• Report: #765632

Complaint Review: Brotman Medical Center

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  • Submitted: Mon, August 15, 2011
  • Updated: Sun, January 22, 2012

  • Reported By: John — Los Angeles California United States of America
Brotman Medical Center
3828 Delmas Terrace Culver City, California United States of America

Brotman Medical Center I went in with stomach pain was billed for tests on my brain and told to see a neurologist Culver City, California

*Author of original report: Re: No

*Consumer Comment: No

*Consumer Comment: malpractice?

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Last Summer I was excessively billed for medical services that were completely unnecessary and unreasonable.  I presented with stomach pain and was provided treatment and tests that were totally unrelated.  When I received a bill from Brotman for over $17,000 for these services I was appalled.  My insurance carrier informed me that they paid all but $2,972.75 of this bill, and that you were seeking this balance from me personally.  I sent them a letter in August, 2010, addressed these concerns and, according to what they represented to me at that time, put them to rest.  The billing charges sought from me personally were supposedly waived. At least thats what I had thought when I was contacted directly by their Risk Management Department and told that. Now, almost a year later, and contrary to their previous representations to me, Brotman presented me with another bill seeking payment of these charges ($2,972.75).  Furthermore, they have now threatened me with legal action if I do not pay this bill.  Needless to say, I continue to find Brotmans conduct appalling.  Their failure to live up to their agreement to waive these charges and threat of legal action against me if I dont pay them is simply wrong, and very upsetting. 

I had relied on their representations that this matter was resolved.  I am posting this report becuase I dont want get bullied or billed for the excessive testing I encountered, none of which had anything to do with my purpose for being at your hospital and neither should any innocent individuals who are unfortunate enough to be brought to Brotman. 

I understand that they are a hospital and are in the business of making money by selling medical services to sick people, but those services need to be appropriate, reasonable and necessary to the symptoms presented.  In this case they were not.

Here's the breakdown: 

In the early morning of May 5, 2010, I awoke to excruciating pain in my abdomen.  After standing to try and walk it off, I fainted from the overwhelming pain. My wife dialed 911 and I was transported to Brotman.  I spent about four hours in the emergency department at Brotman where I should have been examined, analyzed and treated for the source and cause of my stomach pain.  Instead, I received exams, tests and analysis of my fainting.  No resolution or even an opinion about what caused my stomach pain, and then of course a bill for $17,000.00?!!

At Brotman I was seen by Dr. Aminatu Shehu.  The very first thing I explained to her was that I was Vasovagal and had a history of fainting under extremely stressful situations, i was diagnosed with this as a kid decades ago.  The severe pain I was experiencing in my abdomen obviously constituted such a situation.  After telling her of this condition and telling her that this is why I fainted, she instead continuously said that it sounded as if I had a seizure.  Despite telling her repeatedly that there is no history of seizures for me or anyone in my family and telling her that I am vasovegal, she continued to pursue the seizure idea, all while i remained in excruciating stomach pain.  In hindsight what seemed clear to me was that Dr. Shehu is either incompetent or undertook a blatant course of action to over-bill me and my insurance provider.   My only symptom upon admittance to Brotman was excruciating stomach pain.  Rather than focus on what could be causing that pain Dr. Shehu focused on my fainting and seizures.  She ran up my bill by ordering 2 CT scans, 1 on my stomach and 1 on my head. With excruciating stomach pain she had me drink 2 pints of a horrendous solution prior to the 2 scans.  Because of the stomach pain these solutions caused nausea and were promptly regurgitated. In the meantime, she ordered tests and had my blood sent to the lab for examination.

For 4 hours the pain in my stomach grew progressively worse.  All this time Dr. Shehu offered nothing for the pain and instead continued to focus on my fainting, and then on the nausea which was caused by the solution she made me drink prior to the scans.  At one point I was in so much pain that in the midst of vomiting what remained of the solution, Dr. Shehu offered to give me something for nausea.  This infuriated me since the problem was the pain in my stomach and not the nausea.  After 4 hours of extreme stomach pain, hospital induced vomiting and multiple tests, x-rays, CTs, etc. the pain reached a point I could no longer tolerate.  At this point they finally decided to provide me with pain medication.  While it was being administered I felt a pop in my stomach and slowly the pain subsided.

A few minutes later Dr. Shehu returned with the results of my tests.  She reported that my blood glucose levels were high and the imaging tests showed what she called a generous pancreas. Since the stomach pain had now passed, she provided me with my release paperwork, stating the "Cause of the stomach pain was unknown."  The release paperwork went on to say, "YOU NEED TO SEE A NEUROLOGIST. GET A REFERRAL FROM YOUR DOCTOR OT USE THE ONE LISTED HERE." 

I reiterate that I went to the hospital due to stomach pain, not because of the fainting which I have encountered all my life.  I spent 4 hours in excruciating stomach pain, vomiting and screaming all the while being given nothing for the pain and being tested for seizures. Then I was released without any resolution to what caused the pain in my abdomen, a vague report of something maybe wrong with my pancreas and an instruction to follow-up with a neurologist. 

Because Dr. Shehus incompetence, over the next several weeks I spent many hours and thousands of dollars visiting specialists: gastroenterologist, neurologist, my general practitioner and even an endocrinologist because of my pancreas.  By simply looking at the results of my blood tests all of these specialists immediately concluded I had passed a Gallstone. ALL OF THEM! The gastro ordered an ultrasound to ensure I didnt have more Gallstones. The endocrinologist tested my hormone levels and concluded that everything was normal, and the neurologist ordered an MRI and a brain stress test and concluded I didnt have seizures and that my brain was functioning properly.  All of this time and expense was completely unnecessary and resulted from the substandard care I received at Brotman.

Avoid this facility for your personal health as well as the health of your finances!

John

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/15/2011 10:37 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Brotman-Medical-Center/Culver-City-California-90232/Brotman-Medical-Center-I-went-in-with-stomach-pain-was-billed-for-tests-on-my-brain-and-t-765632. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 2Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Re: No

AUTHOR: Johnbp - (United States of America)

Robert,
 
I wish I had seen your response earlier, as the answer(s) to your questions/concerns are quite simple.

"You had fainted and your wife called 911 and you were transported(by ambulance?) to the hospital. If
it was just the stomach pain why didn't your wife drive you to the  hospital once you fainted?  After all if you have a history of fainting wouldn't your wife know this as well and not worry about it?"

My wife called 911 once I fainted because she realized the pain was so severe that it had caused me to faint. In fact, when the paramedics arrived we intended to drive to the ER. However, the paramedics, using scare tactics, started painting scenarios where they depicted me fainting while she was driving and causing an accident. They then informed her that if she decided to drive me she would have to sign a waiver/release that in the event I died while being transported that they wouldnt be held responsible. You're right neither I nor my wife are doctors, so obviously she didn't feel comfortable signing such a waiver, especially without knowing what was causing my stomach pain...the fainting was (even at this point) not the issue. Also, the pain was still so excruciating that standing up was difficult. There was also concern that I would have to walk down a flight of stairs so we accepted the ambulance transport to the hospital. I don't see how this is relevant to my experience at Brotman, but I hope that helps you better understand the situation.

"No..it is because she didn't know what was going on so she called 911. 
When you go to the ER they have certain protocols.  As much as you want
to think you are a doctor you are not.  Say you went to the ER with
"stomach pain", they treat you for the pain but didn't investigate to
make sure the fainting wasn't something else.  You are released and 3
hours later die because the fainting wasn't just a simple case of
fainting from the stress of the pain."

You're right, I'm not a doctor. But I have lived my life seizure free and I find it highly unlikely that a pain in my stomach would correspond with me experiencing my first ever seizure. Also, I may be wrong, but I could have died 3 hours later from a number of other issues: I could have gotten hit by a car, I could have had a heart attack, I could have died from whatever the pain in my stomach wasthat went undiagnosed. We can speak hypothetically all day long. The fact of the matter is that I went to the ER with stomach pain and was released undiagnosed, overcharged and unreasonably tested, no matter how you try to paint the picture.

"She ran up my bill by ordering 2 CT scans, 1 on my stomach and 1
on my head. With excruciating stomach pain she had me drink 2 pints of a
horrendous solution prior to the 2 scans.

- It sure sounds like she was investigating your stomach pain."

She certainly did "investigate" my stomach pain. But as an after thought to testing me for neurological issues completely unrelated to the symptoms that brought me there in the first place. Again, my release papers stated that the cause of my stomach pain was unknown but that i should see a neurologist.

"By the way if you were so sure that nothing was wrong and it wasn't a
seizure why did you go to the other doctors?  The answer is of course
you weren't sure."

Again to your previous point, I am not a doctor. So when a doctor tells me to see a neurologist, I heed their advice, no matter how wrong I think they may be. In fact, i had to see numerous doctors to try and get a diagnosis for my main symptom that was never truly addressed, my stomach pain. Maybe I am off base here, but one would have to assume that if one went to a hospital with severe abdominal pain, that there would be a diagnosis for said issue. In fact, there was no diagnosis in that regard, just more chatter about seizures, which as I suspected, after further testing proved to be negative. I would fathom to say that I am a more qualified healthcare professional than those that tended to my "neurological" issues while I was dealing with unbearable stomach pain.

Thanks for your concern.

John
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#2 Consumer Comment

No

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

 My only symptom upon admittance to Brotman was excruciating stomach pain.
- No that was not your only symptom.  You had fainted and your wife called 911 and you were transported(by ambulance?) to the hospital. If it was just the stomach pain why didn't your wife drive you to the hospital once you fainted?  After all if you have a history of fainting wouldn't your wife know this as well and not worry about it?

No..it is because she didn't know what was going on so she called 911.  When you go to the ER they have certain protocols.  As much as you want to think you are a doctor you are not.  Say you went to the ER with "stomach pain", they treat you for the pain but didn't investigate to make sure the fainting wasn't something else.  You are released and 3 hours later die because the fainting wasn't just a simple case of fainting from the stress of the pain. 

She ran up my bill by ordering 2 CT scans, 1 on my stomach and 1 on my head. With excruciating stomach pain she had me drink 2 pints of a horrendous solution prior to the 2 scans.
- It sure sounds like she was investigating your stomach pain.

By the way if you were so sure that nothing was wrong and it wasn't a seizure why did you go to the other doctors?  The answer is of course you weren't sure.
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#3 Consumer Comment

malpractice?

AUTHOR: Jeanski - (USA)

Sounds llike you might have a good case of malpractice. Have you considered hiring an attorney? I'm not a "sue happy" kind of person, but at the very least the hospital and/or the doctor should cover that outstanding medical bill.

And don't you just HATE it when doctors ignore medical information (such as you provided about the fainting) in order to pursue their own agendas?  I have a small spot on my lung caused by histoplasmosis - common infection in women from my part of the country.  It's been there all my adult life and is totally benign.  I have leanred to easily spot it on my x-rays. Yet, every time I present with bronchitis (about every other year because I smoke) the doctors want to do a battery of tests because of this "suspicious" spot.  I keep trying to tell them it's not suspicious at all.  Yet, I'm not a doctor so no one wants to believe me!
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