I both were just like, ‘Oh, yes, yes, yes, finally.’ We were ecstatic.”

So, do what she did if you’re ever in a similar situation:

  • Make sure you know the pricing ahead of time. But go one step further; get the answer in writing.
  • If things take a bad turn after that, be persistent and contact Action 9 if you’re not getting anywhere.
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