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Patients in limbo after vandals hit air conditioning unit at Las Vegas medical center

Surgery location changed, fee increased
Posted: 12:13 AM, Jul 10, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-10 16:13:01Z

A local hairdresser's surgery turned into a financial nightmare after the location of her operation suddenly changed last week.

Toni Miller is recovering after having knee surgery.  We heard about this story because Miller's daughter works at Channel 13.

"It's been so bad that I can't even work," said Miller.

Her job is grueling. As a hairdresser, Miller spends hours on her feet each day.

After a lot of pain, the mother of three scheduled to have an operation on July 6 at Desert Orthopaedic Center near Desert Inn Road and Eastern Avenue.

She says the fees hiked nearly eight times when the operation was moved from the center to the hospital.

"It ended up being almost $1,600, instead of $213," said Miller.

The director of the center tells 13 Action News the move was necessary because vandals hit the air conditioning units on July 4. As a result, parts of the center were sizzling.  Staff worked to relocate patients and expedite care.

Miller says the problem is the price of her surgery spiked as a result. When she was notified of this change at the hospital, Miller says it was too late to turn back.

"I don't make any money if I'm sitting at home," she said.

The hairdresser had already cleared her calendar. She says she was anxious to have the surgery, recover, and get back to work.

According to Miller, doctors said the vandals were copper crooks. Copper theft is a crime we've seen across the valley for years.

"When they steal copper, they're not just affecting the businesses," said Miller, "but they're affecting all of these patient's lives."

Miller says she hopes she won't be on the hook for the extra cash caused by the relocation of the surgery. The center tells 13 Action News they'll work with patients to offset the surprise costs.

We will continue to follow this story.