“Kicking You When You’re Down”: Many Cancer Patients Pay Through The Nose for Parking

  • For cancer patients, the routine is time-consuming and costly: surgeries, bloodwork, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, scans. 
  • Leon was confronted by a bold, red-lettered sign on the back of her computer that read: “WE DO NOT VALIDATE PARKING.”
  • JulieAnn Villa, who was diagnosed in March with her third bout of cancer, estimates she has spent “thousands of dollars” on parking fees.

Rebecca Ritzel from Kaiser Health News writes:

“For cancer patients, the road from diagnosis to survivorship feels like a never-ending parade of medical appointments: surgeries, bloodwork, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, scans. The routine is time-consuming and costly. So, when hospitals charge patients double-digit parking fees, patients often leave the garage demoralized.

This story also ran on NBC News. It can be republished for free.

Iram Leon vividly remembers the first time he went for a follow-up MRI appointment at Dell Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas, after he had been treated at another hospital for a brain tumor.

The medical news was good: His stage 2 tumor was stable. The financial news was not. When he sat down at the receptionist’s desk to check out, Leon was confronted by a bold, red-lettered sign on the back of her computer that read: “WE DO NOT VALIDATE PARKING.”

Below that all-caps statement was a list of parking rates, starting with $2 for a 30-minute visit and maxing out at $28 a day. Lose your ticket? Then you could pay $27 for an hour.

“To this day, I remember that sign,” Leon, 40, said of the 2017 appointment, which he posted about on Facebook. “These patients were people who were coming in for various types of cancer treatment. These were people who were keenly aware of their own mortality, and yet the sign was screaming at them, ‘We do not validate parking’” (Hospital officials did not respond to requests for comment about their parking policy.)

JulieAnn Villa, who was diagnosed in March with her third bout of cancer, estimates she has spent “thousands of dollars” on parking fees during her years of treatment and follow-up care…”

See full story here.



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