Medical Care (Survival)

For immediate medical care, please call 911.  It may interest you to know about the EMTALA:

“In 1986, Congress enacted the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA) to ensure public access to emergency services regardless of ability to pay. Section 1867 of the Social Security Act imposes specific obligations on Medicare-participating hospitals that offer emergency services to provide a medical screening examination (MSE) when a request is made for examination or treatment for an emergency medical condition (EMC), including active labor, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay. Hospitals are then required to provide stabilizing treatment for patients with EMCs. If a hospital is unable to stabilize a patient within its capability, or if the patient requests, an appropriate transfer should be implemented.”

Most hospitals participate in the Medicare program, due to the (currently with the ACA) reimbursement for acquiring patients with pneumonia, COPD, and some heart conditions.  In other words, their payment will be received, even if you lie about your identity.

In conclusion, if you cannot afford emergency health services…it might be beneficial to “forget” your name.  Or be “confused” about your identity.  Or accidentally give the wrong one.  You still will be treated, and no bill will ever reach you.  The hospital will more than likely be reimbursed for their services by Medicare.

CAUTION:  If you were to provide a false identity, remember that prescriptions are filled under that name.  It would be difficult to fill narcotics with this technique.  Controlled substances are controlled for a reason.  For any other prescription, you can drop off/pick up for a family member in most pharmacies.

Pharmacies will attempt to bill under the name one the prescription.  That name will not process through your insurance.

Two strategies.  Tell the pharmacy to use these numbers:

Member ID:  DDN113E

BIN:  015558


If they ask for a PCN, tell them you think it is the same as the BIN.  These are common billing insurance numbers, and they will know what it means.  These are provided, courtesy of Discount Drug Network.  This is an industry middle man that is able to derive a profit from the pharmacy information it derives from your prescription (anonymously.)

The second strategy is to tell the truth of your identity.  If you cannot afford the copay, please look into your state Medicaid services.  If you already have them, most states have a small fine-print that states “if the patient cannot afford the copay, give it to them anyway.”

The best way to handle this is to quietly speak to the pharmacist as humbly as possible.  Do not beg, do not assume you are entitled.  Just quietly remark that you can’t afford the copay, and you were under the impression that Medicaid law said you didn’t have to provide it in that case.



  1.  If a doctor prescribes antibiotics, always finish them completely and on time.  Missing a dose or not finishing can lead to the creation of more advanced infections.
  2. Never lie to healthcare staff, especially nurses.  Within fifteen minutes of your arrival, all of them in the hospital (ALL OF THEM) have access to your drug usage, history, lab reports, toxicology screen, x-rays, and everything done to you.  If you used illicit substances, they will not report you to the authorities.  If you endanger a child, they will.  In either case, be honest.  They want to help you, and lies will only taint the relationship they have with you.  If you leave out critical information (they know what is critical, you don’t) you could die.  It is that simple.
  3. Ask to speak to discharge planners and case workers.  Most hospitals have access to these two people.  Both are amazing resources for low-income populations, or at-risk populations.  They can provide access to free medical supplies, local relief programs, and state-funded aid.
  4. You do not want to break the law.  If your intention is to procure narcotics, or any controlled substance, this is what you need to know.  Healthcare workers know what you are up to.  Many states have individual and national levels of tracking software.  Pharmacies and hospitals talk.  Just because a prescription was filled, or an ER admitted you, doesn’t mean they don’t know your history.  If you need addiction help, just ask them.  They will do everything in their power to give you control of your life again.  If you try to lie to get drugs, chances are, they already know.  Not only do they know, but they have a record of every instance you filled a prescription and every doctor you went to.  Don’t assume inaction means you are getting away with it.  They are building a case.  Products containing pseudoephedrine are used in the manufacturing of methamphetamines.  These are closely tracked and regulated.  You can not hide, these records are kept for years, and they know everything.  Please, instead of breaking the law, use these sources, and regain control.