Costs of Care | Just pay the bill

They did an X-Ray of her upper spine and a CT-scan of her head. It was a pretty good shot she’d taken and the doctors were very thorough because she complained of some neck pain. I was very happy with the care she received. I am not one to worry about so-called, “over testing.” This is my kid and if a few extra tests were done to be 110% sure everything was ok, I’m happy to pay for them.

Then the hospital bill showed up:  $12,154.70. Wow.

Fortunately I had excellent health insurance coverage and with the negotiated rates, I was entitled to a 92% discount.  Cost:  $980. Very fair, I thought to myself.

Now, most people would be happy—even relieved—and would simply pay the bill. But I didn’t. Because I was struck by something else.  $12,154.70! What was that all about? So instead of paying the bill I wrote to the hospital. I explained that there must be a mistake because the bill essentially was saying that if I didn’t have great insurance or was uninsured, I’d be asked to pay $12,154.70 for a relatively minor ER visit. Surely the actual price must be less than $12,154.70. There must have been a mistake. I asked the hospital to send me its entire price list. First they cited law that says they don’t have to provide estimates for emergency services. Of course it’s not reasonable to stop and ask for a cost estimate when being wheeled in on a gurney. What I was asking for was a price list BEFORE that happened so that I can decide in advance where I want to be taken. The hospital refused. We have a President who is tells us to become better healthcare consumers. Ask yourselves, how can we become better healthcare consumers if a hospital won’t list its prices?

Source: Costs of Care | Just pay the bill

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