From Boston Midwife, Medical Cost Horror Story #3: 'Unnecessary' Ultrasounds Lead To Empty Cupboards

Tarcia Edmunds-Jehu, a Boston nurse-midwife, captures beautifully how the current health care system leaves patients struggling desperately to pay bills — and providers feeling terrible that their well-meaning care is to blame. Read her here.

This is the third finalist to be posted in the essay contest by Costs of Care, a local non-profit organization. (Read about the first two here and here, and the overall contest here.)  An excerpt:

Tears begin to flow and she starts to talk. She tells me that she had been in this country for 5 years and never had public assistance of any kind. She talks about her long hours working 2 and sometimes 3 jobs in order to have enough money to keep her family afloat. She talks about putting herself through school to become a CNA while still working to pay her bills. Until last year she was doing this alone, making not only money to provide for her family, but also the money needed to bring her husband here. She had never asked for help or let her children go without. But now she is unable to pay her bills and buy food. What is the tipping point for her ability to provide for her family?

Three ultrasound bills from this pregnancy.

This program aired on December 3, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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Carey Goldberg Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.



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