Friday, June 13, 2008

The High Cost of Yard Work

The bill for the ER visit from the injured midigit arrived a few days ago. Since I did not list this blog as having adult content when I registered it, I'll spare you the ensuing profanity that was uttered once I opened it.

Essentially, it was almost $800 just to walk in the door. Add to that, almost $600 for X-rays, and another $400+ for I couldn’t tell you. (Maybe the $4 splint and $1 worth of self-sticking wrap they put over it?) And then it says, "This total may not reflect physician charges."

WHAT?! On top of the $1,800 + I have to pay more for the doctor who spent all of 3 minutes with me? What a racket! I feel ultra-stupid for even going. I've set fingers many times over the years but this one was different from the breaks I've had and it scared me.

I still don't know what my portion will be as this was just a "courtesy copy." (Courtesy. Uh-huh. I think maybe they were trying to drum up some more business by causing me to have a heart attack or a stroke after seeing the total.) I do think that there are supposed to be some deductions because of this being an "in-network" facility.

Does this not explain what's wrong with our health care system?

I have insurance but I can't afford to use it at this rate. (I already paid a $50 co-pay and I think I have to pay 20 percent of the total. Without any discounts or extra doctor fees, that's already about $475 more. For nothing. Money meant to do stuff in and on the house.)

I can tell you that unless a bone is hanging askew or there's bleeding that I can't control, or God forbid, something causes me to lose consciousness, I won't be going back. Ever.

The craziest thing is that with all the work I've done with power saws (jig, circular and miter), drills, hammers -- stuff that can really mess you up -- nothing. I get hurt on the lawnmower -- while it's off! I'm grateful, though, because as much as I use all that stuff I sure don't want to be getting hurt. But seriously, what are the odds?


CD said...

As the mother of two sons, I have a season pass to the ER. During the last thirteen years we have had 8 staples installed in Jordan's head, 13 stitches in his hand, his precious forehead and eyebrow glued together, numerous x-rays, one eye wash and treatment for one concussion. Drew is competition with 1 ambulance ride and numerous contusions. Childrens Hospital could at least name a bench after me based on my contributions. I have started using the neighborhood med-stops for basic x-rays and non-cosmetic stitches. The charges are less and there is only one doctor to see. You by-pass the ER fee and the time spent is no where near the ER timeline. We have also started using the Walgreen's RN's for weekend ear infections and sinus infections (kids never get sick on week days, only nights and weekends). For $35 we're in and out within 45 minutes with a script in hand. If all else fails, use the duct tape - it's seems to cure all.

Anonymous said...

Ouch!!! Next time you know to drink a bottle of something strong and then just drill the sucker.

NV said...

Chris -- Good Lord! You could've paid off your house with co-pays alone. Not feeling so bad anymore. Where are these miracle clinics incidentally?

Vicki -- Unfortunately, not drillable. I tried with a hot needle but the blood wasn't under the nail. Your recommendation is my typical method. Tape it down. Move on.

Ann said...

Don't even get me started. As a former nurse, I'm disgusted by the entire system. I have an almost weekly conversation with some random person about the state of our health care system - and it always ends with my blood boiling.

And yet, the CEOs of the provider companies? Still making about 100M a year. Nice huh?

Anonymous said...