Yeah I don't think they would have refused to admit her, but it was just one thing to stress about that she shouldn't have had to. If the policy changed in January, they had time to send a letter or advise her of that in December, January, or February, not spring it on her 3 days before having a baby. And because of her medical billing background, she knew what to ask, but others wouldn't necessarily and would be even more blind sided than she was.
I agree it's not right for hospitals to have to wait years for copayments. I've had to refer people to our collections agency in my previous position and it's a yucky feeling, but we are also daily reminded of how little money we bring in as a hospital system and how our jobs depend on getting paid by insurance companies (we write off more and more for contractual every year) and patients so we'd better fight to get that money in the door. With my friend specifically, she had called insurance and had a rough estimate of what her copay would be- they were waiting on their tax return to cover it which wasn't set to arrive till after the baby was born, so being asked for a large sum of money in advance under a new policy that no one thought to clue her in on sooner was poor communication. She even asked if they sent a letter out to inform patients, and they told her no. It all worked out fine so no big deal, but it does seem that more hospitals are asking for payment upfront before procedures.