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The Harris County Hospital District has been brought before the courts in a recent lawsuit filed by patients. The indigent patients claim that they were denied medical care, and the lack of attention that they were receiving may have made their illnesses progress to a fatal stage. In the complaints, these patients say that they were charged co-payments for doctor visits and prescriptions before the hospital had checked on the individual’s ability to cover those copayments. In addition, the patients were denied care at health centers and pharmacies. They only place that they were accepted for a check-up was at the emergency room.
The team of lawyers who took on the case is representing five patients who were all angered by the actions of the hospital staff. The lawsuit seeks permanent injunction so that the district won’t deny or reduce care to eligible residents just because they can’t refuse or contribute to the cost of care. The plaintiffs also seek to see the hospitals post signs that say that voluntary contributions towards the costs of assistance are accepted. They want the language to be accurate so that people aren’t cheated out of care because they aren’t able to pay. According to the Houston Chronicle, the hospitals updated their criteria for determining that patients were eligible for financial assistance back in December. They say that the participants must be active with the HCHD and identify and apply for other funding resources like Medicare and Medicaid so that they can make a financial contribution when they need service.
However, the Texas law declares that counties can create hospitals that proved medical care to indigent and needy residents. The medical centers can’t deny or reduce medical treatment to an eligible and needy patient who can’t contribute to his or her medical care. Yet the five plaintiffs on this case say that this is exactly what happened to them. They were sent away because of an inability to pay, and may have suffered serious illness because of it. This constitutes as a medical malpractice lawsuit and if any of these plaintiffs fell gravely ill as a result of the neglect than he or she would have a very viable personal injury lawsuit. If you have a case, then contact a personal injury attorney in Texas to talk about your options.