2.13.2008

WARNING: AVOID THE EMERGENCY ROOM

We received our hospital bill today for Luke's finger incident.

The grand total: $1,735.45

Granted, he was going to lose his finger, but $1,735.45 for two stitches?! The most expensive item on the bill, which is itemized, is the fact that we went to the Emergency Room in the first place. The cost just to enter their doors and request services was $1,253.55. The next largest charge ($231.00) is for Dermabond Adhesive (aka Fancy Superglue). Any guesses on how much the 1/2" plastic splint for his finger cost us? $15.50!

I have been to the Emergency Room rarely, if ever, in my life. This is probably why. Fortunately, we have good insurance and will only have to pay $90 for the finger incident. However, imagine if you had to pay cash. What would you do? Luke had to get x-rays a few days after the incident and while at a different hospital filling out the appropriate paperwork, I asked if I were to pay cash for the x-rays, how much would they cost. They couldn't tell me. I doubt that many of us would elect to do something expensive without knowing the cost, but we do it all the time when we request medical services and hospitals seem to think this is perfectly normal.

Maybe instead of complaining I should just go to medical school and become a doctor because they obviously make a lot of money...

14 comments:

  1. You'd be surprised at how much other non-ER things cost. When Jackson was in the hospital and on oxygen or a ventilator, he had to have a blood gas taken -- basically a prick in the foot and a drop or two of blood in a teeny-tiny tube. He had this done every hour. When we got the itemized statement -- $90.00 a piece!

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  2. I'm so happy Lukes finger is ok! That bill is outrageous though! I cant believe how much they charge for the ER. Good grief. My uncle went to the ER without insurance as a "cash patient" for a few stitches and ended up getting billed over $5,000! He said it's lower with the insurance companies because they negotiate and get the bill down as low as possible...either way it sucks...i'm so praying that nothing happens to us until we get insurance!

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  3. Holy cow! For that money his finger better be sewn together with gold thread and that finger splint made out of ivory. I have to laugh when I think of the bill we got when Carson was born. If we had to pay cash for that, it would have been over $15,000. And that was a normal birth with no complications. The only thing we paid was $30 for a doctor visit co-pay. Thank goodness for insurance.

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  4. Just as an FYI: at a dental office your basic Full set of x-rays run about $90.00. So. that might give you a reference point for what x-rays of your body might go.

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  5. Just be grateful you have insurance at all. But the E.R. is pricey, when I went for my migrane it was $1500.00 - that's an expensive headache!

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  6. Holy cow! Thank goodness for good insurance! Jimmy and I don't have good insurance now, but we have Zeke on with a good company by himself. We get rejected for "infertility" unfortunately, so we only have catastrophic insurance for us. I sure hope we don't need to take advantage of the emergency room anytime soon.

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  7. Woops, sorry, I was logged in as Jimmy.

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  8. If you had Aflac- It would had paid you about $300 in cash- $2300 if the finger had been considered dismemembered (even if they were able to re attach it you still get the benefit). and your monthly premium... only $45 for your entire family. Can you tell I work for Aflac?

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  9. Move to Canada with me--only you'd hate being farther away from your family, and the service isn't that great. Remember?

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  10. Been there. When Abie was 7 mo she ripped her nose on her toy. Sun morning meant no church, but a visit the ER. We had insurance that negotiated the $1000 bill to $500 that we had to pay. What was done you ask? The glue job. Then had Benjamin with insurance, but no maternity coverage. We're still working through hospitals, OB/GYN bills and insurance. No fun...but then what else can you do? And yes, the ER couldn't tell us how much the vist would cost...nothing about cost until we got the paperwork. We had paperwork for 3 months with bills trickling in.

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  11. We just switched from a PPO to Kaiser....cost is everything! We paid almost $3000 to have Sarah and that was with insurance! Why in the world do things cost so much! I seriously was there no more than 4 hours until delivery and then only one night! Crazy! I'm glad Luke's finger is ok!

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  12. Unfortunately, the doctor only sees about $100 of that money. I KNOW- SICK! So, don't get your self $200K worth of debt by going to med school. Believe me, it's not worth the money.

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  13. we just got the hospital bill for having our baby. they calculated it wrong, so we don't actually need to pay anywhere near the full amount, but it's basically $7000. sort of scary that Luke's two stitches was basically 2/7s of the cost of having a baby (not including my doctor's fee which is separate from the hospital bill). And I'd have to look at the itemized bill again to be sure, but I think Luke's ER visit cost more than a circumcision.

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  14. That is insane! We went without insurance for a full year and we're still paying for an EKG test that Nate had to get (which was so lame anyway because nothing was wrong with him). The funny thing we found out was that some medicine that we once had to pay a $20 co-pay with our previous insurance only cost $15 without insurance. We thought that was interesting...

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