Strange that the hospital accounting system didn't reconcile the insurance payment and left the man under the influence of the collection arm for over a year. BD
FLINT - It's the kind of health care horror story that sounds perfect for Michael Moore's new movie, "Sicko."
In August 2005, doctors in Florida opened Flint therapist Clayton Redfield's chest after he'd suffered a series of strokes. They found a tumor blocking his aorta. But Redfield's insurance company, Aetna, wouldn't pay the nearly $66,000 surgery cost, a letter from his Florida hospital said.
"We pay all our bills, but there was no way we could write a check out of our checking account for $66,000," said Redfield, 60. "We worried we'd lose our house."
For a year, Redfield, director of clinical programs at New Paths community corrections program in Flint, seemed to be stuck with the bill - until six months ago when, frustrated, he created a Web page about the problems.
It caught the attention of Moore as he worked on promotion of his film. In June, within 48 hours of Moore linking Redfield's Web page and YouTube.com video to his Web site, www.michaelmoore.com, a letter from Aetna informed Redfield and his wife they owed only a $500 co-pay.
A compelling story - except that Aetna says it had long since paid Redfield's bill.
"It was a matter of miscommunication," said an Aetna spokeswoman. "We paid the claim a year ago. The hospital pursued (Redfield) for the claim amount, instead of the co-pay. To our knowledge, Moore had no involvement at all."