Avatar universal

Emergency room bill for $4k


I need some advice here. My relative was visiting me in the US and got to ER for sudden increase of blood pressure (High of 200). ER didn't do much to improve her condition (did not give her a single dose of any medicine), but took a battery of tests. Her condition has improved after couple of hours and she went back to my home. She long flew back to her home country. I recently got a $4k bill (billed on my relative's name but addressed to my address since she stayed with me) which she will not be able to pay at all.


1) what the heck ER think of charging that much for just looking at the patient?
2) am I obliged to pay for her legally? All the bills are on her name. My name or SSN never appears (at least so far)
3) related to #2, If she does not pay, will they have any means and/or legal authority to request that I pay for her since she stayed at my address and is my relative (as apparent from the last names)

Thanks a lot for the help
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Avatar universal
Dear Amir,

thank you so much for your prompt answer. To obtain more advice, I would like to clarify the situations a bit.

Yes, I invited her to come to visit, otherwise she would never have got her visa to US, you need an invitation letter for that. But she had the means to come for her own expenses mostly. So I guess that complicates the answer to questions 2&3. I would believe there will be a lot of difficulties for the hospital in trying to pinpoint from where she came and how to link her to me legally..

Frankly, I do not feel well of not paying someone for the services they rendered. However, when confronting something like this bill for essentially no services - you are in the position of a person who is being robbed and is trying to avoid it.

Thank you again

Helpful - 0
282113 tn?1388159749
Dear Ant2001,

It makes more sense that I answer your questions 2 & 3 first.
The only time I have seen hospitals (or other providers) go after the US resident relative of a foreign national who had unpaid emergency room bills was if the foreign national visitor obtained their US visa based on the sponsorship of that US resident relative. In other wards if you did not provide sponsorship to your relative that was used to obtain US visa, you are not likely to be liable. That means most likely this $4000 bill will never get paid. Unfortunately this is not rare & a good percentage of ER patients don't end up paying their bills which in turn adds to the overhead of the ER. This phenomenon results in much higher fees for services that can be obtained for a fraction in a non-emergency clinic that doesn’t deal with non-paying patients. So the answer to your question 1 is, “yes, ER does charge an insane amount of money for services to cover the overhead & all the other unpaid bills!


Amir Mostafaie
Helpful - 0

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