After call from 1199SEIU, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Physicians Group stops practice of charging late-night fees to patients
Until recently, patients being treated by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's physician group, Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians (HMFP), were charged extra fees, simply for going to the emergency room after 10PM.
In September, the healthcare workers of 1199SEIU launched a public awareness campaign to shed light on the practice -- and to ask BIDMC and HMFP to refund the money to patients -- including those who were charged at affiliates Nashoba Valley Medical Center, Milton Hospital, Saint Vincent Hospital and BID-Needham.
The next day, Milton Hospital announced that it had stopped charging patients the additional fee for being seen after 10PM and would refund anyone who had been charged the late-night fee. And then, Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians announced that it was dropping "late night" fees charged to ER patients at the five Massachusetts hospitals.
This victory is just the latest in a series of major accomplishments achieved by the members of 1199SEIU through the EyeOnBI.org campaign. BIDMC has returned more than a half a million dollars in Medicare overcharges and reformed its charity care disclosures; and an advisory board member facing charges for financial dealings related to the Madoff scandal resigned.
Together, the healthcare workers of 1199SEIU will continue to advocate for hospital executives to return to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's mission of service to community, treating patients compassionately, and fostering a work environment based on mutual respect and collaboration; and help to restore the legacy that made both the former Beth Israel and Deaconess hospitals two of the landmark medical institutions in Boston offering generations of families in Massachusetts both employment and quality care. Healthcare reform begins at home.
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