Fifty seven percent of all health care providers (and probably just as many patients) believe that if you leave the hospital or the emergency department against medical advice, insurance companies will not pay for the visit. Half of doctors surveyed have told or would tell patients that insurance would not pay the bill if they left AMA.
With 1 in 70 of all discharges in the US being against medical advice, such a policy would have a significant effect on finances for both patients and hospitals (if patients are unable to pay for denied coverage).
Enter a study in last month’s Annals of Emergency Medicine titled “Insurance Companies Refusing Payment for Patients Who Leave the Emergency Department Against Medical Advice is a Myth”
Several researchers reviewed 104 AMA discharges in a suburban hospital emergency department and queried 19 insurance companies including HMOs, PPOs, Medicare, Medicaid, and worker’s compensation.
Out of 104 AMA discharges, each and every visit was fully reimbursed by the insurance companies.
Now that the cat is out of the bag, will insurers change their tunes?
May not be a bad idea to find out what your policy covers before you have to make a decision to leave AMA.