Sunday, April 14, 2013

What's really wrong with the health care system? Part Two: The one-day $19,000 bill.


Recently I wrote about my mom's $14,000 stay in the hospital. In that piece titled What's really wrong with the health care system? Part One: The one-day $14,000 bill., I told you that mom was taken to the emergency room because she was having problems breathing. She was in the ER until the evening when she was finally placed in a room. The next morning, a doctor discharged her but she was still very sick and her sister refused to take her home, insisting there was still something wrong with her. The nurses wanted to help but were prohibited because she'd been discharged. She was told by one of them that if she went back downstairs and entered through the ER again, they could readmit and get her back in a room and treat her again.

So...that's what they did.

Mom went through the ER again, they triaged and I'm guessing did another battery of unnecessary tests and according to the statement, they gave her medications too. My aunt was with her all day and then I arrived at the hospital around 9 p.m.  Around 11 p.m. she finally received Dilaudid which helped with the severe body pains. She also ate something...jello...for the first time since the previous day.

The Blue Cross/Blue Shield statement you see below shows the charges and what was approved by Medicare, which is essentially the whole thing.  Mind you, like the first statement, this is JUST the emergency room charges. 

 
Another day in the ER and a $19,000 tab. Would someone care to explain this to me? I can't wait to see the statement for her stay in the hospital after she was admitted the second time.

If you think this is the end of it, it's not, not by a long shot. This is a serious problem in our health care system and it's time we get some answers.

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