FIGHT FOR HEALTHCARE: Where to go if you have no insurance - KCTV5 News

FIGHT FOR HEALTHCARE: Where to go if you have no insurance

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Truman Medical Center doctors will see you in ERs and clinics even if you have no insurance. (KCTV5) Truman Medical Center doctors will see you in ERs and clinics even if you have no insurance. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The first thing you should know is that every emergency room must treat you in an emergency even if you have no insurance.

So, if you have a car crash or a heart attack, you will be treated. That’s the law.

In Kansas City, there is also a safety net. Truman Medical Center doctors will see you in ERs and clinics even if you have no insurance.

“I felt the pain in my chest, and that's when my daughter called 911,” Antiron Lee said.

Lee is a single mother with two children. She’s in her early 40s. A heart attack never crossed her mind until she felt pain.

Lee was rushed to Truman Medical Center,

“The kind of heart attack she had can kill people very quickly if not treated appropriately,” interventional cardiologist Dr. Paramdeep Baweja said. “The only thing that matters at this point is to ensure she can get back to taking care of her kids as soon as possible.”

It’s been a month since her heart attack and Lee is now in cardiac rehab working to rebuild her strength.

She is grateful she has access to Truman Medical Center where physicians treat patients in ERs and clinics even if they don’t have insurance.

“The doctors are wonderful. One doctor did surgery on my rotator cuff, and the doctor who treated my heart attack stepped right in and gave me comfort during my heart attack,” Lee said.

Truman Medical Center receives $26.4 million from the city and $10 million from the county. Last year, they provided more than $100 million in uncompensated care.

That volume is growing as more people are squeezed out of health insurance. The hospital anticipates they will see an additional 2,000 patients this year who have no health insurance

“I see more and more patients falling through the crack than a couple of years ago,” Baweja said.

It’s scary for patients and frustrating for doctors who want the best possible outcome for their patients.

“The last thing on our mind is are they insured or not. But later on as we progress with the patient, it's something we do want to answer so we can make sure that we make the right recommendations that the patient can eventually afford and follow through on,” Baweja said.

 It turns, Lee qualified for a program through Truman Medical Center which supports her new lifestyle that includes medicine and a more active lifestyle.

If you live in Jackson County or Kansas City, you may qualify for one of Truman Medical Center’s programs. They are based on income. Click here for more information.

Have a healthcare concern you want our investigators to know about? Contact us at investigate@kctv5.com.

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