A Missouri man says he was unable to get the medical care he needed — since he didn’t have 50 cents to cover the bill.
Jesse Jackson-Harris, of St. Louis, claimed he was turned away during a visit to the Washington University School of Medicine in December to get treatment for a tumor, news station KMOV reported.
Jackson-Harris, who is covered under the state’s Medicaid program, scheduled the appointment with the ophthalmologist because the tumor was impacting his vision.
When he arrived, the appointment was immediately canceled since he was unable to come up with the 50 cents for the co-pay, according to Jackson-Harris.
He said he asked if they could bill him instead, but he was told “come back when you have the 50-cent co-pay,” KMOV reported.
A spokesperson for MO Helathnet — the state’s Medicaid program — said that providers are not allowed to deny care to a patient who can’t pay a bill.
“If a MO Healthnet participant cannot pay when at the time the services are rendered, the provider must still see the MO Healthnet participant,” a spokesperson told KMOV.
Jackson-Harris said that he was able to reschedule his appointment, but wanted to speak out to prevent others from being refused treatment.
“This will bring attention to someone else,” he said. “How many have been turned away [over] inability to have finances to pay a doctor for whatever is going on.”
Washington University School of Medicine said they have “met our obligations to this patient” in a statement.
“Washington University School of Medicine complies with the law,” a spokesperson told KMOV. “The issue with respect to this patient was brought to our attention by one of our physicians and promptly rectified.”
Credit: NY Post