Woman followed directions on Atrium Health’s website, says she ended up at wrong facility and was billed

Updated: Jan. 19, 2021 at 12:31 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Charlotte area woman is trying to figure out how she ended up with a huge bill for a minor medical issue - all because she went to the wrong office and nobody told her until she got a huge bill.

Joan Lewis says her son had poison oak or poison ivy.

She intended to go to Atrium Health’s Urgent Care - Rea Farms, but she actually ended up at Atrium’s Emergency Care a few blocks away.

She didn’t know there were two facilities until she got a bill for over $2,000.

When Lewis wanted to take her son to Atrium’s Urgent Care this past June, she went to the hospital’s website and got the directions.

“I went ahead and signed up online, made an appointment to come to it, and then I clicked on the directions to get here and followed those directions on my GPS,” said Lewis.

Lewis says she and her son ended up at Atrium Health Emergency on Providence Road.

“It wasn’t until about a month later [when] we got the bill that we realized that the directions on the Atrium site took us to an emergency care center instead of an urgent care.

Lewis says the original bill was for $2,391.95.

Her insurance Blue Cross Blue Shield State Health plan paid $673.56, leaving her to pay $1,718.39.

After getting the bill, she went back to Atrium Health Emergency to figure out what was going on.

“And so I said, well, we made an appointment and everything online. And that’s when they told us that there’s no appointments online here. It’s a first come first serve.”

No one ever told her she was at the wrong place when she showed up for what she thought was an appointment.

“Coming back and looking in the daylight, I can see there’s signs out front that say it’s an emergency care center. On the night we came, it was dark. It was rainy.”

Lewis did two formal disputes through Atrium but was denied. WBTV contacted Atrium to see if there is anything they could do to reduce the remaining $1,700 bill, but Atrium wouldn’t comment.

Lewis, who paid the bill, is now out nearly $2,000 because of bad directions on the hospital’s website.

“How many other people have tried to go to urgent care and ended up being billed for an emergency room visit?”

How much cheaper would it have been if she’d gotten the right address?

WBTV called Atrium Health Urgent Care – Rea Farms and asked what the starting price is for an office visit. We were told $350.

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