It's a remarkable story because of the near unanimous outcry in the comments against Wheaton. Dozens of readers have written in with story after story of billing problems, long waiting times in the ER and general dissatisfaction with care.
While most of the comments are anonymous, it's clear reading them that health care is a huge problem in Racine.
For its part, Wheaton acknowledged Monday it's working with doctors to resolve differences that surfaced last week
"Right now it's mostly behind the scenes work with physicians," said Anne Ballentine, Wheaton spokeswoman. "We're here to work collaboratively with them. We have a common purpose of serving our patients."
"We take any concern from our associates, patients and community very seriously," Ballentine said in response to the public outcry.
She said Wheaton was aware of problems with its billing system and is working to fix them. Jennifer Garbo Shawhan, also a Wheaton spokeswoman, said changes have already been made so ER patients see doctors faster.
"We've made some pretty significant improvements," Garbo Shawhan said.
Even with improvements, Wheaton is facing a PR disaster. They'll have to overcome stories like this one from a trusted reader:
I saw your article today about the near riot by the doctors at All Saints and I thought you might appreciate a story from the patient's point of view.
My (family member) visited in December. He is paralyzed, wasn't feeling great and thought he might have a urinary tract infection so we took him to Prompt Care.
(The family member) has no health insurance, so before we took him, we asked what the cost of Prompt Care would be - and were told $105 for the visit, and perhaps we could work out a payment plan. This sounded okay so we proceeded and on December 28, we went to Prompt Care when they opened.
We spent two hours waiting, and then we finally saw a doctor (Dr. Foley), he looked at my (family member) in his wheel chair and told us to go to the emergency room since they'd be better able to handle someone in a wheelchair. I said we had been there for hours so certainly it was no surprise that the patient is in a wheelchair, that there was no way we were going to head over to ER and start waiting and that my husband and I would lift him up onto the table ourselves, which we did.
I left the room so the doctor could examine him. The nurse took a urine sample from the urine bag, and the nurse and doctor looked at my (family member's) bedsore, and then the doctor prescribed Cipro and left. It took about 5-10 minutes total.
Within days, we started getting phone calls asking for payment - the amount? The first bill came for $930.00, with no explanation. I called a nurse I know who asked if they ran a CT Scan, as did several other medical professionals. Apparently there are reasonable and customary rates for procedures - so I requested a detailed breakdown. The Urinalysis was $33.00, the urine culture $59.00, and the rest is hundreds of dollars in procedures that only a medical professional would understand and we've never, ever gotten the test results. Only bills.
The most recent bill is laughable. Again, I'll send it to you if you'd like. The balance due at the top says "$930.00" but the total amount due on the bottom reads "$7,733.46." We're in the process of disputing this, but surely, we're not the only ones having such bizarre events at All Saints.
By the way, (our family member) traveled to Philadelphia after Racine and the doctors there said Cipro was the wrong medication ...