‘You know they suckered me’: Medical loans can be painful

OVIEDO, Fla. — A man from Winter Springs claims a free pain consultation turned into a $25,000 bill for medical services he never received.

Action 9 first exposed complaints and the billing practices of this clinic last November.

“You know they suckered me,” Richard Kaminski said, adding that he felt blindsided.

He had responded to a TV commercial about Exodus Medical in Oviedo and its special treatments for nerve damage and pain.

Kaminski had been dealing with numbness in his feet for years. He claims that at the first medical exam, he heard his neuropathy issue could become serious if not treated immediately.

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“When they showed me this heat imaging of my feet and the discoloration and where the problems were, it was scary, you know, it looked scary,” Kaminski said.

Kaminski says the clinic proposed an intense program involving neuropathy equipment for home use, supplements, three months of laser and oxygen therapy, and stem cells. The program cost $20,000.

“They had me thinking if I don’t commit and sign today... in fact, they said: ‘If you don’t sign today, you may not be considered,’” Kaminski said.

He paid $5,000 that same day and signed a $15,000 medical loan with the clinic’s approved lender. Including interest, his total cost would be more than $25,000.

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Kaminski said he began having doubts that night. “I realized I had made a big mistake. I cannot afford this loan. It’s just, I can’t do it.”

He signed the papers on a Friday. Kaminski said he returned to the office on Monday to cancel, but was told his plan was nonrefundable, even for treatments he would never receive since the clinic already purchased the medications.

“No treatments were done. To keep my money and keep me in a loan that I’m telling you I can’t afford, you’re not being honest,” Kaminski said he told the manager.

Action 9 first uncovered these painful medical loans five months ago.

Travis Robison said he felt burned by a $16,000 contract he signed with Exodus Medical for future services he had canceled. “I would have never signed.”

Action 9′s Todd Ulrich identified four new complaints and negative reviews since his first investigation, including Kaminski’s ordeal. The patients claim the clinic charged them thousands for services they never received.

“You might end up in a really bad situation,” said Caitlin Donovan with the National Patient Advocate Foundation.

Donovan said that although these medical loans are legal, patients should only pay for medical treatments that were performed.

“Anytime you sign anything you should make sure you read every word,” Donovan said.

Ulrich reached out to Exodus Medical owner and chiropractor Dr. Robert Abraham. He told Ullrich that because of Action 9′s previous investigation, he had changed the way his clinic did business. Abraham also said that Exodus would no longer charge for canceled future treatments, and Kaminski would get all his money back except for the cost of equipment he took home.

Abraham told Ulrich his clinic did nothing wrong, and its contracts fully disclosed pricing and the refund policy.

“Good people don’t do that to good people,” Kaminski said.

Medical loans for future services can be high-risk. Find your own financing, then pay after the procedures or services.

Todd Ulrich

Todd Ulrich, WFTV.com

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.