For cancer patients, the road from diagnosis to survivorship feels like a never-ending parade of medical appointments: surgeries, blood work, 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.
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.
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