Public Mediation

W.C. vs. Tennova Healthcare North Knoxville Medical Center

Tennova ran up the bills by ordering tests even though they were told to test for food poisoning.

W. C. vs. Tennova Healthcare North Knoxville Medical Center
900 E. Oak Hill Ave., Knoxville, 37917, United States
Amount Involved: Other terms
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Statement of Claim
Claimant says:
"On 27 NOV 22, Wesley Crawford was taken to ER at Tennova North by his wife, Colleen. He was unresponsive and the Knox County firefighters assisted her in getting him to the car. ER personnel took him out of the car, but he couldn't answer their questions.
His wife told them she suspects it's food poisoning because only two people ate something served at a Thanksgiving dinner, and both people got sick.
More than 11 people tried to do life saving techniques on him but they gave up trying to get an IV started. They told Colleen it would take a specialist, but there was only one available who was serving all of Knoxville.
Wesley was left alone in the hallway of Tennova, right in front of the ER desk, dying from dehydration. Colleen recorded Wesley being left on a gurney. 
The nurse assigned to him was offended that Colleen didn't know she was a nurse, and snapped at her when she asked when someone will be back to help him, and put an IV in. Wesley was throwing up, and Colleen was asking for help, but no one took care of him.
He was like this for hours before the specialist arrived to put in an IV but it blew out the vein shortly after, not getting any fluids, Wesley wasn't responding and no one was tending to him.
He was moved to a room in ER about the time the staff was changing shifts and a young nurse asked the older nurse how much fluid Wesley got. The older nurse was the one offended that Colleen mistook her for an aide and not a nurse. She couldn't answer the nurse's question about fluid, and there was an argument between the two.
The younger nurse went and got the ER doctor and showed Wesley's IV bag to him, and then both of them got angry at the older nurse. She couldn't tell them how much fluid was given to Wesley, so Colleen answered and told them just the top of the bag made it through the IV. The doctor was angry and so was the young nurse because Wesley's kidneys were shutting down from severe dehydration.
The young nurse opened 2 IVs at full speed and the three of them went out in the hallway disputing.
The older nurse told Colleen she was exhuasted and the hospital is short handed. Colleen asked the nurse if she brought her husband to the wrong hospital and the nurse responded all the hospitals were this way.
The staff was complaining in the halls that they were tired, unhappy, overworked and stressed.  One of the nurses even asked Colleen if Wesley's employer was hiring!
Colleen and her sister kept telling the staff to check him for food poisoning, but the ER doctor said "impossible" and wouldn't order the tests. Instead, he kept ordering all kinds of other tests.
Colleen told him, and several of the staff treating Wesely that two people got sick and they were the only ones that ate a dish with tuna, mayo and a few ingredients, but he still wouldn't order food poisoning test.
Colleen told the staff they had to pay cash and couldn't afford all of these tests and she just wanted a food poisoning test done, but they wouldn't listen to her or her sister, whose daughter was the other person that got very sick. 
People kept coming in to Wesely's room doing one test after the other, running up the bills.    What Colleen was told was that Wesley's kidneys were shutting down, so they were just going to treat him using different atibiotics to see which one would work, all the while ignoring Colleen's request for a food poisoning test.
On the third day, they released Wesley, not knowing what was wrong with him, but the ER doctor said maybe it was food poisoning.   He was still so sick that Colleen took him to the Anderson County Health Clinic, and they tested him for food poisoning.
Wesley had a very deadly food poisoning called shiga toxin, and this specifically targets the kidneys, but Tennova's arrogant ER doctor refused to test Wesley for food poisoning.
Colleen began disputing the hospital bills on 05 DEC 22 because of what the staff did in ER to run up the bills.  An email was sent to the COO of Tenneva, Drew Grey, via a valid email: who then brought in Carol Lilly who used the email:
Carol took over communications, however, Colleen continued copying both of them in every email.   The hospital reduced the amount of the bill considerably, but is refusing to turn over records that are needed for a lawsuit.
Colleen requested the ER videos and proof of testing for food poisoning.
Carol Lilly only responded back saying that there bills would be turned over to an in-house collection agency even though she approved a $25 / month payment.   Upon research, Colleen learned that it is not an in-house agency, but rather a 3rd party bill collector who might file a hospital lien and ruin Wesley's credit.
Colleen wrote back to Carol telling her she lied about the in-house collection and that it would be a 3rd party debt collector and not Tennova.   Colleen has been faithful in making the $25 payments but Carol is breaking the agreement.
She is also denying Colleen's request to see the proof that a food poisoning test was ordered.  Colleen also asked for a breakdown of every contractor's bills and identify which of those bills is a result of food poisoning testing, and which are bills created by the ER doctor who was just guessing what might be wrong.
Colleen emailed Carol and Drew a copy of the test results that showed Wesley did indeed have food poisoning, in addition to c. diff.  and has been asking for hospital records, but none have been provided.
On information and belief, no food poisoning tests were ordered and this is why they won't respond.  Wesley and Colleen have 7 bills to pay.  One is for Tennova, and 6 for contractors, but Tennova will not release itemized breakdown of the contractors.
There are several emails involved in this claim; and a video of Wesley being left unattended because Tennova's staff didn't know how to put an IV in a patient whose veins collasped because of severe hydration, so they left him alone for several hours while his kidneys shut down.
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Additional Communication Between Claimant and Tennova Healthcare North Knoxville Medical Center Hide
  • Feb 17, 2023, Claiming party added:
  • I received three invoice statements that are due in the month of March, but I'm not familiar with where these bills came from.

    It is listed as APP of East Tennessee HM, PLLC out of Houston, TX.

    I called to find out who they are, and if these are new bills. The person I talked to wouldn't give me her full name for my records. She said her name is Jennifer.

    I asked for her last name and she wouldn't give it to me. I told her I have three bills sitting in front of me and I want to know who she is. She said her last name begins with an L.

    I asked her if she is Tennova and she got quiet. I asked her several times what company she is with and she wouldn't answer me.

    I got upset and told her the bill amounts. You're asking us to pay $743, $3,067, and $2,070 and you won't tell me what company you are?

    She said it's R1. I asked her for more information about R1 and she wouldn't tell me.

    I asked her who R1 is, and she said I can look it up.

    I asked her who the CEO of R1 is and she hung up on me.

    I have no idea what these three bills are for because she wouldn't tell me if they are the same hospital bills I'm making monthly payments on, or if these are three new surprise bills.

    I got hung up on while trying to find out who is behind these invoices!

    Who is R1? What country are they in? What is their relationship to Tennova? Why are they so secretive about who they are?

    Why did Tennova keep ordering tests when all that was asked for was a food poisoning test?

  • Feb 17, 2023, Claiming party added:
  • APP of EAST TENNESSEE is American Physician Partners and I tried calling them but they only have a voice mail available.

    I left my name, phone number, and the three invoice numbers, and told them about the suit being filed against Tennova, and they will be added to the complaint. I told them we only asked for a food poisoning test to be done, but every other test was done except the food poisoning test.

    I told them to provide a detailed itemized list of what they are charging us for.

    I may file a separate complaint, but will give them a chance to reply to the phone message.

    Why is Tennova so secretive about their bills? How many more surprises are going to show up in our mail box?

  • Feb 21, 2023, Claiming party added:
  • 21FEB23 Update - Got a phone call from someone representing APP, or whatever contractor they are. She received my voice message complaining about R1.

    I asked her for her name and she could only tell me Shelby, but can't give the last name. There are going to be a lot of "Jane Does" "Shelby Doe" "Jennifer Doe" "Dr. Doe" "Nurse Doe" to add to the complaint. These people charge thousands of dollars and don't want to tell you who they are.

  • Feb 24, 2023, Claiming party added:
  • So far Tennova has not turned over the documentation we requested, so our next step is to file suit. We want to know what tests were done to check for food poisoning, and why the hospital kept ordering tests EXCEPT the one we asked for. We are getting new bills two months later and we don't know who is billing us because they are remaining secretive. We are not making any more payments on any of the bills, and are now filing a lawsuit.

  • Feb 27, 2023, Claiming party added:
  • This email was sent yesterday to Drew Grey, (The COO of Tennova) Carol Lilly, (Head of billing?? She is the go-between contact person who said she would make sure Tennova staff gets information) and Jennifer Barker (has something to do with the billing system).

    Still no word from Tennova. We asked for very simple documentation from them. We want proof they did a food poisoning test but they are refusing to provide that.

    The ER doctor said it was impossible to be food poisoning, and he ran up the bill by ordering one test after another. After 3 days, he casually stated that maybe it was food poisoning. Thousands of dollars were added to the bill, while he just guessed what might be wrong.

    If he would have just listened to the family members telling him and his staff why food poisoning was suspected, then we wouldn't be in the dispute now.

    Why is Tennova withholding information?

    26 FEB 23

    We are not making any more payments until you and your contractors turn over the requested documents. We asked you to clarify which tests were run that had to do with food poisoning, and which tests were run because your doctors refused to run a food poisoning test.

    We are filing a lawsuit now, because we are getting new bills and those people won't identify themselves. They hung up on me when I tried to find out who they are.

    Turn over the requested information. Right now, I'm filing a suit to get the documentation we requested, and I will turn over all of the emails to the court and show them how many times I've asked for documentation, and how long this has gone on.

    If any of this goes to collections while we are in a dispute, then we'll add damages to the suit.

  • Feb 27, 2023, Claiming party added:
  • I just learned I can also file a complaint against Tennova per this site:

  • Feb 27, 2023, Claiming party added:
  • A complaint has been filed with the State of TN.

  • Mar 01, 2023, Claiming party added:
  • I received an email from the State of Tennessee acknowledging my complaint against Tennova, and they suggested I also contact the Consumer Affairs at 615-741-4737 about the billing. That will be next.

  • Aug 23, 2023, Claiming party added:
  • (Update from Wesley's wife)

    I sent an email out yesterday to a Tennessee organization that helps people with legal issues, such as medical bills, and I copied all the Tennova people I had previously been in communication with.

    We are going to court as far as I know. They ignored the PeopleClaim attempt to mediate.

    I called the hospital yesterday to find out who the CEO of Tennova is, and the operator that answered the phone wouldn't give me any information. I asked for the legal department. I asked for her name, and she said she wasn't going to give me her name.

    She forwarded me to someone in administration, named Mary, and Mary said she wasn't going to give me her last name. She told me that the CEO of Tennova is Bill Rich and gave me the corporate number, so I called there and they said they don't know who Bill Rich is.

    So, I called Mary back, and she said she wouldn't give me his email address. I guessed at it based on how Drew Grey's email is formatted (he's the COO who is ignoring my attempts to mediate with them).

    This is a wild goose chase trying to find out who is who at Tennova, and it should be very easy to break down medical records with a yes or a no.

    Did you do a food poisoning test YES or NO?

    Do you know the results of the food poisoning test YES or NO?

    Does your staff know what shiga toxin is YES or NO?

  • Aug 23, 2023, Claiming party added:
  • (Update from Wesley's wife)

    I got a call today from Linda Davis, who told me she's the director of risk management. I told her I'm done with trying to mediate with them and we are going to court. She attempted to put the fault on us, stating we have a list of the bills.

    I had to explain once again what records we are asking for. We are asking for the results of the food poisoning test we asked Tennova to do. Her response: "we did blood cultures"

    So what? Blood cultures for what? For food poisoning? If they did blood cultures then what is so difficult for them to tell us the results of the blood cultures, and what specific cultures were done, and why won't they give us results of food poisoning tests done?

    They pumped Wesley full of several antibiotics while guessing at what might be wrong with him, all the while my sister and I told the staff we think it's food poisoning and why we think it's food poisoning. But the doctor laughed at us and said 'impossible' and I told Ms. Davis what happened in the ER.

    11 staff members couldn't start an IV, and they left Wesley unattended for 4 hours with no fluids, while his kidneys were shutting down. Shiga toxin attacks the kidneys, and they shouldn't have been giving him antibiotics. They would have known it was shiga toxin if they would have done the food poisoning test.

    I told Ms. Davis we aren't going to talk on the phone, and that if Tennova has anything to say, put it in writing. She kept going on and on and on about everything EXCEPT the food poisoning results I asked for, and finally I had to tell her I was hanging up on her. She still tried to keep talking, and I told her I don't want to be rude to her and hang up, but I had to hang up on her.

    She called me a second time, and I told her I specifically asked her to put whatever she wanted to say in an email so there will be a record of it. I had to hang up on her again.

    Tennova only has to tell us the results of the food poisoning test and then we can talk. I'm starting to wonder if maybe Tennova's staff wasn't trained in shiga toxin, because if they were, they would have known that family members told them to check for food poisoning; and they should have known it attacks the kidneys, and they should have known not to give him antibiotics. They have him LOTS of antibiotics, but Ms. Davis didn't want to hear that.

    "We did blood cultures."

What Claimant Wants Hide
Just make me happy!
Claimant invites Tennova Healthcare North Knoxville Medical Center to make a fair offer to resolve this complaint.
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Do you agree with the claimant’s demands?  (If you are a party to this claim, click here.)
George Maxwell commented
George Maxwell (Comment):
"I initially just read your complaint and commented below, but I see your additional comments. APP is the billing company for the hospitalist and RI is Lee Rivas is the CEO. Both companies should be able to explain exactly what they're billing you for. A hospitalist is an in-hospital doctor who is supposed to manage your overall care, just as your primary care doctor would manage your care outside the hospital. I hope this information is helpful."
 (7 months ago)
Awaiting response from Tennova Healthc...
Claimant commented
Claimant: (Comment):
"Thank you for the CEO name. No one is responding to us at all, and they won't explain what the bills are for. They also won't turn over the results of all the tests they ordered. We can't get anything out of them."
 (7 months ago)

Respondent's Counteroffer

There has been no response to this claim from Tennova Healthcare North Knoxville Medical Center. This claim will remain posted until resolved
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  • Contributed Solution: by George Maxwell On 03-06-2023
    If what you say is accurate, in my opinion Tennova Health may need to wipe out, or substantially reduce your bill More...
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