EyeOnBI.org is part of an effort to return Beth Israel Deaconess to its founding principles and ensure that the administration is putting the interests of patients, workers and community members first. Read more




In order for healthcare reform to continue to succeed and for everyone to have access to affordable health care, hospitals must use resources efficiently and guard against unwarranted costs to patients and taxpayers. Unfortunately, during CEO Paul Levy’s tenure Beth Israel Deaconess has faced multiple accusations including over-charging patients, taxpayers, and the state and federal governments.


Wednesday
Sep232009

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.

September 23, 2009: Union criticizes late-night fees at Beth Israel's ER

September 23, 2009: Milton emergency room ends $30 extra late-night fee
September 22, 2009: Outrageous "Late-Night" Fees for ER Care

   September 23, 2009: Union criticizes late-night fees at Boston-based Beth Israel's ER

September 23, 2009: Putting a Premium on Emergency Care

September 23, 2009: Workplace Issues Today: Hospital fees create contention in Boston

Monday
Jul272009

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center called on to refund controversial “late-night” fees to Emergency Room patients

Healthcare workers to demonstrate at annual BIDMC board meeting and launch public advocacy campaign for patient refund

After successfully prompting Beth Israel Deaconess-Needham to repay the government more than $569,000 for overbilling Medicare, the state’s largest healthcare union is now asking Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) to provide refunds to hundreds of patients who may have been hit with controversial “late-night”

Emergency Room fees for requiring care after 10 p.m.

EyeOnBI is launching a public advocacy campaign featuring radio, newspaper, and billboard advertisements asking the hospital to take action at their annual board meeting to refund the fees.

Sunday
Jun282009

Beth Israel Deaconess Affiliated Doc Group Hits Patients with Extra Fees for Accessing Emergency Services.

Patients forced to pay “After Hours Fee” for going to the emergency room --at times when visiting the doctor's office just isn't an option.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s physician group, Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians, which staffs the Emergency Rooms at Milton Hospital, charged a patient there an “after-hours” fee for ER visits between 10 pm and 8 am. BI’s physician group also staffs the ER’s of St. Vincent’s, Nashoba Valley, and Landmark of Rhode Island.

June 28, 2009: Sick over after-hours charge for emergency room visit

If you've received a hospital bill with an “after-hours” or other extra charges -- send us your story!

Tuesday
Mar102009

Patient Complains Beth Israel Charged Additional Fee for Seeing Her Doctor.

March 10, 2009: Some Hospitals Charging Facility Fees For Care
Patients who see their doctors for routine outpatient care on the Beth Israel Deaconess campus rather than at a private office building are being billed a facility fee by the hospital. Although the practice is not uncommon, due to the trend toward higher deductibles in insurance coverage, more patients are being held responsible for these costs that were previously paid by their insurer.

Friday
Aug292008

CBS Evening News, August 29, 2008: Americans Receiving Large, Illegal Balance Bills After Hospital Stays

CBS reports that BIDMC billed a patient who had insurance nearly $60,000 after her back surgery.

 

  Watch CBS Videos Online

 

June 9, 2007: Union says Beth Israel Overbills the State
The Globe reports on research findings that BIDMC used overly-aggressive billing practices, and had the highest ER cost of any major Boston hospital for charges to the state uncompensated care pool.

August 1, 2007: Residents May Have Been Used to ‘Game’ State Fund
Research showed that BIDMC charged nearly double the statewide average for uninsured patients to the uncompensated care pool, setting a precedent that could have jeopardized healthcare reform.

July 13, 2007: Union Decries Beth Israel Billing
Research shows that BIDMC emergency room costs for uninsured patients were more than double the statewide average, and that the hospital abused the uncompensated care pool.

BID-Needham overcharged Medicare by $569,000 in just one year.
An important part of the mission of the healthcare workers union, 1199SEIU, is to be an industry watchdog and ensure that resources are being used to protect patient care, increase healthcare access and improve hospital jobs. To this end, 1199SEIU regularly conducts studies of hospital funding and spending practices. When 1199SEIU discovered that BID- Needham had overcharged Medicare, it notified the hospital’s board of directors, after which the sum was repaid. Read the letter to the BID-Needham and CareGroup boards.