By New York Times
Unable to afford health insurance, Dee Dee Dodd had for years been mixing occasional doctor visits with clumsy efforts to self-manage her insulin-dependent diabetes, getting sicker all the while. In one 18-month period, Dodd, 38, was rushed almost monthly to the emergency room, spent weeks in the intensive-care unit and accumulated more than $191,000 in unpaid bills. That is when nurses at the Seton Family of Hospitals, Austin, Texas, tagged her as a frequent flier, a repeat visitor whose ailments -- and expenses -- might be curbed with more regular care. The hospital began offering her free primary care through its charity program.
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