Tarcia Edmunds-Jehu, a nurse midwife from Boston, MA, beautifully captured how the current health system leaves some patients struggling desperately to pay bills - and providers feeling terrible that their well-meaning care is to blame.
Brad Wright, a graduate student from Durham, NC, articulately described his experience as a savvy patient who did everything possible to avoid expensive and unnecessary care, but got saddled with a large bill anyway.
All of the finalist submissions have since been published, including the stories of hardworking, responsible Americans falling through the cracks, getting a $11,000 bill for indigestion, a $10,000 bill for pre-approved surgery, a $1000 bill for birth control.
Ultimately, the stories came from nurses, patients, and doctors from more than thirty states - Alaska to Texas, New York to California, North Dakota to Florida. The contest was covered in the national media, including NPR and ABC TV. And a great conversation about routine opportunities to save money in the healthcare system with better decisions was started.
Stayed tuned for information about our 2011 essay contest launching soon!