Family Turns to Ted for help with pricey bill for no care at ER clinic

Thursday, December 24, 2020
Family Turns to Ted for help after bill without medical care
When a 5-year-old got a scary cut over his lip, his mom wanted to get him help as fast as possible. But the scares didn't end there.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A few months back, 5-year-old Rami was running in the house and hit his lip on the side of a living room table, opening up a pretty nasty cut on his lip.

Rami admits it was awfully scary for him. It was a little scarier for his mom, Lisa Foty, who rushed him to the First Choice Emergency Room around the corner from the family's home.

"In that situation," Foty told ABC13, "you just instantly want to get the quickest help for your child."

But Foty says First Choice told her, they may not have the staff and equipment to stitch a cut on a child's face the best way possible. "They just said, 'Hey, you probably need to take him to a children's hospital.'"

So they did. Rami was fine a few hours later. But once he was healing, his parents got a bill from First Choice.

"The facility fee was $480 something and the medical professional fee was about another $400."

ABC13 examined the bills and asked Foty, "How many medical professionals actually laid their hands on Rami?"

"None," Foty replied, explaining they left before ever seeing a medical professional.

The family tried and tried to figure out what they were paying for and when they didn't get answers or even an itemized bill, they called us.

The Turn to Ted team called First Choice on a Friday afternoon and Foty told us, "I believe that following Monday we got a phone call from the clinic that basically just said that they had zeroed our bills out and didn't give us an explanation, just told us that was it."

First Choice Emergency Room has since closed. Before they closed, ABC13's attempts to get comment were unsuccessful, but the advice is still good. Know what facilities take your insurance before an emergency happens. And if you're going somewhere you've not been before, ask if they can treat your situation before giving your information.

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