Veteran's widow charged $10K after getting meds at one South Carolina hospital for 12 years

The widow of an Army veteran filled her medications at a South Carolina naval hospital for 12 years, then received a $10,630 bill last year and was told she wasn't eligible to fill her prescriptions there, according to The Island Packet .

Claretha Singleton, whose husband died of lung cancer years after exposure to Agent Orange, has filled her prescriptions at the Naval Hospital Beaufort (S.C.) since January 2006, according to the report. Then in November 2018, an employee told her she was no longer eligible to fill medicines there. She also found out that a $10,630 bill was due in one month.

Ms. Singleton told The Island Packet she was unable to get definitive answers from the hospital about the reason for the change, and then received the bill in August for pharmacy/prescription services from January 2006 to October 2018, including penalties and interest.

She said she took out a personal loan and made the payment deadline to avoid more costs.

Ms. Singleton has reached out to lawmakers for help in getting reimbursed for the payment and appealed the issue to the secretary of the Navy at the Pentagon, according to The Island Packet.

Naval Hospital Beaufort said in an emailed statement to the newspaper that the hospital "cannot comment on services provided to a specific patient without release authorization," but it has "no authority to waive any portion of the bill." Only the secretary of the Navy has that authority.

The hospital said it typically tries to verify patients' eligibility before providing services but "unfortunately, failure of the verification process does sometimes occur."

"When these errors are discovered, all corrective efforts are made," it said.

Read the full report here.  


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