Couple questions ER charge for having baby when they were never in ER

Hospital says charge justified, based on care

DENVER - They received an emergency room bill for more than $6,600 and never even visited the ER.

Greg and Meghan Anthony walked through the front entrance of Rose Medical Center on a weekday in July and gave birth two hours later to a little boy they named Jude.

"It doesn't seem like a fair charge," said Meghan. "The emergency room was not involved at all."

"We didn't use it one bit," said Greg.

The hospital told them if they didn't have a scheduled cesarean section or inducement, there is a charge for an unscheduled delivery -- even though the Anthonys called their OB-GYN prior to heading to the hospital and their doctor alerted the hospital to their visit.

Their doctor also uses Rose Hospital regularly.

7NEWS checked with Rose and the medical center confirmed that since 2007, it has had an OB emergency department doctor on staff 24/7. Rose managers say because of that high standard of care and qualification, they are able to pass on this charge. They say labor is considered an emergency medical condition.

"But, if you don't use that service, if it's not an emergency situation -- then I don't feel that we should have that charge," said Meghan.

The Denver couple feels penalized for having a natural birth.

"It was never explained," said Greg. "And certainly never explained when we asked about it."

"We just got the run-around," said Meghan. "No one gave us a straight answer as to why. I had to dig to find out."

Adding insult to injury, Meghan says she had a scheduled inducement for the day after she gave birth.

To be clear, the Anthonys only paid their co-pay of about $500 -- their insurance covered the rest.

"But if you didn't have insurance, that could make or break a family," said Greg.           

Rose managers insist they provide a higher level of care than other hospitals which helps to justify the charge.

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