General chatter - We got my ER bill! Woweezowa!

View Full Version : We got my ER bill! Woweezowa!

03-29-2007, 07:07 PM
It was just a little under $11,000! I was there about 6 hours.

Boy I'm glad we have insurance. I wanted to go to a lab for some of those tests and blood work but my dr. insisted I go to the ER because she was convinced that they were going to admit me for emergency surgery.

03-29-2007, 07:28 PM
I was in the hospital for five hours for surgery on my shoulder last year.


For FIVE hours. And I was still throwing up when they booted me out!

03-29-2007, 07:29 PM
I used to work in a hospital billing office and your bill (sadly) isn't at all unusual. The health care industry, since the inception of HMO's, has become a joke. What most people do not understand is that your bill of $11,000 will net a payment of probably less than $1000 from the insurance company and possibly another couple of hundred from you in co-pays or deductibles. What is sad is that because of this, hospitals insist that those people without insurance pay 100% of the bill! It used to be that hospitals would not give discounts to individuals--only to the large insurance companies. This is changing, but ever so slowly. IMO, hospitals should go back to regular prices and not have to deal with the contractual obligation to write off 90% of the bill when dealing with an insurance company.

03-29-2007, 07:35 PM
Only in AMERICA! Hard to believe sometimes we are the "lucky" ones isn't it? Oh, I know we (as a people) are very selfish...but...we have a lot of people in our country trying with all they have to just survive...a hospital bill like that, that they would HAVE to pay, would destroy them.

03-29-2007, 07:41 PM
Only in AMERICA! Hard to believe sometimes we are the "lucky" ones isn't it? Oh, I know we (as a people) are very selfish...but...we have a lot of people in our country trying with all they have to just survive...a hospital bill like that, that they would HAVE to pay, would destroy them.

One of the reasons my job was so stressful!!!

When I first started out, I worked in an MRI facility. We saw people with deadly tumors. If we had an inkling that those without insurance or whose insurance wasn't going to pay much and they would be stuck with a bill, we'd write it off. It was courtesy, especially since many of these folks were already dealing with huge bills elsewhere due to the course of their illnesses.

Then we moved to California and I got introduced to the whole hospital billing thing. Wow. I had such a hard time looking at a patient, knowing full well that their bill would bankrupt them, and not be able to offer them much of anything to help them. "The bottom line." That's all the hospital was concerned about.

Stepping Out
03-29-2007, 08:18 PM
Last year, I had a bone biopsy on my mangled right ankle. No repair, no attempt to realign bone, just a biopsy to rule out osteomyletis. They charged our insurance company $33,000; for a 2 1/2 hour day surgery! :dizzy: I praise God that we have insurance :). The copays alone are bad enough..I don't know how anyone could go through a truly serious illness without losing everything :(

03-29-2007, 09:07 PM
The $$$ aspect of all of this is sickening. My husband has type 1 diabetes and has kidney stones, so we've seen our share of ER. The bills are ridiculous. And the pharmaceutical industry is another topic that I probably shouldn't even get started on. Diabetic supplies ain't cheap, and we have insurance-- thank goodness!

Anyway, MARE -- ARE YOU OK?? You didn't say what you were admitted for? I hope you are doing ok!!!

03-29-2007, 09:37 PM
I was in the OR a total of 40 minutes tops for my arthroscopic knee surgery and my bills topped out at $8K. :faint: That was before insurance of course, but sheesh! I believe every crazy tale about the exorbitant costs of medical care.

03-29-2007, 10:48 PM
I work at the hospital here. Went in for a severe migraine that wouldn't subside. Based on my PCP's recommendation, of course. I had a closed head injury when I was in a car accident nearly 3 years ago, so my PCP wanted me to get in as soon as possible for a head CT just to make sure everything was okay.

Insurance denied my claim, because "you don't go to the ER for a headache" which is all well and good, except that it wasn't subsiding and my PCP instructed me to go.

Total cost for being there for a grand total of 2 hours? $3k without paying for the CT. The head CT and the MRI wound up being another $1600. All paid out of pocket. It's crazy.. it really is. Even those of us who have insurance often end up paying ourselves.

03-29-2007, 10:59 PM
Try being on Medicaid/Medicare! Half the doctors in this town don't want to see you because these insurance doesn't want to pay half of the costs that the doctors want to charge, so oftentimes I'm stuck going to some clinic that has a rotating schedule of doctors fresh out of school. It's gotten to the point that I don't go to doctors at all unless I'm truly desperate.

03-30-2007, 03:43 AM
I was pregnant with my daughter, who is now nearly 3, and visiting England to settle all my affairs before making the final move over. I don't even think I had my Visa or anything yet. Anyway, I had been very ill during the pregnancy and started having contractions and uncontrollable vomiting. I called my OB/Gyn back home and he said go to the hospital over here. They admitted me and I was in for 3 days but because I wasn't a British citizen I, of course, had to pay (well my fiancee-now husband anyway). The total bill for 3 days in hospital, about a million IV drips and medicine AND an ultrasound? Less than £200.00, which is about $400.00.

Something's horribly wrong.

03-30-2007, 04:53 AM
Think I'll move to England in my old age....:)

03-30-2007, 01:28 PM
And here I was balking about a $3000, 5 hour ER visit with DD. And they didn't do anything! I think they charge by the hour, er, by the minute for room space, lol. Of course that was just for the er visit and not for the 2 docs that looked her over, the iv, and the x-rays they took. Those bills came later. It really is sad.

03-30-2007, 03:15 PM
I am so thankful that I live in Canada.

I was in Hawaii on vacation and had to have my appendix removed, the final bill was $20-30k I dont remember exact, but I do remember it was $800 a night to just stay in the hospital. It was cheaper to say in a 5 star resort with a better view!

03-31-2007, 07:39 PM
mare, I hope you are doing OK now.

I was hospitalized for 6 weeks with pneumonia (almost 3 summers ago). Astounding bill of $750,000. This did not include the bill from my team of doctors, the numerous CT's, X-rays, MRI's, Respiratory Therapy, Physical Therapy and such. All total over a million dollars. Now when I get the least bit sick, I rush to the doctor and hope to ever avoid severe life-threatening illness again.

My son got a fish hook in his leg. I took him to the dr.s office and they cut the barb off and pulled the hook out (took 5 min's) . Charged my insurance $1500.00 for "MINOR SURGERY".

One of the things that really gets to me is that since I have a chronic illness, every single visit with my general practitioner is labeled as EXTENSIVE, just so my insurance can be billed at a higher rate.

04-02-2007, 10:15 AM
This thread is scaring the crap out of me. Not that I am surprised by the bills or anything (ok the million dollar one)

We just found out last week my MIL has a complicated life threatening disease that can have many many complications along the way and must be diligently managed. Potential (high risk) complications include renal failure, lung problems and cardiac problems.

We found out 2 days ago that she decided in November that $500/month was a waste of money and when her cobra expired she decided she didnt need health insurance.

She is kind of upset with us now because we are insisting she gets the high risk insurance - NOW the only kind she will qualify for and it will probably cost ~$1000/month. She still doesnt see a need to "waste that kind of money"

04-02-2007, 10:22 AM
I know that hospital bills are greatly inflated and that what is charged is well above the actual cost of supplies and labor and whatever else. However, it is also important for people to request and itemized statement because almost everyone is billed extra for something, and those costs can be huge.
Not everyone has a medical background to be able to understand an itemized statement and know what things they did and did not receive; however if you can find someone to help out, you need to do it.
I also think that some places purposefully overcharge to people who have insurance so they can get more reimbursement; in fact, I think this happened at our small, 25 bed, rural hospital when my husband spent the night for observation of appendicitis. He was really just dehydrated and had some heat exhaustion - he was in the room for less than 12 hours and ONLY received an IV of normal saline. The bill was $3400 - this did not include the ER, doctor, or CT scan.... $3400 just to sleep and receive fluid. I know the charge was not justified; however I didn't complain or ask for an itemized statement because insurance covered everything except about $400...
I should have checked into it, because that just might have been fraud.

04-02-2007, 10:34 AM
Ennay, my bill was so astronomical because I was in ICU and on a ventilator most of that 6 weeks. With my immune system disorder, I couldn't fight off the infection. Thank God, I lived through it, but it's been almost 3 yrs. now and we're still paying our share of the bill (and will be still paying it several yrs. from now). The hospital was willing to let us pay 50% of the after insurance cost as a lump sum, but we didn't have that much extra cash, so we're stuck making payments forever.

Since I do have chronic illness, I now always offer on smaller hospital bills to pay 50% lump sum to clear the bill and 99% of the time, the hospital will accept it. It really saves a lot and keeps us from having tons of medical bills to ration out to each month. I had surgery last May and the previous April, both times they took Half of the after insurance cost as full payment.

Ennay, I had always had medical insurance at my job for me. When I was no longer able to work, we tried to add me to DH's medical insurance and they called my illness pre-existing and didn't want to cover me. We tried to get private insurance for me and EXACTLY they wanted to charge me $1000.00 a month and exclude anything that had to do with my liver disease. Fortunately , now it's been over a yr. and DH's Blue Cross/Blue Shield now covers me and any of my illness. I've been on disability for a yr. now and I'm not sure if my new Medicare insurance is my primary insurance or my DH's insurance is primary? I haven't used my new Medicare card yet but I did get one in January.

04-02-2007, 01:05 PM
I have one. When I broke my ankle at work, I was petrified of going to the hospital. I even tried to get them to let me "skate" myself off the ice and drive myself to the ER because I was broke and uninsured (I couldn't put up much of a fight, though). Of course, I had no idea what worker's comp was and thank god I received it. 2 surgeries, 4 days in the hospital, ortho visits, PT, meds= $48,000. What is even more frightening is that the same injury could've happened walking outside on a slippery sidewalk and I would've been screwed.

CBMare- I hope you are well, dearie!

edit: I did keep the pins, screws, and plates from my ankle, though. After all, they are worth $48,000.

04-02-2007, 01:21 PM
I guess I'm lucky in that I've never been to the ER. Here is hoping I never have to go!

wanna b thin
04-02-2007, 01:41 PM
OMG, my son is in the hospital now ans has been since last Monday. He just got his 90 days in at a new job the week before he went into the hospital. Insurance does not start till the first of the next month, so he has coverage as midnight Saturday night. He has been very ill with a staph infection, on IV's, antibotics, pain medication, has had xrays, blood work, CT's, a MRI, a TEE and so much more, all before Saturday night. I can't even imagine what the bill will be or how they think he will ever be able to pay it.

04-04-2007, 08:13 PM
To answer some questions:

I had a major diverticulitis attack. Haven't had one that bad since 2001. Don't want another one.

I think we are going to be on the hook for about $550 of it. I may call them when I get the bill and see if I can negotiate that down a bit. I don't know why they charged me for a second hour of the IV considering I was calling them when the first hour ran out and the bag was empty. That's about $100 right there!

We'll see.

I do hope all of you with family in the hospital will not have heart attacks when you get your bills. Just remember, you can negotiate with them.

04-04-2007, 08:42 PM
I was in the ER just on Monday. Of course had all kinda of testing and IV fluids because they found I had sepsis. They finally said I could leave and I made it ten steps out the ER door and collapsed. Watch the hospital charge it as two separate visits.

04-04-2007, 09:38 PM
I was in the ER just on Monday. Of course had all kinda of testing and IV fluids because they found I had sepsis. They finally said I could leave and I made it ten steps out the ER door and collapsed. Watch the hospital charge it as two separate visits.

YIKES! Man, friggin' sepsis and they let you go? *shaking head* Nice.

I'm glad you're better now though!