An emergency visit to the ER is NEVER a pleasant experience.
It’s full of doubt, worry, and anxiety. But for more and more people these days the worst part of the whole experience is getting the bill AFTER the visit!
Here are a couple of quick in-and-out ER visits that ended up in thousands of dollars of ridiculous emergency room bills - a small sample of the outrageous medical bills we see everyday at CoPatient.
*These stories and medical bills are all REAL, only names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.*
Visit 1: HOW MUCH for a bloody nose?
While on vacation in Las Vegas, Steve got a bloody nose that would not stop bleeding. Although he was not under any extreme pain, he decided to exercise caution and head the ER to get himself checked out. It’s a bloody nose, how bad could the diagnosis be?
After waiting and waiting in the ER, Steve was finally called back to see a doctor. At this point the bloody nose had subsided, and there was no longer an issue. Out of caution, the ER staff takes Steve’s blood and gives him an IV. They quickly check him out, determine there are no additional worries, and send him on his way.
So Steve is absolutely SHOCKED when he received the bill for this quick visit. Afterall, how much could such a visit possibly cost? All said and done, Steve was charged just under \$3000 for this visit!
And that figure did NOT include a \$250 co-pay Steve was charged at the ER desk. Even worse, this is AFTER his health insurance already contributed to an even larger initial amount.
Over \$3200 in charges, all over a bloody nose.
Visit 2: One expensive finger cut
Having cut his finger on a sharp piece of metal in a workshop, Joe rushes himself to an ER in Miami Beach, FL.
In a visit that lasted no longer than 15 minutes, Joe is given a tetanus shot, a couple small bandages, and is sent back home to recover. About a month later, Joe opens his mail one morning to find the bill for this quick in-and-out visit.
He is shocked to see that he was charged \$3600 for this quick ER visit!
This includes just under \$1500 for an “Emergency Physician Charge” and just under \$1900 for an “Emergency Room Services” fee. By comparison, the Tetanus shot was a far more reasonable \$214.
That’s one expensive finger cut.
Visit 3: Thousands of dollars and the wrist is still BROKEN!
John was running when he tripped and fell hard on his wrist. In a lot of pain, he headed to the ER to see if his wrist was broken. He was admitted quickly and ER staff took an x-ray.
The attending physician spends 5 minutes with John and confirms that his wrist is indeed broken, as indicated by the x-ray. He instructs the ER staff to give John and anti-nausea shot and a shot of pain medications. John’s arm is placed in a temporary splint, and John is told to follow-up with an orthopedic surgeon about possible surgery before being sent home.
So, for a temporary splint, 2 injections, and “emergency service”, John is baffled to receive a bill in excess of \$4000!
A \$4000 medical bill, and that was BEFORE the actual surgery needed to correct the broken wrist. Ridiculous!
Although these ER bills are outrageous examples, they are very common.
In fact, any medical bill from a routine medical office visit to a complicated surgery could be wrongly charging or overcharging for services provided. Luckily, whether you are insured or uninsured there are ways to reduce such ridiculous medical bills.
At CoPatient, our experts negotiate on people’s behalf to reduce bills just like these ones as well as hundreds of other types of medical bills. It’s free to get started at copatient.com.