Hundreds of people who were treated at a southern Arizona hospital received exorbitant medical bills as high as $49 million because of a computer error.
A malfunction in new computer software occurred July 2 and affected statements for 587 patients who were treated at 48-bed Northern Cochise Community Hospital in Willcox, said Kim Aguirre, director of patient financial service for the hospital.
"The highest statement is $49 million," Aguirre said. "I can't wait to hear from that person."
Peta-Anne Tenney received a bill for more than $100,000.
"I just laughed," she said. "I said to (my husband), 'Look at this, this is a doozy.' "
Aguirre said Nashville-based Healthcare Management Systems processes statements for the hospital and mails them to customers. She said the company is supposed to check for errors.
"They are supposed to look at the statements, but they told us they had numerous hospitals to process that day and they didn't look," she said.
Aguirre said she spoke with the company and that a similar error will not happen in the future.
She said corrected statements should be arriving within 10 working days.