Hospital didn’t treat her… but she still got a MASSIVE bill
$12,000 for a Band-Aid and Tylenol?
I’m sure you’ve heard about ultra-expensive hospital bills showing up unexpectedly. And it’s a serious and growing problem in America. But have you ever heard of anyone getting an enormous bill after NOT receiving treatment?
It might sound crazy, but that’s exactly what happened to Jessica P. of Hoboken, New Jersey.
Jessica suffered an unfortunate fainting episode, cutting her ear on a table when she fell.
Concerned about a head injury, Jessica immediately rushed to the emergency room at her local hospital.
They gave her an ice pack and a bandage... and NO other treatment. No diagnosis, no MRI, no expert examination by a head trauma expert...
Jessica received nothing more than what you would get from a middle school nurse.
Well, actually, one thing more...
She ended up with a bill in the mail for a ludicrous $5,700.
News site Vox has more details on the story, but sadly it doesn’t stop there.
Another woman, Brittany C., went to the ER with serious abdominal pain. At the hospital, they did run a few tests, but they ultimately gave her nothing but painkillers and a referral to a specialist.
Plus a bill for over $12,000.
Not twelve hundred... twelve thousand dollars.
Which Brittany’s insurance promptly refused to cover.
Brittany isn’t the only one to receive a $12,000 bill for a relatively simple issue. 53-year-old Sylvia R. went to the ER for a bad bee sting in Florida.
Sylvia received a $12,000 bill for a visit that lasted less than two hours.
Can you imagine how you would feel getting that bill?
In a moment where you’re at your most vulnerable, seriously concerned for your health and safety or perhaps the health and safety of a loved one...
You put your trust in these trained professionals, and in turn they send you a bill that could pay for a decent used Mercedes?!
Far too many people don’t have to imagine.
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Of course, the ER is sometimes necessary and important. But in many, many cases, a trip to the ER delivers dubious results — and an ENORMOUS bill.
The average price of an ER visit is nearly $2,000, up 31% from just four years earlier, according to the Health Care Cost Institute.
And since these hospitals are part of the medical-industrial complex, with a semi-government-sponsored monopoly, there is very little you can do as a consumer.
It’s not like you can go across town to a competing hospital or start your own hospital with better prices.
But there are a few things you can do:
The first is negotiating your bill.
Hospitals are used to negotiating. In fact, they almost never get paid the list price by insurance companies... so if a billion-dollar insurance company isn’t paying retail, why should you?
It’s always worth a try to call the hospital billing department and try to negotiate a lower rate. In some cases, you can get the price down to a fourth or lower of the initial bill.
But in general, the best solution is to avoid any unnecessary visit to the hospital or ER.
Of course, this is tough to do in the moment. And there are certainly situations where you must go to the hospital.
If an acute injury is involved or the patient is a young child or an elderly person, it’s probably best to err on the side of caution, take them to the hospital, and deal with the financial aftermath later.
But unless absolutely necessary, you should avoid hospital visits like the plague.
In fact, plague should be one of your top concerns.
Because infections that live in hospitals are incredibly dangerous.
According to Johns Hopkins Hospital, every additional day in an intensive care unit has a far-reaching impact on your quality of life that lasts for years after you leave the hospital.
But sadly, the over-reliance on hospital visits is just one of many dangerous medical myths out there.
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To your health, Alex Reid
President, Clear Health Now
To your health,