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Sharp Hospital Rip Off
I want to let anyone know that although Sharp Hospital is one of the better hospitals here in Mazatlan, they still are not to be trusted.
We have friends visiting Mazatlan from Alberta, and he called a few weeks ago asking which hospital is the 'good hospital'? I offered to pick him up and take him to the Sharp Hospital. He was retaining fluid quite badly and they admitted him almost immediately upon arrival. He had no travel insurance whatsoever, as he has had a lot of health issues and felt that any travel insurance he had would not cover any of his pre-existing conditions. They took his credit card for payment. He was in the hospital for a total of three nights. They did blood work, urine, and also did 2 EKG's, one at admission and one before release. They also did one procedure of inserting a fine needle thru his back into his lungs and draining fluid from each lung, guided by ultrasound. He had a catheter put in. He was on an IV with diuretics to reduce the build up of fluid.
The care was excellent, but where the problem came in was the billing. His wife asked several times for an interim bill so that she would have a good idea of what they would have to pay in the end. They kept saying they didn't have one available. When he was finally released they were told the total would be $5,500.00 US Dollars. She paid using the credit card but asked for the detailed copy of the invoice in order to be certain what was being paid for. She was told she would need to contact their US office for that information. When I was told that the alarm bells in my head began to sound.
I went in with her the following day and we spoke with Dr. Barazza. He wanted nothing to do with us and instead went and got a fellow named Eduardo who apparently is the person in charge of billing. He was obstinate and refused to answer questions. He told us again that we would need to contact the US in order to get a detailed copy of the bill. My friends wife demanded that he call the US on her behalf, seeing as the billing was for a patient in his hospital. and get a copy of the detailed bill. Instead he made the phone call, and then passed the phone to her. The US office said they didn't have a detailed bill prepared, and that it might take up to two months before they could have one available. They were quite perturbed that we would question them on the subject.
Obviously they do not have a detailed bill or they would gladly supply a copy to us. If they do not have that information how did they arrive at the amount of $5,500.00 US Dollars. I smell a rip-off!
I am shocked and surprised at this treatment by the people at Sharp Hospital, but I feel we need to warn the expat community that lives here as well as the unsuspecting tourists that visit here.