One question that changes everything
hospital staff may not help if they aren't asked the right way

The other day I was in an ER far from home. The woman in charge of triage was refusing to move forward with triage because we didn’t have insurance they’d accept.

The fact that we had insurance and had even gotten pre-approval to go to the ER wasn’t enough — she wanted us to call them back and get paperwork faxed to her. The instructions we’d gotten to pay out of pocket and submit the invoice for reimbursement meant nothing to her. She wanted a fax. But she couldn’t find the fax number.

Finally, I asked, “Is there another ER we could go to that will accept payment in cash?”

Suddenly, we could pay in cash. There was a clear procedure in place and it was no problem.

The next day, I saw the same advice in a comment here:

If I got, “Sorry, I can’t help you.” I asked who could. – Diane Bobinski

When you’re talking in circles — or worse yet, being told ‘no’ over and over again — ask who can help.

It seems obvious, but it’s so easy to forget to do in the moment.

Plenty of times the person saying “that’s not my job” knows whose job it is to help you. But so often they don’t offer up any information you don’t ask for.

Written by Cori Carl
As Director, Cori is an active member of the community and regularly creates resources for people providing care.

Related Articles

Popular categories

Finances
Burnout
After Caregiving
Housing
Relationships
Finding Meaning
Planning
Dying
Finding Support
Work
Grief

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts

7 Comments

  1. “I have probate court ordered legal guardianship. Here’s the documentation.”0

    Reply
  2. I was under the impression that emergency rooms had to provide service, regardless of the ability to pay??? I know I’ve seen signs up in our ER that say as much…

    Reply
    • I think only if it’s determined to be a life or death situation, but I’m not sure if this took place in the US or not.

      Reply
  3. I hope we caregiving families can please stand up to the next proposed repeal of the ACA also, otherwise I fear, stories like this will be happening more and more.

    Reply
  4. I found myself angry when reading this article and I’m not completely sure why. I understand the art of negotiating, but for pity’s sake this is an ER it should not be that hard to get a loved one medical care.

    Reply
  5. I found this in business as a very young woman, never negotiate with someone who can say no but cannot say yes!

    Reply

Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.