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NEED HERNIA OPERATION. NO INSURANCE. HELP?

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Th1onein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 01:08 AM
Original message
NEED HERNIA OPERATION. NO INSURANCE. HELP?
I have a friend, in Galveston County, Texas, who is in a lot of pain. He has a hernia the size of a large cucumber. He's been to the free clinics and they tell him, "Yep, you've got a hernia." and send him home. He has no health insurance and he is in an awful lot of pain. They tell him they can't help him because they are helping the Katrina victims. This man is throwing up everything that he eats and he is absolutely miserable. He needs a hernia operation. Can anyone tell me where to go to for help for him?
www.niefundraising.com
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Nite Owl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 01:13 AM
Response to Original message
1. All I know to do is a
K&R

Maybe someone who knows will see this.
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Hieronymus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 01:13 AM
Response to Original message
2. All too common.
We're the only western country where that is possible. We need universal healthcare badly.
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Contrite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 01:14 AM
Response to Original message
3. Maybe if he goes to an ER
they will admit him
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Change has come Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 01:19 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. I agree
This is a medical emergency.
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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 01:18 AM
Response to Original message
4. a post on modestneeds.com?
Though of course, this isn't "modest..."
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chknltl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 01:20 AM
Response to Original message
6. On the off chance that he is a vetren...
He may go to any VA Hospital and will be seen. Sadly, many vets are actually unaware of this!
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 01:20 AM
Response to Original message
7. used to be that most hospitals had to give a certain amount free/lowcost care.
Something about getting funded way back, and to repay the debt to society. I am not sure how much of that got stopped in the 80s/90s, recall hearing something about it then, but it might be worthwhile for your friend to go talk with the hospital as they know about things like this. Go to a couple even since you never know how helpful any 1 may be. There may also perhaps be medicaide available, check with local health department on where to go apply. That depends on income, but could help perhaps.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 01:24 AM
Response to Original message
8. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Broken_Hero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 01:40 AM
Response to Original message
9. bump nt
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 01:46 AM
Response to Original message
10. Thank you moderator for unlocking this
We need to be able to share information about how to go about getting help in situations like this. I understand the need to not do fundraising here, and thank you for allowing us to continue this discussion.
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Th1onein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 01:53 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Thank you so much, Uppity.
And, thank you, Mods, for unlocking this thread.

It is so hard to see my friend in so much pain. The poor man, he's not very smart. I'm not putting him down, but he's just an innocent little person. He's in so much pain, and it hurts to see him like this. He thinks I'm smart, so he came to me, and asked me what to do. I wish I were as smart as he seems to think, but I'm not so I'm asking my friends, here on DU, who I know are smarter than me.

He went to the hospital and sat in the ER for over 18 hours and they sent him home with a diagnosis of a hernia, but they won't do the operation, because he isn't insured.

I'm thinking about taking him into Mexico and paying for the operation myself.
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Change has come Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 02:12 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. What ever the solution
It has to be found quickly. If this man has a cucumber sized hernia protruding from his body, there is a danger of a strangulation which can become life threatening and will cost 10x the amount to repair.
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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #15
29. Agreed. By the way, we met people from Arizona crossing the border to get
excellent medical and dental care in Mexico. Less expensive, but would it work in this particular case? I have no idea but I'll say a prayer for your friend.
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varun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. Medical care in countries like India
is 10 times cheaper than here, with comparable quality of care and doctors.


He may want to investigate that route.

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Th1onein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 01:50 AM
Response to Original message
11. NEED INFORMATION TO GET HERNIA OPERATION.
To the Mods: This is NOT fundraising! I am trying to get some information on where and how I can get a friend, who has NO insurance, an operation for his hernia.

My friend, from Galveston County, TX, has a hernia the size of a large cucumber. He is in a lot of pain. He's been to the free clinics and they just tell him that he has a hernia and send him home. The hospital in Galveston (UTMB) says that they are overwhelmed with people from Katrina who need help and unless he's at death's door, they can't help him.

Where does he go? Where does a person go, who is not insured, and not working (his girlfriend makes money, so they are counting that as income, so he can't get Medicaid, I guess), go to get help for this kind of thing?
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colinmom71 Donating Member (616 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 06:27 AM
Response to Reply #11
23. Call around for hospitals that have the Hill-Burton program....
Firstly, as for the girlfriend's income - While her income is a mitigating factor to his cost of living (shares rent, utilities,etc. reducing his burden in those areas), her income cannot be considered as a qualifier for him receiving Medicaid or other public assistance, including in applying for charity care at the hospital itself. They can only legally consider her income as combined with his if they are related or married.

Look for non-profit hospitals as they are required by law to provide a certain amount of charity care every year. Since it's January, you should be able to find somewhere that can help your friend...

Info on the Hill-Burton program - http://www.hrsa.gov/hillburton/default.htm

Charity care in Texas - http://www.texasbar.com/Template.cfm?Section=pamphlets&... (also, Google "charity hospital care Texas", you'll find more info similar to this....)
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #23
33. Thank you, Hill-Burton is what I was trying to remember last night
Good idea, check this out.
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Th1onein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-27-07 04:37 AM
Response to Reply #23
34. Okay, that helps.
I've printed out the Hill-Burton information and the list of hospitals that provide that type of care. I'm going to give this info to his girlfriend and get the ball rolling on this. There's a ray of light shining at the end of that dark tunnel now.

Thank God for DU and DUers.
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charlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 02:05 AM
Response to Original message
13. This Google search
http://www.google.com/search?num=20&q=galveston%20indig...

turns up links to articles about UT Medical Branch in Galveston, which spends about a half billion a year on indigent medical treatment. It looks like they'll take him in if he's poor enough.
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Sgent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 02:06 AM
Response to Original message
14. Some options
1) Apply for Medicaid -- may not be an option in TX, but is in many states.
2) Apply for Vocational Rehab (if he is working) http://www.dars.state.tx.us/drs/vr.shtml has more details. VR will have money to pay for surgery if it will allow him to keep his job.
3) Call every non-profit hospital in the area and ask for charity care. Most likely at least someone will provide it.
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laylah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 07:21 AM
Response to Reply #14
25. Hopefully Medicaid
is different in Texas. I applied here in IL for Medicaid to help with my Hep C treatment (dr's are refusing to see me because although I have terrific insurance, I cannot cover co-pays)but was denied.

Good luck, again, Th1, to your friend.

Jenn
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133724 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 02:14 AM
Response to Original message
16. go to the ER IMMEDIATELY........
Screew the money if he really is that poor he can file for bankruptcy...(don't charge anything to a credit card since * f_____ that up).

His life is more important than money.....
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Th1onein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 02:33 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. He waited 18 hours in the ER already. They sent him home.
They said that they were too busy with the Katrina victims and that he had to be at death's door for them to help him.

I'm thinking about going and getting him and taking him into Mexico for an operation. It looks like that might be his only choice.
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MagickMuffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 03:20 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. The ER he already went to was it a county hospital?
Hospitals are not supposed to turn anyone away. However, because he doesn't have insurance they will of course penalize him and charge him more. I would think Galveston would have someplace for lower income people to get treatment. :shrug:

My S-I-L needed medical attention and also not having insurance went to our county hospital. Luckily she does not make enough so she will get a prorated care for about 6 months then she will need to look for a new job with insurance. Her boss is a real jerk, and won't provide insurance coverage because most of her co-workers use their spouses insurance.

This is something I can relate to not having insurance myself.

Best of luck to your friend, may he get the medical attention he deserves.


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Sgent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 05:25 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. Hospitals only have
an obligation to stabilize some one with a life threatening illness. There is no requirement to treat regardless of the problem if it isn't immediately life threatening.
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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. Could this be a strangulated hernia -- not reducible? I've heard that can become
life threatening very quickly. The fact that he is nauseated and throwing up means something. How can that be stabilized?
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 02:37 AM
Response to Original message
18. Add it to the DU Texas forum.
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orleans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 03:47 AM
Response to Original message
20. idea: see if you can check this out. i'm thinking if he called 9-1-1 and
had the paramedics come for him and they would take him to a hospital that would admit him.
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 05:29 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. they would stabilize him and send him home
I work in the medical field and some of what goes on would blow your mind. Unstable ankle fractures waiting two weeks for ORIF (open reduction internal fixation) because of insurance reasons issues, appendicitis perforating because of repeated releases from the ER, R.N.F.A. (R.N. First Assistant) nurses being used as assistant surgeons in major operations, etc., etc.

Medical care has never been more expensive and more dicey in this country.
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orleans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. damn! that's depressing to know. n/t
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PhilipShore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-27-07 07:25 AM
Response to Reply #22
36. I agree 100%
I live in NYC -- and I am amazed at the decaying health
care system in our country. My ancestors when they
they came over from Russia here helped build major hospitals, in
large cities. I'm sure it was because they just wanted to
do something good for the community, and that community in turn rewarded
them -- and they eventually becoming millionaires.

If they knew what out heath care system has turned into -- they
would be turning in their graves.

When I go to a doctor, I am 80% of the time mistreated, misdiagnosed --
kind of frightening considering: I am putting my life in their hands.
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laylah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 07:18 AM
Response to Original message
24. There is a federally funded
program for those in need, to cover hospital bills. It is call the Hill(s?)/Burton program (or maybe Burton/Hill(s). It covered my hospital stay, emergency room, and physicians charges for an ectopic pregnancy. That may be an option for your friend.

Good luck.

Jenn
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
27. Try Ben Taub
in Houston. It's the county hospital.
Good luck!

Has he tried John Sealy?
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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
30. Please keep us updated. I'll keep thinking, but you do have some good DU advice in this thread.
In peace,

Radio Lady
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LSK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
32. post your story on craigslist, maybe someone can help there?
Good luck to you friend.

It is so disgusting how we treat the sick in this country!

:grr: :grr:
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PhilipShore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-27-07 06:36 AM
Response to Original message
35. Bellevue in NYC cares for the poor
I really wish I had an answer, I was about to
say he maybe could come to NYC and be able to get the
operation -- but event these days the major teaching
hospitals in the city turn away patients with chronic conditions.

However, maybe Bellevue in NYC, would give him the operation, they
care for primarily the poor. When I went there -- they gave out free
medication, without any questions asked, and if I was in a clinic
it was I think $10 for medication, and a sign says they will not
under any condition accept medicaid to pay for prescriptions.

I am not a Doctor, perhaps a Doctor where he lives could tell him
how he could get the operation in Bellevue -- or some other major city
as described in the following NY Times article.

Ailing Foreigners Burden Emergency Rooms in U.S


http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&r...

Medical immigrants, mostly poor or middle-class foreigners from poor
countries, are traveling to United States to seek care at emergency
rooms in New York City and other big cities, where law says they must
be treated if problems require immediate care; many hospitals, fearing
anti-immigrant sentiment that has restricted access to health care in
some states, resist counting such patients; medical immigrants are tiny
but striking example of larger and growing problem of uninsured or
underinsured ...
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