The story of a man who went skiing in Mammoth, broke his leg and fought with Mammoth Hospital for a week to get surgery has remained somewhat one-sided. Hospital officials say that privacy laws prohibit their comment on hospital patients.
Chairman of the Mammoth Hospital Board, Don Sage, said that their attorney, David Baumwhol told them that they can not comment because of confidentiality laws. Sage did say that he believes everything that could be done was done in the case of the skiing accident.
The man who broke his leg, Andre Pastre of Alameda, had called KSRW to say that the hospital agreed to do surgery and then withdrew the offer of charity care. He said he was alone, couldn’t drive, in pain and desperate. Pastre said he had no health insurance. He said the hospital declined to work out anything with him.
Then he said hospital officials offered him an ambulance to Alameda, which he refused, but finally worked out a payment plan. Surgery was performed.
Mono Supervisor Hap Hazard heard the story and wanted the public to know that Mono County does offer a safety net to those without health insurance. Hazard said the county is mandated to provide emergency care and gives money to Mammoth Hospital for that purpose.
Hazard said he was concerned that citizens might have heard the story about Mr. Pastre and concluded that if they have no health insurance they will get no hospital treatment and won’t go when they really need to. “This is contrary to our public outreach,” said Hazard. He assured that people will have access to emergency care and evaluation.
Supervisor Hazard said that Mono County will investigate the situation with Mr. Pastre and his experience with Mammoth Hospital.