Woman says mother with dementia and suspected Parkinson's was ‘profiled,’ denied appointment for using Medicaid

@redcarpet1913/TikTok Drozd Irina/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘We’ve been waiting for months’: Woman says mother with dementia, Parkinson’s was ‘profiled,’ denied appointment for using Medicaid

"Do you want your mother to see the doctor, or basically, are y'all coming or not?"

 

Kahron Spearman

Trending

Posted on Sep 12, 2023

TikTok has been buzzing with a trending clip amassing over 1.4 million views, where user Jael Moody (@redcarpet1913) shares her traumatic experience with a healthcare office in Beaumont, Texas. The core of her complaint is her belief that she was “profiled,” with biased treatment she and her mother received at the office of Dr. Joseph Oommen, specifically concerning insurance verification and the subsequent denial of service.

Jael Moody began her video emotionally, stating, “I don’t do this… But [Dr. Joseph Oommen’s] office in Beaumont, Texas. Do not go there. I get there today, and I’m profiled because my mother has Medicaid, [which] they accept and Medicare [which] they accept.”

She said that after waiting four months for a neurologist appointment for her mother, who already has dementia and is suspected of having Parkinson’s, they were turned away. The office staff claimed they couldn’t identify her mother’s Medicaid and Medicare insurance card, even though the facility accepts both.

In a quote underscoring the gravity of the situation, Moody elaborates, “But because the staff member was not trained on how to identify the insurance card, she turned me away.” To resolve the situation, Moody called the nursing home’s business office to help the clinic staff verify the insurance. It didn’t work, she said.

The exasperation allegedly continued when Moody returned to the office after she escorted her upset mother home to seek answers. She lamented, “I go back there to speak to a manager who’s in a meeting for, like, 10 hours. Literally at least 8 hours in a meeting.” When she eventually managed to speak to another staff member, the insurance was verified within five minutes. Yet, her mother was still denied the appointment.

The situation took a turn for the worse when Moody called the office manager, who allegedly asked, “Do you want your mother to see the doctor, or basically, are y’all coming or not?” And later allegedly said, “I need to think about it, and I’ll get back to you.” 

@redcarpet1913

♬ original sound – Jael Moody

Another contentious point Moody raised was when she was told that the biller, who could have verified the insurance, wasn’t available as she worked out of another city. However, Moody said she later found out the biller was in the office the entire time.

Adding to the list of grievances, and to her belief that she was “profiled,” Moody claimed differential treatment based on her appearance and insurance type. She said, “So when I’m dressed up, y’all treat me right. But today, I’m looking like a little teenager, and I’m here with a Medicaid card, and you treat me differently.”

In a final bid to get her mother medical attention, Moody even offered to pay out-of-pocket. The staff initially quoted $300 but then stated they didn’t accept private-pay patients. Baffled, Moody questioned, “If you don’t accept self-pay, how do you have a price?”

The TikTok video ends with a palpable mix of frustration, disbelief, and sadness as Moody says, “OK, I need to go back and pray.” It serves as a reminder of ongoing struggles in the U.S. healthcare system, especially in regard to possible racial bias. The consequences can be dire, especially for vulnerable patients, whether bureaucracy, miscommunication, or implicit biases.

@redcarpet1913 Replying to @Isaiahk1226 ♬ original sound – Jael Moody

Moody has provided updates and answered comments since the initial video.

@redcarpet1913 Replying to @lovelytash61 ♬ original sound – Jael Moody

The Daily Dot has contacted Moody via TikTok comment and Baptists Hospitals of Southeast Texas via contact form.

When reached for comment, Dr. Oommen’s medical assistant hung up the phone after being asked about the viral TikTok accusation that their office profiled the user.

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*First Published: Sep 12, 2023, 8:37 am CDT