Thursday, November 10, 2005

Agency Rakes in Money - Tax Payers and Hospitals Stuck With the Bills

Salt Lake Tribune, March 27, 2005, 'Adoptive parents' story' (excerpt):
Steven Mintz also wonders why taxpayers aren't outraged by Utah's laissez-faire adoption laws, noting Medicaid and hospital emergency rooms often pick up the health care tab for out-of-state mothers brought here by agencies.

Treating such mothers puts doctors in a tough position, says Davis County obstetrician and gynecologist William Hughes.

About a year ago on a Friday evening, Hughes was the on-call doctor when a woman arrived at a Davis County hospital in labor. He managed to track down her doctor in South Carolina and get her medical history, but was stunned when a couple showed up to adopt the baby. He also was stuck filing paperwork to convince Medicaid to pay the bill.

"I have a patient I don't know, an adoptive couple I've never met and a lawyer who has not contacted me to make any arrangements beforehand," said Hughes. "And all we get is a malpractice suit if something goes wrong."

"A bit unsavory": Washington, D.C.-area attorney Mark McDermott, legislative chairman for the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, frowns on flying in mothers from other states for adoptions.

"The reputable agencies around here don't fly birth mothers around the country like that," he said. "There's something a bit unsavory about moving them around like that."
Next: Utah agencies admit "routinely" violating ICPC

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