This press release was published on May 11, 2020 by KTUL staff member Megan Butler, and can be found here.

TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — Tulsa ER & Hospital announced it will forgive $2.1 million of current outstanding medical debt for patients who received service at the hospital from December 2019 through April 1, 2020.

“In the midst of the pandemic, many individuals are struggling financially. This is our way of helping our community and the people that have supported our facility,” said Dr. Mark Blubaugh, Medical Director for Tulsa ER & Hospital.

The physician-owned hospital said there’s no application process required for previous patients to qualify, adding that it would be automatically applied.

Officials say Tulsa ER & Hospital has created a Dual Care program to help relieve concerns about coronavirus by having a separate entrance, lobby and treatment for COVID-19 patients.

Tulsa ER & Hospital breaks down what steps are involved in its Dual Care program to help prevent patients from contracting coronavirus. (Courtesy: Tulsa ER & Hospital website)

The debt forgiveness program allows the hospital to alleviate patients’ concerns on the financial side.

“Fewer people have been going to the emergency room to seek treatment, in part due to concerns about COVID-19, but also because of financial hardship. Many patients are delaying medical care right now, and as emergency providers on the front line, we see the unintended consequences every day. It’s heartbreaking to see so some patients delay emergency care for issues that should be addressed quickly. We have had patients with strokes, heart attacks, and abdominal pain present long after the window of opportunity for optimal treatment,” Dr. Blubaugh said.

Hospital officials say patients should not delay their emergencies out of financial concerns, especially since most insurances have agreed to cover patients’ out-of-pocket expenses for COVID-19 related treatment and testing during the pandemic. Tulsa ER & Hospital’s debt forgiveness program will waive those costs for patients whose insurance will not cover coronavirus treatment.

The hospital offers payment plans and other flexible options for emergencies unrelated to COVID-19.

Patients with any questions or concerns can call or text Tulsa ER & Hospital at 918-517-6300 any day or time.

https://ktul.com/news/local/tulsa-er-hospital