Checking Yourself Out Of The Hospital

If you have ever been in the hospital and wanted to check yourself out, you probably know that they will tell you that your insurance won’t pay the bill if you leave without being discharged.

Right before I switched to a doctor in Pittsburgh for my foot, I ended up in the ER the day that I decided to change doctors and was admitted to the hospital.  I was told by the doctor I had been seeing that I was not allowed to go to Pittsburgh because I had a hole in my foot. He arranged for another doctor to come in and give me a second opinion – how nice of him!  I said that I was keeping my appointment in Pittsburgh and had to check myself out of the hospital in order to do that.  My appointment was on a Monday and I waited until I had my IV antibiotics on Sunday before leaving.  I was told that my insurance probably would not pay the bill – they did pay it.

Last week I pulled out the little manual my insurance sends every year because I wanted to look up what my new DME deductible was. I was flipping thru the manual and happened to notice this:


I can’t say all insurance companies are like that but it never made sense why an insurance company would not pay the bill if you left on your own.  I had a different insurance company when I checked out.

If you are in the hospital, you are there for a reason and I don’t recommend just leaving without a plan.  I knew I was seeing another doctor and when I went to Pittsburgh the next day, I was prepared to be admitted to the hospital there. The doctor I saw in Pittsburgh did not admit me that day, but did tell me to plan on being admitted the following week and I would have surgery.  Had I not checked out and gone to Pittsburgh, I would not have my leg today.
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