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I went to the ER a week ago. I was having chest pains and numbness

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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU
 
napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:29 AM
Original message
I went to the ER a week ago. I was having chest pains and numbness
Edited on Thu Sep-21-06 11:30 AM by napi21
in both arms and fingers. They did a lot of different tests, and all turned out to be OK. They blamed it on a nervous reaction to something!

Well. I JUST GOT THE BILL!!!!!!! i can't believe it!!!!!

I went in around 830PM, they kept me overnight, did their tests, and I was released that afternoon.

The total bill is $8,490.84!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No wonder everyone thinks there's something wrong with our health care system!!!!
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
1. Oh my, I hope you have insurance.
Best of luck.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Yes, but it's one of those plans that has a $300. deductible and
then they only pay 80%. I have no idea how much I'm going to owe on this one!
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MrCoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. Fight it. I did, and they knocked almost 50% off what I owed.
Those charges are artificially inflated because of insurance. I took my daughter to the hospital with no insurance at all, and the bill was way higher. I fought every last charge. Some of them were surprisingly easy. Others required me to bear my fangs.

You will save a whole ton of money by making a few phone calls.
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peabody Donating Member (106 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #5
17. Some insurance has
a maximum out-of-pocket expense that will cap how much you pay during a year. If your share of the 20% will exceed that, then I think they cover the rest. Check to see if that's the case for your insurance. I could save you a bundle. :)


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peabody Donating Member (106 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #17
26. Oops!
Meant to type, "It could save you a bundle."
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1monster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
71. I have a $2,500 deductible. When my husband went to the emergency
room and got a whopping $4000 plus the doctor's bill for a bag of saline (which he told them he didn't want) and an X-ray, I went ballistic (having dealt with the notorious overcharging, extortionist hospital before.

After then insurance paid off their part, we still owed $1700. I went to the hospital and told them that I would give them $500 cash, right then and there if they would write off the rest of the bill. Otherwise, I told them, I'll pay you $10.00 per month for the rest of forever.

They accepted the $500 cash settlement.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #71
80. Good for you!
:thumbsup:

I'll remember that tactic if I ever find myself in a similar situation. (I have a high-deductible plan, too.)
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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #5
103. If you have insurance then the insurance company has
probably negotiated a contracted rate. You will be responsible for the deductible amount and the 20% remaining after the insurance company pays their portion. Your portion SHOULD NOT be $8k minus $300 x 20%.

There may be charges not covered by the insurance company and you might be responsible for those as well. You can fight that kind of stuff.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
2. !!!!!!!!!! *hugs* That is hideous
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #2
46. Next time try to find an urgent care facility if you aren't in need
Edited on Thu Sep-21-06 02:46 PM by Cleita
of catastrophic care. They are more like a doctor's office, except that they are open nights and weekends and you don't need an appointment. If they can't handle it, they will then send you to the ER, but 80% of the time they can and they are a lot cheaper than the ER, although they are more expensive than your family doctor. Be sure to clear with your insurance first though to authorize it.

Sorry GPV, I meant to post this to the OP, but hi anyway.

:hi:
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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #46
56. The OP thought they were having a heart attack
I'm glad they were wrong, but if you think you are having a heart attack, urgent care is NOT the place to go. Minutes matter and such a facility is not designed to handle heart attacks or other life-threatening emergencies.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #56
76. They should be able to. When I worked for ophthamologists, we
had an emergency set up in case some one had a heart attack to give them first responder care while we waited for an ambulance. Most doctors offices do I would think. The urgent care facility would know whether to call an ambulance for a trip to the ER. However, probably the ER would be the best place to go with chest pains. It just that a lot of things that people go to the ER for could be taken care of in a clinic or doctor's office which isn't as expensive.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #46
79. Believe it or not, HERE near me, the urgent care facilities aren't
open evenings! I honestly don't know about weekends, I've never checked that. I'll check it out tomorrow.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #79
86. Then they don't seem to be that much use to you do they?
I'm sorry to hear about that. Our medical system is a mess.
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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
3. Hope you are feeling better
Sometimes, when I see the bills, I feel worse insxtead of better.
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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
4. does insurance cover this?
Even if you do, it doesn't address your point--we are all paying for these outrageous prices.




Cher


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Lone_Star_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
6. That's why so many people just take their chances
We honestly cannot afford to pay what it cost for health care.
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Theres-a Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #6
97. That would be me.
F@#$ing awful.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
7. Did they check out your heart?
Actually?
Do you know that heart disease kills more women than breast cancer, yet many male doctors fail to recognize the atypical presentations.
I hope you are feeling better. :hug:
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. Yes, they checked out my heart and a stress test too.
I'm not putting down the people at the hosp. They were all extremely nice. I just can't understand how it could possible cost that much money, whenthere was no surgery, and it was less than 24 hours!
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phillinweird247 Donating Member (110 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. I'd be extremely nice for $200 an hour too
Wow I can't believe how expensive that is.

But hay its the patients fault for being sick. Right?
I wonder how much that would cost in venezuala or cuba?

But there's nothing wrong with the USA
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tinfoilinfor2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #18
105. I was a nurse for thirty years, and your comment is not fair.
Edited on Fri Sep-22-06 07:45 PM by tinfoilinfor2005
The nurses and doctors don't have control over the charges. Certainly the salary of the staff has little to do with the over inflated prices that the hospitals charge. I always took pride in the fact that all my patients got the same level of care, regardless of their ability to pay...or not pay.
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azmouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
8. I'm glad you're alright and I know what you mean
about the broken system.
Seven years ago I had a miscarriage and needed a D&C. I wasn't kept overnight but the bill was still over $7000!! I swear every doctor who so much as walked by my hospital bed and said hello was included in the bill.
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zonkers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
9. No more pepperoni pineapple pizzas for you nappy.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
11. Call them NOW
and ask about a discount for uninsured people. Most hospitals would rather negotiate than sell the bill for ten cents on the dollar to a collection agency.

Also go over that bill with a fine toothed comb and make sure you got what they said you did.

EKGs aren't cheap, MRIs are at least a thousand a pop, and those docs they called in will cost a bundle, too. If you have a friend in the health care biz, show the bill to him/her and make sure they didn't get cute and unbundle labs to pad the bill.

But get them to negotiate that bill. They know damned full well that most of us can't afford that kind of money, but they always try, anyway.

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MrCoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Hell yes!
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #11
58. Negotiate with WHAT??
I've got $40,000 in bills because my husband WAS having a heart attack and was transported to a different hospital for stents. Explain to me how I'm supposed to pay $2000 or $3000 if I can't pay $40,000??? They negotiate if you pay the whole thing off - but the people who can't afford insurance don't have a couple thousand sitting around to pay off unexpected medical bills.
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rsdsharp Donating Member (516 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
14. Sadly, unless I miss my guess, that's not even
the whole bill. Hospital stays tend to be billed piece meal. There will likely be follow-up bills for the lab tests, and/or the doctor who interpreted the results.
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Booster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
15. I went into the ER from Midnight to 4am, got an EKG and what I'm
sure was an aspirin and my bill was $3,000. I didn't have insurance at the time and had to pay it myself (my insurance has since been restored, thank God).
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mnhtnbb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
16. You will probably have more coming--Labs & MD's usually bill separately
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StraightDope Donating Member (716 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
19. This is EXACTLY why I refused medical "care"...
A few months back after an auto accident. Goddamn paramedics were CONVINCED that I just HAD to have a sever concussion, after all, what person who is bleeding from superficial facial cuts and has a broken nose would refuse treatment? I'll tell you what kind, "A person without health insurance!"

I tried to explain this to those assholes, and all I got, repeatedly, by way of reply was, "Sir, the driver's insurance will pay for it!"

"Yeah, and if they don't, I'm stuck with a bill of several thousand dollars that I can't pay!"

"That won't happen, and if it does, the hospital will let you pay in installments."

"Listen, pal, I'm BARELY making enough money to survive on right now as it is. I can't AFFORD any other bills, not even $10 / month!"

"Sir, are we going to have to get a police officer over here to talk to you?"

At the top, and I mean TOP of my lungs, "I DO NOT WISH TO RECIEVE ANY MEDICAL TREATMENT AT THIS TIME. I AM OF SOUND MIND, AND I AM REFUSING TO BE COERCED INTO COOPERATING!!!!!"

That finally shut them up, it was embarrassing as hell, everyone on the scene was staring at me, I was covered in blood, and unbeknownst to me at the time, had developed two of the most horrifically ugly black eyes that you've ever seen.

It was worth it. I went home, cleaned myself up, butterflyed the wounds, got drunk and went to sleep. Money saved, God only knows, but it was likely a few grand.
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #19
27. You need to read your car insurance.
Many plans include emergency room treatment right off the top, with some kind of cap (mine is at $27,500). And if you refuse transport to the ER and are so bad off that you seek out care later on, your insurance will try very hard not to cover anything, because after all, you refused transport at the time of the accident.

My advice to you is KNOW WHAT YOUR CAR INSURANCE COVERS. Pay for as much coverage as you possibly can.

I'm currently a paralegal working for an attorney who does personal injury work, and we keep on having to turn down clients who didn't go to the hospital for fear of a huge bill, and later on had continued problems from the injury and now they're pretty much S.O.L.

So, read your insurance policy. If you don't make sense of it, talk to your insurance agent and have him/her send you a copy. Read it carefully.

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StraightDope Donating Member (716 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. I don't have a car...
Ergo, no car insurance. No medical insurance either. Thus, when the paramedics tell me, "The driver's insurance will pay for treatment, my immediate response is, "And if they don't, I'm stuck with the bill, right?"

"Well yeah, but..." That's when I've heard enough. I don't have the money, and even if I did, I'll be damned if I'm going to pay an exorbitant sum for the reassurances of some medical "professional" that all is well.
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. Oh. When you said auto accident
I assumed you were in a car. Pedestrian, right? Did the driver of the car that struck you produce proof of insurance? I realize this incident is over, and you survived just fine, and you are absolutely right that our health care system sucks.

Because I work for the attorney I see all sorts of horrendous things because of lack of insurance or inadequate coverage, or even if there's adequate coverage the insurance companies don't want to pay. It's an awful system. I keep on telling my attorney he should not have to do most of the work he does, and he agrees with me.

But I still want to point out that if the car that struck you (or that you were riding in) should have had insurance. There are highly desirable aspects to mandatory insurance, even though they allow pitifully small minimum amounts of coverage.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
20. I always look for the cheapest medical care I can find
I enjoy discount bungee jumping too.

Don
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Nimrod2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
21. Same here, similar issues, my doc said go to the ER, I did.
Was there only about 3 hours..Had blood work, chest x-ray (only one), and they gave me some air in my nose while I waited for results. I watched CNN, used the bathroom once (by myself), did not have lunch, did not order extra blankets or pillows...etc. I paid my $100.00 copay.

The Bill came for $4339.12!!! The doctor's fee to see me, simple regular exam, was $555.00, he is NOT a Cardiologist, he is a simple ER youngster doctor, most likely he is doing his residency there.

FYI...I have Cigna as my insurance company: Cigna is valued at $13.06 Billion, profits last year were $2.3 billion or 17.6%. The CEO earned a total of $20 million in salary last year.

God bless America, the most fucked up capitalist country in the world!!!
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. Health insurance companies don't give a rat's tail about your health
They are for-profit corporations; the one and only thing they are out to safeguard is their shareholder's happiness.
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Nimrod2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Same with the hospital itself, for profit...etc.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #21
32. There was a newly graduated MD on DU a few weeks back
Edited on Thu Sep-21-06 01:35 PM by TheGoldenRule
and he denied that MDs are in it for the money or that they make much money at all. Yeah right! $555 bucks for what? 10 or 15 minutes work! Give me a break! The entire medical industry is a BUSINESS and everyone in it is raking in the dough at all of our expense! :grr:
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. Doctors SHOULD be well compensated.
12-16 years of school - your life in their hands - Lawsuit insurance costs up the ying yang - surgeons average 18 hours a day 5 days a week and several hours on weekends if they have hospital patients. They need a staff of at least 5 people just to handle all the paperwork. And Medicare/medicaid is the worst to deal with. One small human mistake on a piece of paperwork and the doctor could wind up in jail.

I'd say every job that stressful and demanding is worthy of generous financial reward.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #33
37. With attitudes like yours, there will never be any kind of change
in the health industry. The health industry is in crisis and things needs to change,, but it won't because of GREED. I don't give a damn what doctors have to do to get a license. They choose that field willingly, no one held a gun to their back and NO DOUBT they became a doctor for the money. Also, whatever they did to become a doctor doesn't mean the rest of us have to take it where the sun don't shine for them to do so! They make too damn much money-simple as that!

BTW-Hope you have health insurance for the rest of your life, because the way it's going, health insurance will be only for the very very very rich. The rest of us can eat shit and die! Literally.

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Nimrod2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #33
39. Lawsuit stuff is bullshit...Medicare is the most efficient system out
there...I am afraid you are uninformed on the issue.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #39
45. Medicare? Don't make me laugh!
:rofl:

Do you really think Medicare will even be around at the rate that * & his thugs are dismantling every safety net in this country?

Sorry-but it is you who is woefully ill informed.


Question: Why in the hell do such a huge percentage of people in this country have no health care?
Answer: Because it is too expensive!

Question: Why is health care so expensive?
Answer: Because it's a BUSINESS and those in it aim to make oodles of cash!

Anyone with any common sense knows that there is a massive health care RIP OFF happening in this country. And it's not like those who work in that field are living as the working poor. Far from it!

'Nuff said.
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Nimrod2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #45
49. The "administration" of the Medicare system is better than any HMO
or healthcare company out there...I am not talking about Medicare system will go broke...etc. and I am not talking about people in general struggling to have coverage, I agree with you on all of this. But as a program, Medicare costs less than 5% if its revenues to run, while other private insurance companies spend about 35% of earnings on admnistrative costs.

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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #45
100. So would you have doctors work for free?
How will you attract anyone into the medical profession if they are expected to work without pay? We will fill the hospitals with independently wealthy young doctors who serve out of a sense of obligation to society and are essentially slave labor?

I don't like the FOR CORPORATE PROFIT angle of medicine, but i DO believe that doctors and nurses and those who SERVE in the field are entitled to pay based on their skills.

Silly me.
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LunaC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #33
53. Doctors have no incentive to improve their craft.
They get paid whether you get better or worse, live or die, makes no difference to them when you're on the patient merry-go-round. When the medical "professionals" weed out the incompetents or uncaring, then I'd be willing to pay for top-notch care but top-notch care is an elusive beast in my experience. The doc at the bottom of the class still gets the same MD behind his/her name as the valedictorian so quality health care is pretty much a crap shoot.

/medical rant
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IdaBriggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #32
36. a) the resident doesn't get that $555 bucks -- he's lucky to get $20/hr
and b) when you spend SIXTEEN YEARS IN SCHOOL, paying TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS for your education, and NOT BUILDING UP ANY EQUITY IN EITHER YOUR HOME OR RETIREMENT, you have a shorter time to recoup your "investment" in your education.

There are two choices -- a) let them make as much money as they can when they finish school as they scramble to build a practice, get experience, pay for their office staff, and find patients, or b) PAY FOR THEIR FRICKING EDUCATION in advance so they don't start a hundred grand behind the eight ball the minute they graduate.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #36
40. Few in this country would go into medicine if it wasn't for the money.
That's what America is about isn't it?

What's the refrain? SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

Altruism is NOT the reason people in the U.S. become doctors, No way, No how.

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Nimrod2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #32
38. The $555 is not his, it is the hospital's price, he makes whatever
they pay him in salary...
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #38
42. Until he goes into private practice and rakes in the dough. nt
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Nimrod2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. NO, NO, NO...The insurance company decided on the price
I am in the industry, about this time every fucking year, you sit holding your breath, and wait for the new prices, you pray they don't cut their payment too much for the following year. Even with Medicare, they cut every single year...Some providers simply get out of the industry because the compensation is too low.

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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #43
47. I'll say it again.
Few people would go into healthcare if it didn't pay well. Few would put themselves through that kind of hell in education and training if there wasn't a BIG payoff. It's just common sense.
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Nimrod2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #47
52. Agreed, I don't think it is a bad paying profession, but it is not what
it used to be. Before HMOs, a doctor's fee used to be whatever he likes, if his rent was lower and he lived in a cheaper area, they charged less...But today, they can't set the price anymore.


For a certain service we provide, when we were able to, we used to ask for $90.00, then they said, we are only willing to pay $55.00, then $45.00, then the following year it became $40.00, now if we provide the service, we get $20.00!!! For private paying patients, we can say it is $100.00, but not too many people can afford private pay and not too many people are interested in paying this kind of money.

It is really ugly out there for our healthcare system, it is very broken for everyone...An ugly downward spiral.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #52
61. Okay, I hear you. But isn't that why doctors specialize?
There is a payoff somewhere down the line, you must admit that. Because why does every doctor I know of live in the best neighborhoods and drive the best cars?

What we DO agree on is that the health care system is broken and in an ugly downward spiral! My feeling is that health care should be the right of everyone who lives in this country. And I don't think that's gonna happen until and unless the profit motive is taken out of it. I would love to see a system like Canada's. And no, I don't want to hear about the imperfections of their system, because anything has to be better than what we are all putting up with!
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #52
67. Oh god, it's been that way for 30 years - at least
Insurance reimburses quite generously - I used to do health insurance billing. Gads. I don't care how much someone makes, it's only annoying when they make more than 95% of the country and whine about being underpaid.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #32
66. An old doctor friend told me
Doctors vote Republican for the most part because at some point their portfolio becomes more important than their humanity.
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unpossibles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
22. good thing we have the best health care system in the world
</sarcasm>
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The_Casual_Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
23. Heath care & legal services are the same in this regard, it's the spider
and the fly. If you are so unfortunate as to happen to end up their web due to circumstances beyond your control, you are doomed to pay & suffer endlessly. I pray for good health & freedom from legal entanglements.
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Bassic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
29. Holy crap!
As a canadian, I can't help but being astonished at how much it costs.
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laundry_queen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #29
64. Agreed!
Edited on Thu Sep-21-06 03:30 PM by laundry_queen
I've never stopped being shocked at the state of health care in the US compared to us canucks. :cry:
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Bassic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #64
69. It just boggles the mind.
8500$ for one night of observation and a few tests... I just can't imagine having to pay something like that.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
30. complain
In Oregon, a large hospital system was sued for overcharging certain groups of patients and forced to reduce charges and provide refunds.

Call and demand a reduction. They aren't charging everyone the same fees for the same services.

I, too, got a $3,000 bill for two hours in the ER including lab tests not discussed with me. And part of the high costs is incurred because the patient must wait, wait, wait so long in the Emergency ward, taking up space.
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
34. I know what you mean. My son swallowed a quarter ....
2 years ago and had to spend the night after having it removed from his esophagus. Total bill was for over 4500.00!! :wow:

The most expensive quarter on earth and I still have it. :(
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
35. I ended up going to the local ER for nausea, dizziness ...
Edited on Thu Sep-21-06 02:12 PM by Lisa
... and shortness of breath, this summer.

They monitored me for a couple of hours, and found my heart rate was temporarily elevated but otherwise normal. Luckily I live in Canada, and my provincial health plan covered it. (BC is one of the provinces which charges health-care premiums -- automatically deducted from my paycheque, so about $1000 per year in my case.) One hears stories about waiting times and crowded facilities, but I must have caught them during a lull -- there were only 2 other people in the waiting room (an old man who was unable to sleep because of a pinched nerve, and a girl who thought she might have gotten whiplash when her car was bumped).

Later I went down the street to the walk-in clinic (I'd have gone there first but my symptoms hit in the middle of the night, after closing hours). They did a blood test on me, and then gave me a prescription for some mild sedatives as a precautionary measure. No cost for the exam and tests. At the pharmacy, the pills only cost about $12, so I decided to cover the cost myself even though there was assistance available for lower-income people (I just wasn't in the mood to deal with the paperwork that day). I've only used one tablet since then, anyway. Apparently it was the aftermath of an odd kind of flu, since others in town have reported it as well.

Reading this thread, I realize how lucky I am. Not just because of public Medicare, but also because I've been fortunate enough to not be seriously ill, or injured in an accident. One of my co-workers fainted, and luckily was found by his wife before he bled to death from a perforated ulcer. It took him several months to recover, but the provincial plan covered his bills, so at least he didn't have to worry about being in debt afterwards.
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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
41. Imagine what they'd have charged
if you were really sick!
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npincus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
44. Shit.
It's cheaper to die. What does cremation cost these days?

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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #44
51. no frills version < $20




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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #51
70. Haha.
The Bic lighter is an extra.

I didn't know they even made matches anymore. :)
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
48. That bill has to be wrong, my ex had the exact same thing happen to
her years ago and they only charged $500 dollars! That was WITHOUT medical insurance! Someone is rooking you, I would get a lawyer.
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #48
57. "years ago"??
times have changed, dear. the op is correct. my son was in the ER last november - severe food poisoning. no overnite stay 3-4 hours lying on a gurney with some iv fluids for dehydration.

$5000

luckily i had insurance, but this is ri-freaking-diculous!
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #57
75. WOW,
Dam I better not get sick! Yeah, this was in 2002. I should have thought about that.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #48
91. double /triple digit inflation over many years time
"years ago" easily turns $500 into $10,000 because there has been uncontrolled double and sometimes triple digit inflation in health care for many years, since at least the mid 90s if not longer

people don't understand the reality of what inflation has done to these prices, no honest person now can pay these costs just by working hard and saving their money, investments grow at around 5 percent a year, health care costs grow by a minimum of 20 percent a year and in some years it has been in the three digits
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
50. Suspected symptoms of a heart attack, I assume made them
pull out all the stops with the very expensive tests, like ultra-sounds and MRIs which are very costly. Sorry that it happened to you, but I'm glad you are okay. I hope you do a follow-up visit with your primary care physician.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #50
63. Uhm, no
My husband's bill for the first 12 hours was $7,000. Emergency room and overnight in the CCU. He had blood tests and an EKG. That's it.

He never had an MRI or ultra-sound, they just did the stents when they did the angiogram. That was in the hospital in the bigger town over. He was there for 48 hours. That bill was $28,000. The ambulance ride was $2500. The doctor, bless his heart, only charged $1,100.

Medical costs are INSANE.

Oh, and they don't even do an itemized bill anymore. Cost saving I imagine, lol. You have to request an itemized bill.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #50
81. They didn't do an MRI, but they did some stress test via a
nuklear imaging machine. It was similar to an MRI machine.That test alone was $2,500, but THAT still leaves $6,000!!!! That test was certainly the biggest chunk of the bill, but lab fees, and interpretations, etc made up the rest. I've beenrying for a number of years to figure out just WHO is gaming the system, and this is the first time I actually have first hand proof of real charges! Something is very wrong, but I STILL don't know WHO is gaming the system!

I have no problem with Drs making a nice buck. They have atremendous responsibility in their hands, and they deserve fair compensation. So do the nurses, and all the other assistants. BUT, I wasn't the only patient there! I was an accountant for 40+ years, and I understand overhead and how it has to be spread across all costs to recover it. Something is still very wrong. The test that cost $2,500 took about 15 minutes, and believe me, there were patients waitingin a waiting roomto be next. If I assume an 8 hour day, with even 20 minutes per patient, allowing 5 minutes for one to leave the area and the new one to come in, we're talking about $60,000 per day for ONE area, using ONE machine. I realize this kind of equipment is very expensive, and I have no idea what life they expect from it. But at $1.2 million per month, I have to believe it's overhead would be covered in a short term.

I guess the other problem I have is really accepting that they really had to do THAT test at all. I realize I'm second guessing the medical community here, and that's probably notreasonable on my part, but let me relate another situation thathappened to me about 4 years ago.

Ihad contracted a winter cold from someone, andas withall colds I've had, I took the std self treatment of Theraflu andfigured it would go away intwo weeks. Well, the darn cough stayed! When I got a feaver along with the cough, and had it for 3 days, I decided it was probably something that wasn't going to go away by just taking asprin. So I went to the local doc. He did his listening andtemp taking and stuff, wrote some things in the file and said, I want you to go to XXXX and get an xray. OK, I did, and they found it was pneumonia. When I talked to the Doc, he prescribed something to cure it, and said Iknew that's what it was!

Now, WHY did he send me to the clinic for an xray???? What happened to the docs who used to do their own tests, say, here's what's wrong, here's your prescription, now go home and take it?????

I think there are a lot of unnecessary tests done just to play CYA! The Doc says, yes, I knowthere's 99% sure that's the problem, but Ooooo, what if I'm wrong???? I could get sued! OK, if I get sued, I can prove I did EVERYTHING including the darn xrayas my proof!

Do you understand what I mean?
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #81
85. I'm on Medicare and the amount that is charged on the
bill and the amount that is Medicare approved is usually less, sometimes even a half less. They have to accept the Medicare amount if they accept Medicare so they write off the balance, other than the 20% of the approved amount that I have to pay.

So let's say that $1,000 in charges is approved by Medicare for $600, they pay $480. I am liable for $120. They write off the $400. Your insurance company has similar deals. Find out what it's really costing you. If it's too much that you have to pay, go to their accounting office and try to make a deal. They will help you out.
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Tracer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
54. My daughter has been in and out of the ER three times ...
... in the last 4 days for a raging infection --- hooked up to IVs pumping her full of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, fluids, etc. with all kinds of doctors trying to get a handle on the problem.

I can't imagine what the bill will be --- even WITH health insurance (which she has).

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Thickasabrick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
55. That happened to me last year. The total was $17,000.00+ for tests
and an overnight stay. Our health care system is beyond fucked up.
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otohara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
59. $80.000 For Just The Titanium in Spinal Surgery
My friend had sever scoliosis and recently underwent spinal surgery, which included titanium bolts. When she got the bill, the titanium alone was $80,000 - this is a tiny woman, no more than 100 lbs.
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savemefromdumbya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
60. Wow that;'s expensive!
hope you get better
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
62. Tell them to fuck themselves!
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
65. I believe it and here's why: broke my wrist a couple of months ago,
went to emergency. They couldn't set it, referred me to an orthopedic surgeon. 3 hours, two x-rays, no treatment: $4320. I swore at that time I would only go to an emergency room again if I thought I or someone else was dying.

Your symptoms would have fit that criteria, sad to say. But I got a nice close look at how badly our health care sucks in this country. I am sorry you did too, but I am glad you're ok! Commiserating :pals:
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
68. My dad just had a $30,000 apendectomy.
But we have bombs enough to kill every living thing.

We need to spend our money on things that benefit the human being.

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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #68
77. Wow, in 1955 mine cost $300 and that included hospitalization.n/t
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Maine-ah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
72. I am oh-so looking forward to having this baby
with no health insurance. :cry:
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #72
78. have you considered an alternative to a hospital?
they can be less expensive...
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Maine-ah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #78
82. other than my own home, I don't have that option available
to me.
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fleabert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #82
92. home birth is an option many women choose for reasons other than
monetary. Have you seen a midwife?

PM me with any questions you may have about home birth and midwifery, I'd be happy to guide you in finding someone in your area that can answer your questions- I was a doula (still am, just don't take clients anymore).

http://www.midwife.org/find.cfm

http://www.homestead.com/midwivesofmaine/1.html
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #92
93. that's where i was going with this:)
:hi: i had two of mine at home with a nurse-midwife. it was a wonderful experience!
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fleabert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #93
94. congrats!
I have attended a twin home birth- it was also amazing! I hope to home birth my first- have to get preggers first :-)
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #94
95. wow, that must have been something!
twins aren't usually "allowed" to be birthed at home. was one of them breech?

good luck! :)
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fleabert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #95
106. baby B was breech until the 39th week!
then turned on her own. (the Dr's- she was getting dual care-wanted to do a planned c-section at 37 weeks because of the breech) Mom went to 40 weeks 5days! Babies were both 8lbs, and very healthy! Babies number 5 and 6 for her, babies 2-7 have been born at home. Really amazing woman that mom! She's an author, a doula instructor, a former midwife, etc... I was proud to be there, she's an inspiration.

Her midwives (3) were all well versed in multiple births, and were excellent.
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
73. Outsider perspective : the US healthcare system is INSANE
I had two operations in past years and only paid a couple 100 bucks for the first (on standard (government) insurance) and next to nothing for the second using and upgraded (but still government based) hospital insurance that costs 150 bucks per year.

We pay hefty taxes over here, yeah, and they do not go to our Defense spending.
Also, Minister of Social Security runs a very tight ship and keeps tabs on the use of expensive procedures, medicine and the price of procedures is benchmarked.

Billing amounts cited in this thread are totally insane.
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
74. I just did pretty much the same thing
-X-ray
-blood work
-hospital visit
-specialists

My total cost - $1.25 for a can of pop
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newportdadde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
83. My twin sons spent 4 days in a neo-natal care in KC 7 months ago. -$36K
Edited on Thu Sep-21-06 08:41 PM by newportdadde
The birth was fine, babies went home with my wife. Three days later we do our follow up checkup with the pediatrician. Both babies are running cold on their temps. We take them to one of the best neo-natal care centers in KC. They stayed their for 4 and 1/2 days. They should have left earlier but we arrived on a Thursday and the residents were too chicken-shit to let them go on the weekend...

The total bill? $36,000. Thats right 36 large. The best part I kept getting bills $16k each for both kids for months as insurance tried to work through it all. You have no idea how twins complicates this stuff, they think they are getting charged twice for one kid.

One twin had facial bruising because he came second and was born quickly. I got a letter for him to sign from my insurance wanting to know if I was going to sue someone or if it was a workers come injury. After explaining to them I didn't want to sue my wife's vagina they paid it.

Its the bullshit admin paper pushing from one organization to another thats the cause of a lot of this.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #83
88. If it wasn't so sad, I have to admit I'd laugh at your story!
I wish I could have been watching the person on the other end of the phone when you said you didn't want to sue your wife's vagina! Brilliant thinking on your part!

i guess I can understandclerks, inundated with thousands of claims, getting confused once in a while, and twins would be just the wasy to confuse them too!

I just can't accept theoutragious costs as being real. I still say, someone's gaming the system. I just haven't figured out who it is yet. I'm leaning strongly toward the ins. cos though!
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 09:00 PM
Response to Original message
84. I had day surgery. Didn't spend even one night inthe hospital.
It was a three hour surgery. Hospital bill was $24,000. Surgeon's bill was only $8,000. Of course, everything got cut back 20-40%.
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schrodingers_cat Donating Member (448 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 09:15 PM
Response to Original message
87. This is sure to steam you all....(it steamed me!)
I had to go to the ER in Germany last week for a wicked pain in my shoulder (had surgery recently). I was seen by 2 specialists within 1/2 hour, given 2 shots in the arse to release the spasms they found, and sent on my way for around $60. I was back before dinner. And that was the cost with the dollar in it's current weak state.

ARRGHHHHH!
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #87
89. WOW! Can I assume you are not a German citizen?
Were you visiting, or do you live there?

A few days ago I read a post by someone who had to go to the ER while visiting Canada. There was NO CHARGE. That poster said since all Canadian citizens are covered by their national health care, and there are so few visitors or non covered people who ever appear at their doors, the don't bother even billing or trying to collect because they feel it would cost them more than they'd recover!

Hmmmm
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #87
96. Similar things happened when my family went to Europe
back in the 1960s. We had a couple of encounters with the medical system during our five-week stay.

We were staying with relatives on an island in Norway when my brother cut his head open running through a low doorway. Our relatives sent for the island's nurse-midwife, who came and patched him up. When by dad asked her how much he owed her, she looked surprised.

Later in that same trip, in Wiesbaden, Germany, my mother came down with a bad throat infection, and the hotel directed us to what seemed to be a kind of urgent care clinic. Again, there was no charge to be seen.

While we were staying in Amsterdam, I fell down the stairs, which were extremely steep with narrow treads. The hotel insisted that I go to the emergency room to be checked out. I came out of the experience with a lump on my head (no concussion) and lots of bruises, but nothing broken. There was no charge, and we got to see a bit of "theatre" as a sailor was brought in with stab wounds.

I've been fortunate enough to need a doctor only once in Japan, when a cut became infected. Unlike many other countries, Japan does not treat visitors for free, and I think I paid the equivalent of about $100 for being seen three times. However, if I had been a legal resident, I could have enrolled in the government's insurance program, which pays 70% of normal medical procedures and 100% of treatment for a list of catastrophic and chronic conditions. It's not as good a deal as Canada or the European countries have, but there's no deductible, so it's a much better deal than I have currently.
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Keepontruking Donating Member (145 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #96
101. Love the free care
Just spent some time in France.  You can say what you want
about the French but I would live there in a na-no-second. 
Free health care, transportation everywhere and anywhere, you
could live a life time and never see just alone what their
country has to offer and the people were
AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  PARIS  anytime...it's us who give
them a bad name and then don't want to be judged by others we
are so two faced and narrow minded ...I guess poorly educated
would be the word!!!!!!!!( for us)  Circus Girl
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
90. a nervous reaction to something?
i find that damned hard to believe

my mom almost died because her heart disease was "overlooked," presumably they did test for heart enzymes but i would now be concerned about a neurological issue, those are harder to test for and likely weren't tested for

not sure what to suggest but if it happens again it may not be an ER deal but it sure needs to be better looked into

never heard of being nervous causing numbness to the limbs and i'm nervous practically as a hobby
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WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
98. I work in a business office and you should apply for "uncompensated care"
I think most hospitals have a program you can apply for which could substantially reduce your bill if you qualify. Just a thought.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #98
99. WHAT is "Uncompesated care"?
I have NEVER heard of that before? Can you tell me more, or tell me where to find the info?
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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
102. Since they kept you overnight but less than
24 hours, they can bill it as observation.

Did they do a cardiac cath? That sounds like a cardiac cath bill.

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gulliver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
104. Will it cost that after re-rating?
My insurance company takes the medical bill and re-rates everything based on a network agreement they have with the hospital. So, for example, my recent tests (no problems) showed up as about $800 on the bill, but were re-rated down to $200 after my insurance company got them. I only ended up paying $200 against my deductible.
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