dear penn medicine, enough already asking for money in 2017

This is what makes me dislike non-profits. There is only so much giving one can do in a calendar year, and well Penn Medicine? I give enough right now. I was so excited to have FINALLY paid off my oncology/radiation bills which were quite expensive and took a few years. That was not through Penn, that was through Lankenau because at the time Penn did not have a location for radiation close enough to where I was working, and well, I worked through breast cancer treatment.  They also did not have the radiation oncologist I wanted.

But seriously, there I am doing my happy dance because I finally paid off radiation – every single penny they said I owed….and…wait for it…along comes a series of bills related to 2017 procedures and a surgery that equal a few thousand more  in hospital and hospital related bills.  I think I did cry when I got them out of sheer frustration. In addition to these bills, I have has SO many co-pays in 2017, including $70 for every physical therapy session, multiple times a week for months – which I paid because I need the therapy. And my knee surgery anesthesia was also an additional bill because the anesthesia is a practice within Chester County Hospital where I had my surgery and not under the hospital umbrella, so that bill counted like an out of network thing.

At almost the same time I am getting these bills I get a letter asking for an additional donation on top of the non-profit events I support annually.

I took to twitter and told Penn Medicine how I felt:

This cause a flurry of communication from Penn Medicine promising to do better. Apparently that promise meant additional solicitations?

So I sent my new e-mail buddy a response to his e-mail this morning:

Subject: Re: You can advance medical breakthroughs that benefit all of us!
Date: 9/17/2017 11:43:19 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time

Dear Thomas,


Oh I got your letter all right and I put it on Twitter because it was kind of offensive to receive a request for a donation practically the same day I found out I had over $4000 in residual hospital bills from a recent surgery and procedures.


Always a hand out means I stop supporting and so do many others.


And the fact that I have a few thousand dollars outstanding in bills I owe the hospital for which I am obligated unless of course I wish to send tax returns and pay stubs and other dehumanizing things to be quantified as a “charity case”.


I think in 2017 I have contributed quite enough to the hospital’s bottom line.


Furthermore, I support events like the annual wine festival to crush cancer at the Dilworthtown Inn, and Chester County Day.


In addition to supporting those events I also write about them free of charge on my website – that’s free advertising for Penn’s events. I don’t get any kind of donation in kind letter for that, and as you know the cost of advertising and marketing, that’s quite a nice donation in addition for which I don’t get credit.


Until this year my personal email address was only in the system for the nonprofit events that I support that I mentioned, and so I could communicate with my care team via my Penn medicine.


In summation, I have paid a lot of hospital bills the past few years and a lot of doctors bills the past few years – and Penn doesn’t have to chase me to get its money. I think a thank you is in order… not a damn request for more money!


Thank you.

About carla

Writer, blogger, photographer, breast cancer survivor. I write about whatever strikes my fancy as I meander through life.
This entry was posted in breast cancer, health insurance and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to dear penn medicine, enough already asking for money in 2017

  1. GOOD FOR YOU! I find all these requests for $$, both nfp and political REALLY discouraging!! Sara

  2. Bess says:

    Excellent post. Worse, if like my hospital, they sell your information. We bought a new phone number and created a new gmail JUST FOR the hospital oncology center, these are now the most robo called solicited accounts to not only pink sites and st judes, etc., but, wait for this … hospice … yep, sometime after my 15th chemo I started getting unsolicited hospice requests for donations … and, wait for it … mailings from funeral homes, and yes … even more places than any of my years old phone numbers or emails get. Excellent post.

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