Appeal for medical bills as music professor dies of Covid

Appeal for medical bills as music professor dies of Covid


norman lebrecht

January 14, 2021

The daughter of Jeff Lisenby, adjunct professor at Belmont University School of Music and Lipscomb University, has launched a gofund me appeal to pay for medical bills after her father died of Coronavirus.

Her mother remains seriously ill.

Jeff Lisenby was 65. He enjoyed a diverse career, which included appearing in Broadway musicals and playing accordion on cruise ships as accompanist to Luciano Pavarotti.

Belmont has posted this notice:

It is with a heavy heart that the School of Music shares with you that our friend and colleague Jeff Lisenby passed away last week after a brief battle with COVID-19. Jeff has been an adjunct professor in the School of Music since 1994 and, as such, has had an impact on the lives and careers of countless students – building strong friendships with all who knew him.
Jeff was an incredible talent who was kind and friendly with everyone he met. A keyboard player, pianist and national accordion champion, he was the musical arranger, musical director and a performer in the Broadway version of the musical Ring of Fire. He was also the accompanist for many major stars (Brenda Lee, Pavarotti, Dolly Parton, Mel Torme, to name a few) and played keyboards for numerous Broadway touring shows.


  • Rogerio says:

    The United States Government could start a go-fund-me campaign to set up a Socialist-style national health care system.
    Other countries could pitch in.
    That way America could wrench up its defense spending to One Trillion and save itself the embarrassment of posts like this one on SD.

    • henry williams says:

      how do live in america if you do not have money
      for health insurance.

      • PHF says:

        Or… what a great place to live, not even the right of health service is provided to their citizens (not even during a pandemic). Money above all…

      • J Barcelo says:

        If he was 65 he qualified for Medicare. There shouldn’t be any medical bills if he got himself enrolled. There’s something odd about this.

        • Westfan says:

          If he was still working he might not have yet applied for Medicare. Although as an adjunct professor he may not have had health insurance from his employment, so he sure should have done so. Perhaps he got sick before he turned 65 and was in the process of applying for Medicare. Regardless, we need universal healthcare in this country. It is a travesty.

          • esfir ross says:

            Apply 3 month before turn 65 for Medicare. It cost $105 a month

          • david hilton says:

            You don’t ‘apply’ for Medicare in America (or around the world if you’re an expat). You are automatically enrolled on your 65th birthday and your card arrives in the post, as mine did here in Paris recently. But contrary to J Barcelo’s comment above that “There shouldn’t be any medical bills” if you receive Medicare, it is actually a very limited benefit. It provides the cost of hospitalization, but nothing further. It does not even cover the cost of the doctors who care for you when in hospital, or required prescription drugs.

          • US expat says:

            David if you are an American expat then you don’t qualify for medicare unless you worked in the US for ten years. Even if you qualify your medicare is useless outside of the US. They are happy to send your medicare forms abroad hoping you will pay for part B but they ought to mention that medicare is useless in the rest of the world.

        • Hmus says:

          Medicare starts with a “deductible” of at minumu $200, and then covers 80% of services, after “co-pays of 20%. If you have been railroaded into some add-on plan you can suddenly find yourself “out of network” where nothing is covered. In any case, a covid hospitalization of even a few days can often cost $30,000, of which at least $6,000 will be due, even with insurance coverage.
          This money, (and more to come if the mother is ill) may be falling on the neck of the distraught daughter. Medical bills remain by far the #1 cause of bankruptcy in the US.

      • Brian says:

        Free health care is only available for illegal immigrants…I mean, “undocumented immigrants.”

        • Sheila Novitz says:

          Universal health care is not “free health care.” Read about the difference. It is interesting and equitable.

      • William Safford says:


        “how do live in america if you do not have money
        for health insurance.”

        Many Americans die, due to denied and delayed health care.

        Many others go bankrupt, due to exorbitant medical bills, even those who nominally have health insurance.

        Intrenched interests in the U.S. have fought against universal health care for over 100 years.

        Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and President Obama finally succeeded at improving the situation somewhat: not universal health care, but at least improved access to health insurance markets with somewhat lower costs. It took enormous amounts of political action and political capital by Democrats, with universal opposition from Republicans, to get Obamacare passed into law. It has been under attack from Republicans, and especially the Orange Enemy of the People, ever since.

        Obamacare is an improvement over the previous status quo, but it is not enough.

        We in the U.S. envy countries such as Canada and the U.K. for their health care programs.

        • JussiB says:

          What “Orange Enemy of the People”? Trump has the support of 50% of the country (whether silent or vocal) but the other 50% leftist liberal like you can’t stand it or acknowledge the truth.

          • William Safford says:

            Really? You support insurrection? You support sedition? You support murder?

            Re “Orange Enemy of the People”: I turn his insult back on him.

            He calls reporters and a free press, the very heart of the First Amendment, “the enemy of the people.”

            I therefore call him the “Orange Enemy of the People.”

            He validated this moniker when he attempted to overturn the valid election of President Biden, culminating with his incitement of violence and insurrection last week.

            The question going forward: how many in the U.S. will continue to support the Orange One’s insurrection, sedition, lying, corruption, and lawbreaking. It is sad how many Americans currently support him, culminating with murder in the U.S. Capitol last week. I hope this changes.

            There is a cancer in the U.S. It must be excised.

            Of course, another question is: will he end up in jail, or exile? If the latter, where will he go? It will have to be somewhere without an extradition treaty with the U.S.

    • Disgusted says:

      What is the problem with you people. Do you have no humanity. This website does seem to bring out the very worst. Shame on you.

      • JussiB says:

        Classical music people are really like that in real life. MOST are leftist liberal wankers like William Safford who don’t want to hear the truths, just as MOST Trump supporters do not condone insurrection and sedition.

        • William Safford says:

          I call out lies and falsehoods.

          It’s great to debate legitimate issues.

          I do not debate lies. I do not debate “alternative” facts. I do not debate quackery.

          The funny thing? By European standards, I’m probably center-right.

          It’s only by the standards of the right-wing fascist domestic terrorist followers of the Orange Enemy of the People, that I appear left wing. By that standard, I suppose I am, since I believe in outdated concepts such as facts and accountability.

  • PHF says:

    Holy… 50k in medical bills for Covid? Nothing like livin’ in Murica.

  • Jeremy says:

    Not only is it the most expensive in the world, it isn’t even highly rated.

  • Sharon says:

    Adjunct professors are gig professors paid by the course. They very seldom have benefits such as health insurance through their employer. Private health insurance or even group health insurance available to gig or self employed workers is very expensive. One must be very very impoverished to be able to obtain free health care. Only the lucky few who have salaried jobs with relatively large employers have affordable (not free) health insurance.

    Yes the US health insurance situation is a tragedy. It will get better incrementally but will take a long time

    • Hayne says:

      The free market in medicine. The US should try it.

      • William Safford says:

        You cannot shop for the best price when you are having a heart attack. You cannot choose the least expensive emergency room when you were just bashed on the head with a fire extinguisher by a right wing white supremacist insurrectionist in the U.S. Capitol.

        You cannot buy what is not available, which until Obamacare was effective health insurance in the U.S. at an affordable price.

        Many people cannot pay for health insurance if they don’t have a job. Until Obamacare, many people had trouble even finding insurance to purchase, if they didn’t have health insurance through work.

        Now, Obamacare has improved things to a certain degree.

        There is much more room for improvement in the U.S., as anyone living in places like Canada, England, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and many other countries keep telling us.

        Congress banned competitive bidding for medicines and such for government programs. So yes, some free market initiatives might not be such a bad idea.

  • JussiB says:

    dead people can’t pay bills. so they will get cancelled.