Nadine Quarrell was a busy student, finishing a doctoral program in physical therapy. She had also just moved from Arizona to New Mexico.
So the 26-year-old Nadine and her husband didn’t exactly have several thousand extra dollars sitting around when the bill arrived from the Mayo Clinic Arizona.
“When we were hit with the bill, it was kind of a lot for us, because we were making the move back to New Mexico” from Arizona, recalls Nadine, now of Las Cruces, N.M.
Nadine had just had right-shoulder surgery to repair a fractured humerus bone and complete tear of her labrum, which she injured playing softball. She couldn’t work without getting it fixed, but as a full-time student she didn’t know how she’d pay for it either.
The post-surgery bill she got in April was $7,315. But Nadine, thanks to her experience with the healthcare field, knew there were ways to explore getting the amount reduced.
She found Dollar For when she googled “nonprofits that help with hospital bills.” Working with Dollar For was “pretty straightforward,” Nadine recalls.
The online Charity Care Handbook explains step-by-step how to do your own application for financial assistance. That’s what Nadine did. Or you can click “Get Help” to have Dollar For’s professional patient advocates take care of it for you.
Within just a few weeks, Nadine heard the good news that her hospital debt was reduced. More than half her bill had been written off.
“We were pretty relieved, my husband and I. We were thinking (that) even if we can get a small portion of it relieved, it could help us in the situation we were in.”
Nadine had planned to be an engineer before realizing that she wanted a field that offered more person-to-person interaction. After shadowing a working physical therapist as an undergrad student, she switched her major to exercise science. Now, with her injuries healed and her bills reduced, she is beginning her career as a physical therapist.
Nadine urges others to explore whether their hospital debt, or even a part of it, can be eliminated.
“I know it seems like a longshot for some people … I would at least try. I wasn’t expecting to get the full amount forgiven for us … if you just try and attempt it, you’ll never know what you could get forgiven.”
Her shoulder is now much better, she says, and while she still has issues with things like her arm’s range of motion, she continues to improve thanks to – you guessed it – physical therapy.
As she works with patients, “I will definitely feel their pain now, because I understand what it feels like to be a patient myself,” Nadine says.