‘No, I can’t do this’: Medical loans can be painful for patients

SANFORD, Fla. — Action 9 has an alert about painful medical loans that could cost patients thousands of dollars.

Travis Robinson of Sanford is struggling with back pain and is desperate for treatment to ease his misery.

When he got a flyer from Exodus Medical in Oviedo offering free screenings for people dealing with pain, he thought he would look into it.

“I said, ‘Well, I’m going to go to the place and fill out some paperwork,’” Robinson said.

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Robinson said Exodus offered him treatments involving stem cells and other methods that he said cost thousands of dollars.

That same day, the clinic offered a bank loan to cover all of it totaling more than $22,000.

He signed the contracts but Robinson said he had buyer’s remorse the next day.

“I said, ‘Wow! No, I can’t do this. No, I can’t . I’m on a fixed income,’” Robinson explained.

According to the loan details, he would have to pay $36,000 including interest.

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Robinson signed a notarized cancellation letter the next day, but he later discovered Exodus Medical was still charging him $16,000 for equipment, supplements and injections which were already ordered for his treatments.

He now has a $16,000 loan, plus thousands more in interest payments.

“I don’t have any of that stuff, and it’s not in my possession. But the price still knocked me off my feet,” Robinson said.

Exodus Medical is rated A+ at the Better Business Bureau but it has one similar complaint. Cyronext Integrative Healthcare located at the same address with the same chiropractor, has two more related complaints. The three consumers say they were charged for products and services not received.

Action 9 has investigated these kinds of complaints before, where a clinic was charging big upfront fees for future medical treatments, which raised consumer red flags.

“You might end up in a really bad situation,” said Caitlin Donovan.

Donovan is with the National Patient Advocate Foundation, and she warns against high-interest loans from a medical provider for future treatments you can’t or don’t want to receive.

Donovan said that while these loans may be legal, the patient should only have to pay for what they get.

“I would assume any really good business would be aware that ethically, they should return the money if the service wasn’t provided,” Donovan said.

Exodus Medical owner and chiropractor Dr. Robert Abraham responded to Todd Ulrich’s questions. He said the contract clearly states it’s nonrefundable because the clinic spends thousands of dollars on medical supplies the day the contract is signed. Abraham also said patients expect treatment right away.

Robinson said he would have done things much differently. “I would have never signed.”

Avoid loans being sold by a medical clinic for future services. Consider independent financing that pays providers at the time you’re treated, not before.

Todd Ulrich

Todd Ulrich, WFTV.com

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.