Local man absolved of nearly $80,000 in bills after COVID hospitalization

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – A local medical group has forgiven nearly $80,000 worth of bills a man faced after more than 100 days in the hospital battling COVID-19.

James Sweeney and his son, Scott, can now breathe a sigh of relief.

“It’s the best feeling we had since he’s woken up,” said Scott. “It’s been that stressful.”

Earlier this month, James faced an $80,000 bill from Sound Intensivists, a private medical group contracted with his in-network hospital. It was where Sweeney, 63, stayed from November 2020 to February 2021. Most of that time was spent in a coma.

He awoke to massive medical bills after he was told doctors at the hospital were out of his insurance network.

“I would have had to dip into my 401k and pension just to be able to make the minimum payments,” said Sweeney.

James still made some out-of-pocket payments. Last week, the Sweeneys reached out to 8NewsNow. After his story aired, the company reached out to James to resolve the issue. By Tuesday morning, his overall bill dropped to just $8,200.

In the meantime, Sweeney’s insurance paid close to $10,000 of the original $80,000 bill. Sound Intensivists has now agreed to only take that portion, dropping the rest. Sweeney’s bill is now paid in full.

“I want to thank you and your team for everything you have done,” said Sweeney. “This made it a lot easier for me to get this resolved and move on with my life.”

Sound Intensivists released a statement confirming the billing matter is closed.

We work directly with patients to ensure their financial responsibilities are appropriate and are not in violation of any state or federal legislation.  We also actively negotiate with insurance plans to ensure we are receiving the appropriate rates for services. At this time Sound has reached successful resolution of the account in question. We are making changes to our website, so it makes it easier for patients to escalate concerns about their accounts.

Sound Intensivists

The Sweeneys had started accepting donations to pay the massive bill. However, that account has been closed and any donations were refunded.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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