Mesa dad fights medical bill

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PHOENIX – Like any dad, Terry Stewart loves his little girl Riley, so when she got sick a few months ago, he was worried.

"In January, it was near the end of January, she had strep throat, temperature over 100."

Terry took Riley to Phoenix Children's Specialty and Urgent Care, an East Valley urgent care facility, to be checked out.

"She needed some stuff right away to get her temperature down and to counteract the strep throat."

Terry said the medical staff got her fever down and they were on their way but after that visit, Terry said the medical bills were rolling in and the bills were extremely high.

"I find out that it was not billed as an urgent care visit, it was billed as an emergency room visit."

That's a big difference because urgent care is usually significantly less expensive than an emergency room visit, especially in this case with Terry's medical coverage.

"It's a $35 cop-pay for urgent care and it's a $200 co-pay for an emergency room visit."

Terry said he called to get the matter corrected but no one wanted to help him. "They really didn't care about adjusting it or fixing it at all, it was just, here's what it is."

Terry said he needed help so 3 On Your Side asked Phoenix Children's Hospital to look into the matter. They looked into it right away. Not only did they discover the mistake but Terry said they also waived the entire medical bill.

Terry says it's a huge burden off his shoulders. "I have a lot to deal with right now as it is and this is not something else I need to have to keep worrying about."

Phoenix Children's Hospital tells 3 On Your Side that despite the name "urgent," it's billed as hospital based care. Hopefully a name change to clarify the matter is in the works.