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After alleged threats, Cancun hospital releases patient

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An elderly woman from Lafayette, Ind., has been released from a Cancun hospital after paying $67,000 USD toward her $100,000-plus bill.

Dixie Stinson traveled to Cancun with her husband for their granddaughter’s wedding, but she lost consciousness Aug. 1 and was transported to Amerimed Cancun Hospital. Ms. Stinson needed two operations for blocked arteries, and her family said the hospital required them to pay about $55,000 upfront before she could receive treatment. Her Medicare and AARP insurance were not useful in Mexico.

Stinson’s daughter claimed hospital administrators refused to release her mother until a significant portion of her bill was paid. The bill had grown to more than $100,000 as of Saturday. If the family didn’t come up with the money, hospital administrators allegedly said they would have Ms. Stinson’s husband arrested, a claim the hospital strongly denies.

Their local congressman, Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), entered into talks with the U.S. Consulate in Merida, and the meeting has been credited for swaying the hospital into allowing Stinson to be discharged over the weekend.

Ms. Stinson’s husband told WISH-TV that the couple expects to owe around $120,000 to the hospital when they return home.

A lawyer for Amerimed Cancun Hospital said the hospital “never has, and never will, refuse to release a nonpaying patient for financial reasons. It is unethical and against the law.”

Amerimed Cancún Hospital is part of Amerimed Hospitales, a chain of private hospitals throughout Mexico. Two of the system’s facilities in Los Cabos were closed down by Mexican officials earlier this year under allegations of predatory business practices and billing, according to the U.S. State Department.

With information from the Lafayette Journal & Courier.

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