3 ON YOUR SIDE: Cleveland woman fights paying ER medical bills - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

3 ON YOUR SIDE: Cleveland woman fights paying ER medical bills

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -

A Cleveland couple says they were tired of paying medical bills for trips to the emergency room that yielded little results. The woman says she went to SkyRidge Medical Center two times complaining of unbearable pain and was sent back home. It turns out she had a potentially life-threatening condition.

Laura Bible went to the ER complaining of pain in her abdomen. To her surprise, the nurse practitioner told her she was pregnant. They took an ultra sound, said she had a cyst and could possibly be having a miscarriage and sent her home with pain medicine. Two days later the pain returned and was even worse.

"The same thing happened," says Laura Bible. "I woke up with this really bad pain in my side. It was so excruciating, I wasn't even able to get up and walk to the car. So we actually called an ambulance to take me to the hospital, to the ER."

Laura Bible says the staff at SkyRidge Medical Center told her for the second time she was having a miscarriage and sent her home with pain medicine.

"I just found out I was pregnant. I thought maybe I was having a cyst. And then I went from that to finding out, okay, I'm losing a baby," says Bible.

For Laura, already the mom of a 16-month-old boy, it was hard news to take in. It was two days later she went to her personal doctor.

"I told her that I was in tremendous pain, still. She immediately did an ultrasound. She identified it as an ectopic pregnancy. She immediately sent me to the hospital and did emergency surgery right then," says Bible.

An ectopic pregnancy can be potentially deadly for the mother. The baby starts developing outside the womb, causing internal bleeding, which Laura had.

"I wouldn't have my wife. My son wouldn't have his mother. That's the thing that's the scariest of all," says Matthew Bible, Laura's husband.

Matthew says on top of his wife's life being in danger, frustration mounted when the medical bills for the two ER trips starting coming in.

"People do make mistakes, but to make a mistake twice that has such a bad consequence," says Matthew.

For the past five months, he and Laura tried negotiating their bills with SkyRidge.

"It just kind of, you relive it every single month," says Laura.

Initially, the hospital offered a five percent reduction in the bill if they could make a lump sum payment. For the Bible's, that was not an option.

"It has been very much an uphill battle for us," says Laura.

She says she does not want the same thing to happen to anyone else.

"I don't think that they should make profit off of, you know, getting the diagnosis incorrect," says Laura.

It was only after 3 On Your Side got involved that the hospital met with Laura after our interview and waived the rest of her bill. She had around $735 left to pay.

The CEO of SkyRidge issued the following statement: "SkyRidge Medical Center is committed to providing quality healthcare and good customer service for all of our patients. We are also committed to protecting the privacy of our patients. It is our practice not to discuss specific details about a patient's care, treatment or other health information. After learning about this for the first time yesterday, we met with her to answer questions about the care she received and to assure that the treatment was appropriate. She indicated she was satisfied with the information received during our meeting."

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