An 18-year-old who suffered a cardiac emergency after being given an allegedly tainted IV bag received a $12,903 bill from Baylor Scott and White Surgicare.
Jack, whose last name was not released, was given a 50-50 chance of survival after he suffered a cardiac emergency during routine outpatient surgery in August.
“To have this heartless financial transaction that was blind to what happened here, it was painful, and I think irresponsible, to handle business as usual kind of attitude,” Dr. Dan Wohlgelernter, the teen’s grandfather, said.
Jack’s father told FOX 4 he expected and tried to prevent the bill by sending an email just five days after his son’s surgery, writing, “please confirm that neither I or our insurer is going to receive a bill from the surgery center. I will be extremely displeased if I do. I recognize that sometimes billing is on autopilot, hence this email.”
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In response to his email, Jack’s family received a response stating, “the facility has waived 100% of your son’s bill. No payment is owed by you, your son or your insurer for services rendered at Surgicare North Dallas. …. We have contacted your insurer to resolve this specific request … so you and your family will not be further inconvenienced.”
“Aside from hurt and pain by this, I wish that Baylor were as efficient at assuring quality control with their patients as they are getting their bills out,” Dr. Wohlgelernter said.
Dr. Raynoldo Ortiz is accused of swapping tampered IV bags over and over, sending 11 patients from the Baylor Scott and White’s Surgicare North Dallas facility to hospital emergency rooms between May and August of this year, and killing 55-year-old Dr. Melanie Kaspar.
Dr. Ortiz has pleaded not guilty to the charges of tampering with IV bags, though video released from the facility shows Ortiz placing a hidden IV bag into a warmer prior to one of the incidents. The IV bags were spiked with heart stopping medications that were then used by unsuspecting doctors, according to the criminal complaint
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The incidents began after Dr. Ortiz told other physicians the center was out to “crucify” him when he was informed he could face disciplinary action after he “deviated from standard care” during a procedure in which a patient required CPR, according to documents.
On June 21, 2022, a fellow physician from the Surgicare facility took one of the IV bags home with her when she was sick. When she inserted the IV at home, she almost immediately had a heart attack and died.
Inspectors from the Texas Medical Board found tiny holes in the plastic wrap around the IV bags, and tests on the bags also found they contained the local anesthetic bupivacaine, but were not labeled as such.
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The Baylor Scott and White Medical facility closed a day after the facility and reviewed tapes allegedly showing Ortiz tampering with the IV bags. The facility reopened this month, and the Texas Medical Board has indefinitely suspended Ortiz’s license.