Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Price Gouging

I just got the bill from the hospital. Actually, it says "This is not a bill, do not pay," but it does say what they're billing my insurance company.

And the total for taking a few pictures, one night in the hospital, two stitches, a tetanus shot and a little morphine in the IV, comes to a grand total of $21,808.23.

I love these guys. I can understand, sort of, the $10,000 for the CT scans. I'm sure it's grossly inflated, but at least there's some really expensive equipment involved. But they've got to be kidding when it comes to things like the drugs. For a tetanus shot and an IV they bill "pharmacy, general," $2271.00; "pharmacy, IV solutions," $255.00; "drugs-req spec id, req det cod," $714.00. Well over $3000 for about ten bucks worth of stuff.

I'll bet when my insurance company goes over the bill, they'll say the reasonable charge for all these services is a half or a third of what the hospital billed, and the hospital will accept their determination. (They have to. The hospital's in the PPO's network.) At least that's been my experience in the past every time I've received a bill from a hospital.

I was thinking it would be fun to send the bill to the Texas Attorney General along with a complaint about price gouging after the hurricane, but unfortunately, this is just business as usual for hospitals. It doesn't make much difference for me since they have to take what the insurance company pays, but people without insurance (or a government payor) get screwed over royally every time they set foot in a hospital, and that sort of ticks me off.

But that's just me. I'm sort of funny that way.

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Anonymous Susan in St. Paul said...

I like you funny ;-)

Whether its price gouging after the hurricane or not, a $10K CT scan is still price gouging!

Please do it...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 4:56:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...


In all fairness to the hospital, that's three scans: "CT SCAN, GENERAL," $580.07; "CT SCAN, HEAD SCAN", $2449.62; "CT SCAN, BODY SCAN," $6917.56.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 5:00:00 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

CT Scan General, CT Scan Head, CT Scan Body? Which part of you is The General?

(And the password is: ulqfecfs.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 8:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Susan in St. Paul said...

Sounds like they coded it thrice, and it still sounds like a lot.

Laurie- Based on the relative cost to scan, his general must not be very big, hmmm.... maybe its his hair?

mines's azbqrkty

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 8:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Based on my experience working with personal injury clients, the hospital's charges for the CT Scans of the head and body are comparable to other facilities such as HealthSouth, Gulf Coast MRI. . .With regard to "The General," I do not recall ever receiving any requests or charges for such a Scan, and would request some clarification of that charge. . . This does call to mind, however, Miss New Orlean's previous blog entry concerning a fractured penis (not that anyone was insinuating that "The General" referred to Wang's, well, um. . . Wang), but if I recall correctly, in order to sustain a fracture to the male member, said member would have to be erect, which does cause me to wonder why Wang (not that anyone is actually referring to Wang's wang) would have been in such a state at the time that he fell off of the roof????

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 9:41:00 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Susan - Based on the relative cost to scan, perhaps there was General shrinkage due to the trauma of falling twenty feet.

Anonymous - I guess we are left to wonder why The General might have been saluting at the time of Wang's tragic descent.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 10:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Susan in St. Paul said...

I don't think his hair would shrink due to a fall.

Anonymous-I would never comment on Wang's wang, but I am certain "the general" does not refer to that part of his anatomy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 5:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may not like him but Wang has an impressive wang notwithstanding the price of his "general" CT scan. Trust me on that one.

Sunday, October 23, 2005 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Geez, my son sometimes reads this. Could we please try to maintain at least a somewhat respectable tone?

Sunday, October 30, 2005 4:14:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

I got the statement from the insurance company on the x-rays the other day. Not surprisingly, they knocked more than 50% off the bill.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 9:03:00 PM  

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