Thursday, June 13

Patients Angry At Atrium Health Over New Billing Policies

Health care costs. Stock Photo (fotofabrika/Adobe Stock)
Health care costs. Stethoscope and calculator

ASHEBORO N.C. – Patients are expressing anger and outrage over new billing practices put in place after the Atrium / Wake Forest Health merger.

Back in December of 2021 we began to be contacted by local residents who were upset after hospital bills they received from Wake Forest Health were sent to collections while they were still making payments.

“The hospital bill itself after insurance wasn’t unreasonable” said Susan, who asked we not use her last name, “but there was just no way I could pay the minimum monthly payment of $50 and they weren’t willing or able to bring down that monthly payment, so I was paying $20-$30 a month because that’s what I could afford”

Despite actively paying on her bill every month since July Susan said in December instead of a bill she got a letter from collections. “It didn’t make any sense, the account had been past due from the second month because there was no way I could afford the minimum. I was actively paying on the bill, so why now?” Susan said she called the patient billing office and was told a new policy required that bills be paid off in 3 to 4 statements. Susan says she is still confused. “Is that three to four past due statements, or total statements?” She wrote an email to the billing supervisor but got no response. “What’s really confusing is why if they wrote the bill off to collections why is it still showing as a balance in MyWakeHealth billing page?”

Susan’s story contains all the elements of what we heard from other patients who did not wish to go on the record with their experiences.

Acme News attempted to contact both the Patient Financial Services Department Supervisor at Wake Health as well as multiple contacts for Atrium Wake Health’s Public Relations department to try and get answers about the new billing practices. However, multiple emails and voicemails over the span of a month went unanswered.