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View Diary: $43,286 (134 comments)

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  •  Actually, my recent visit to the ER with no (47+ / 0-)

    insurance had my ER bill cut in half and the physicians group cut by 75%.

    That said,  they coded my bill for 'Level 3' (out of 5), for a dislocated finger! huh?  what the hell is at level two between a dislocated finger and whatever is at level one?

    Then they had a 300+ charge for equipment (a 20 cent splint & tape, I guess) that, after I first called about the bill, they discovered was already included in the 400+ charge for dislocated finger.

    Mind you, the doctors sent a separate $800 bill for manipulating the finger, so I still don't get what the $400 charge is for (other than that splint!) cuz the Level 3 charge to use the ER was over $700.

    It is all a bunch of bullshit.

    Diarist, I don't know what state you are in, but apparently, if you are already working with a social worker, you must know whether or not you are eligible for Medicaid, and I'm guessing you are not.  But I wonder if that social worker works for the hospital.  If so, I am not sure they will review the individual charges too closely and would recommend you go over that bill with a fine tooth comb, question everything and see what you can get rid of BEFORE they apply the discounts for being uninsured.  

    Sorry for the financial mess caused by our plutocrats.

    "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

    by MRA NY on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 02:41:26 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  level one is an upset stomach (6+ / 0-)

      level two is a nasty ingrown toenail.

      Level 3, without insurance, will likely get you dumped by the admitting hospital into some back alley.

      _"Love is the rosebud of an hour; Friendship the everlasting flower."_ Brook Boothby

      by Keith930 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 03:17:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Our local hospital has a offshot... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BusyinCA, MRA NY

        that used to be one of the cheaper urgent care centers in our area...I went there (to what I thought was an urgent care but was actually an offshot of a hospital ER WHICH CHARGES ER PRICES) for an ear infection...it cost me over $1000 - oh, and my ear infection was apparently a level 4 emergency...check this place out!
        http://www.yelp.com/...

        •  if an ear infection is level 4 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Angie in WA State

          what is severe chest pain and numbness on your left side?

          _"Love is the rosebud of an hour; Friendship the everlasting flower."_ Brook Boothby

          by Keith930 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 07:25:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  In our area they're doing something similar (8+ / 0-)

          Where a regular doctor's office becomes legally linked to a hospital system and is then classified as a higher priced office visit, as if you were visiting a doctor in the hospital.

          So your regular visit to the local primary care doctor's office in the strip shopping center down the street goes from a $90 visit to a $300 visit.  Same service, just classified as a hospital visit.

          Caveat emptor.  With so many insurance plans switching from copays to % of the bill, its dinging a lot of insured people with higher out of pocket costs.

          It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

          by Betty Pinson on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 07:27:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  isn't that special???? (3+ / 0-)

            This is why young people still go into medicine these days.  You can either fix Barbra Streisand's nose, or you can gouge the poor.  Either way, you get rich.

            _"Love is the rosebud of an hour; Friendship the everlasting flower."_ Brook Boothby

            by Keith930 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 07:30:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  yes I was surprised when a PA sent me to not just (9+ / 0-)

            the local ER, but the Big Hospital Complex 50 miles north, (just as soon as I could get there, even if it was 6 hours later, she said that was okay) and the reason I could not go local, never-mind get what I wanted, was because with my face swelling up the way it was, I "probably would need a tracheostomy, and since the local ER only did those in an emergency and is 'not covered' to do them on an out-patient basis, I'd better head to the Big House." Well all I had wanted was an RX for an antibiotic, and a pain pill since I was about 3 days past the maximum dose any human should take of ibuprophen.
                 Seriously, I'm yelling at this P.A. -yelling- at her, "my face is swollen but I'm not having ANY trouble breathing. Can I please have an RX and leave!!!" She looked me in the eye and calmly said, "No." So after what turned into 12 hours (6 hours to get the ride up there and 6 hours sitting there in agony but still breathing...) and a CT scan and a bunch of other stuff, the Big Hospital Er people dosed me with morphine (didn't help) so they dosed me again with trazadol. Less than an hour later, they suddenly decided (right before midnight in a rural area) that they were done with me and the only nurse who was paying any attention handed me one (count them, ONE) penicillin pill and "here's a percocette for the road."
                 Why I couldn't have had the damn pain pill 12 hours earlier I will never understand, and I thought I was going to the hospital to get an IV of penicillin or something to get my enormous swollen gland to go down faster. meanwhile, since my pharmacy didn't open until 9 the next day I asked for a couple more of everything to tide me over. She said "No, you should go to one of the ones in the next town over." Yeah, I'm sure the pharmacist wants a new patient at midnight looking for pain pills with what turned out to be no written orders for any RXs in my chart up north, except for that one pill "for the road."
                 As it happened, they sent me out into the night, staggering on drugs like the scarecrow of Oz. Three hours later I began a cycle of puke, sleep, puke, sleep that lasted for tw0-and-a half more days until I finally sat up and realized all the morphine+ was out of my system and I still had the same problem. Except now I've gone two more full days without an antibiotic and now also without my birth control pills. (Ever puked while one side of your face is the size of a painful football?) And yet I was three more days into NOT having any penicillin!!! (And still having Pain!!!) Thanx docs-NOT.
                 Meanwhile, what dredged up this rant that only begins to touch that dreadful time, was the fact that the original physician's assistant who literally had a panic attack in the other room on the phone (I could hear her through the thin walls telling the local ER guy how she'd never seen a thing like this and was extremely worried...even though it was okay for me to wait 6 hours in pain for a ride while my 'throat closed up'...) -that original PA never handed me a bill at her office. Okay, that was gratis, I thought, and good considering all the un-help she gave me. But NOooo silly me. She was able to hook $178 onto the Big Hospital's bill instead of her regular office visit fee.... It took her 2 months to bill that- so long she almost missed getting paid by my former (that's another story- yecchh) insurerer. Meanwhile, the Big H. was filling out my billing paperwork as I left their door and it arrived before I even came to.
               Thanks fer readin' everyone who's still in this comment. I had no idea that there were reasons besides the best care for a patient that would send people to the hospital for what should have been a simple doctor's office call. As it was, I had politely waited until my appointment at 2:30 in the afternoon-because I was NOT having trouble breathing! I had recently had the flu and was still winded going up stairs, which I foolishly mentioned when she asked and she then forever twisted into an "emergency."

            •  Pertinent comment from the other day, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nuclear winter solstice

              an ER nurse, after bringing her a patient from a doctor's office: "Ugh, PCPs [primary care physicians] are just as bad as nursing homes."

              They don't know a life threatening emergency if it bit them on the ass (which itself is not even a life threatening emergency)

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