Outrageous Hospital Bill

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Your medical bill is more deadly than my bite!

USA TODAY: Ouch! Hospital to review woman’s $83,046 scorpion sting bill.
A woman in Arizona was billed over $80,000 for two shots of scorpion anti-venom and a three hour stay in the hospital. The shots alone were nearly $40,000 each. This anti-venom sells for $100 dollars in Mexico–which is exactly where the hospitals get it from. Pharmaceutical distributors charge the hospitals approximately $3,700 per dose (for the same Mexican anti-venom). It’s shameful enough that the distributors markup is so high (from $100 to $3700), but the hospitals mark up ($3,700 to $40,000) is down right criminal. Even if it was some miracle cure for cancer that took hundreds of millions of dollars in research and development you couldn’t justify this kind of mark-up.
This woman was fortunate enough to have decent insurance coverage, however, the insurance company was only willing to pay $57,000 (which I’m surprised that they kicked in that much) leaving this unfortunate woman with over $25,000 dollars in medical bills that she’s supposed to pay out of pocket. This is insane. This is outrageous, & simply ridiculous.

If our government wants to force a tax down our throats to pay for socialized medical coverage they first need to reign-in the obscene price gouging practices of the pharmaceutical companies, the insurance companies, and the hospitals themselves. This case in Arizona is a perfect example of how out of control it all has become. I’m sure most Americans would buy their own private insurance if it was realistically affordable. I’m sure some of the insurance rates wouldn’t be as high if the hospitals didn’t charge such outrageous rates. Maybe the hospital rates wouldn’t be so high if they didn’t have to pay out the yin for frivolous lawsuits…and so on, and so on. It’s a vicious circle that just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and all parties involved are taking advantage of it.

Why is it that a hospital can charge you $12 per tablet for aspirin? Why is it that a CT-Scan for a colonoscopy costs between $2500 to $3000 in the U.S., but the same procedure with the same equipment costs under $300 in Macedonia? An MRI in the U.S. around $2000, if you’re an illegal immigrant and you walk into the emergency room…TWO DOLLARS!

Pharmaceutical distributors charge a few hundred dollars for a jar of 5000 pills, the hospital charges $60 to $80 per pill—how is this legal?

If our government truly wants to do something to improve the healthcare situation in the States, they need to crack down on these manacle price gouging practices first. If not, they are simply fueling the fire to continue burning out of control. They need to make it illegal for any of the above mentioned institutions to charge more than a fair mark up on any of their goods and/or services.

“Ouch! Hospital to review woman’s $83,046 scorpion sting bill.” This is what the headline reads, but the hospital only decided to “review” this woman’s bill after they received a mountain of negative press from across the nation.

Question to the Masses:
How much do you think the hospital will end up reducing her bill to?

Personally I think it’ll be the exact amount that the insurance company was willing to pay—and sadly the circle continues to grow!

Please voice your view in the comment box to the right of the article title.

This has been a Knappdawg Rant.

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2 Comments

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