Some encouraging news has reached the Indiana family walloped with huge bills and threats of jail from a Cancun hospital.
First, they are a mere $220 short of their $30,000 fundraising goal to pay their hospital bill. Second, the hospital is denying allegations that they won’t release the patient, and possibly have a family member arrested.
After racking up more than $100,000 in medical bills, heart-attack patient Dixie Stinson will be released from Amerimed Cancun Hospital, family members now say.
Stinson was in Cancun with her husband for their granddaughter’s wedding when she collapsed and lost consciousness, according to the Lafayette Journal and Courier.
She was treated at Amerimed Cancun Hospital, a private facility on the outskirts of the city, for two blocked arteries — but not before paying roughly $55,000 upfront. And the hospital demanded another $53,000 before agreeing to release her, and threatening to arrest her husband if the bill wasn’t paid, said Mary Richardson, Stinson’s daughter.
Amerimed is a Mexico City-based network of hospitals that focuses on tourists in Mexico.
An attorney for the hospital said in a statement Friday that the hospital “never has, and never will, refuse to release a nonpaying patient for financial reasons. It is unethical, and it is against the law.”
On Thursday, a spokesperson for the American Consulate in Mérida confirmed to the Journal and Courier that by law the family cannot be arrested. A spokesperson was not available for comment Friday.
The hospital’s attorney said that the hospital has had “open and fluid communication with Mérida-based Consular Officer Suzanne McGuire,” while a representative from the Cancun-based consulate was scheduled for a visit to “ascertain the patient’s situation and attest to what is really happening.”
Stinson has “significantly improved” and has been moved from the hospital’s intensive care unit, according to the statement.
In an update Friday, Stinson’s husband, Mo Stinson, said the hospital “is trying to work it out so we can go home.”
A gofundme.com page has brought out the public’s generosity. As of Saturday morning, they are just hundreds of dollars away from their $30,000 goal.
Hospital scams targeting tourists, however, are not uncommon in Mexico, according to warning issued in May by the State Department. Two Amerimed branches in the Los Cabos area were closed in April due to “repeated reports of predatory business practices and billing,” according to the State Department’s website.
Mo Stinson said he expects his wife’s health insurance company to reimburse up to $50,000 of the costs when they return.