We're no math experts, but something definitely doesn't add up here!!
Last year, Eric Ferguson and his wife Laura rushed to the Lake Norman Regional Medical Center after he suffered a snake bite on his foot!
The 54-year-old North Carolina native was treated with 4 doses of anti-venom, and after an 18-hour stay in the emergency room he found himself face-to-face with a $89,227 bill, and more than $81,000 of it went towards the anti-venom!!
Obviously the couple felt as though they were severely overcharged, so they went online and did a little research only to find the medicine was actually in the price range of $750-$12,000!
So where did the extra $87,000 go? The hospital released a statement on the situation, saying:
"Hospitals only collect a small percentage of our charges, or ‘list prices.’ We are required to give Medicare one level of discount from list price, Medicaid another, and private insurers negotiate for still others. … If we did not start with the list prices we have, we would not end up with enough revenue to remain in operation. … Our costs for providing uncompensated care are partially covered by higher bills for other patients. In some cases, Lake Norman Regional’s charge is considerably higher than other local hospitals."
After the Blue Cross' discount, Lake Norman Regional dropped the price to the not-so-cheap grand total of $20,227 and the couple STILL had to pay $5,400 to cover their deductible!
Luckily, Eric was able to pay the bill and even says the treatment he received was "beyond phenomenal," however, Laura still questions whether the prices are totally ethical:
"What if it was someone that didn’t have the resources to research and didn’t have insurance? What is fair and equitable here?"
Starting in June, North Carolina hospitals are going to have to make their procedure prices available to the public, which will hopefully make things a bit easier for the consumers, or in this case, the snake-bitten!
Until then, residents might want to avoid snakes at all costs!
Tags: anti venom, blue cross, emergency room, eric ferguson, gifs, health, hospital, icky icky poo, lake norman regional medical center, laura ferguson, north carolina, overcharged, price, slithering snakes, snake bite