Scorpion Sting Was Nothing Compared To The $83,046 Hospital Bill For Treating It

Any kind of sting is bound to be a pain in the [insert part of the body that has been stung]. But even the zap of a scorpion’s tail would feel like nothing when confronted with an astronomical hospital bill for treating it. And by astronomical, we mean $83,046 for two doses of anti-venom treatment. Ouch.

First of all, I just have to say that I would never ever like to be stung by a scorpion and basically feel like it would be the worst thing to have happen, not to mention yucky and creepy and crawly and all that goes with those critters. But the Arizona woman who suffered from the sting wasn’t done with her anguish when she left the hospital after treatment last year. Things only got worse when she opened up that $83K bill, reports The Arizona Republic.

The hospital charged her $25,537 after her insurance covered the rest of the tab, which is still quite a pretty penny. Especially when you consider that that same anti-venom is made in Mexico where it’s sold for $100 a dose by pharmacies. Hospitals like the one where she was treated pay about $3,780 per dose of venom to distributors of the stuff, which is already a big markup but yeah, come on. Something’s broken in this scorpion sting treatment system and it needs to be fixed.

The good news is that the hospital has realized that this is a crazy situation and have apologize to the woman, saying they’re  “working directly” with her to “adjust the high out-of-network cost” of the anti-venom.

Antivenom bill’s sting [The Arizona Republic]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. ArizonaGeek says:

    Here in Arizona scorpion stings are pretty common and are usually no worse than a bee sting. Unless you are allergic or get stung by one of the really tiny ones. Not sure why they would charge so much for the shots, even out of network!

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Did you just say that Arizonans are bad-ass superhumans that eat scorpions for breakfast to gain an immunity?

      • UberGeek says:

        Of course they don’t. Who eats dessert at breakfast time.

        • malo-ji says:

          Aragorn: Gentlemen, we do not stop ’til nightfall.
          Pippin: What about breakfast?
          Aragorn: You’ve already had it.
          Pippin: We’ve had one, yes. What about second breakfast?
          [Aragorn turns and walks off in disgust]
          Merry: I don’t think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
          Pippin: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn’t he?
          Merry: I wouldn’t count on it.

    • awesome anna says:

      Right, unless you’re allergic I’m not sure why you’d go to the hospital in the first place. I’ve been stung, it hurt and burned and I felt pain I never knew existed, but then it went away and I just felt weird for a day or two. Had another friend who was stung twice in the back one night and got over it and just was weird for a few days also. I’ve never heard of anyone going to the hospital for anti-venom before. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but if you’re not having any kind of adverse reaction… just let it work itself out. And oh.. it’s way worse than a bee sting! lolol WAY worse.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      She had a severe reaction…

      Within an hour of a scorpion sting, Edmonds’ mild tingling sensation worsened with throat tightness, blurry vision, darting eyes and tense muscles. She could not walk and had trouble breathing.
      http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/20120831scorpion-sting-leaves-woman-big-bill.html

    • pagoff says:

      They charge because the insurers will pay, after a fashion. The insurer pays less than the billed amount, it’s the uninsured who often get dinged for the full amount. In any case, the insurer passes through expenses to insurees after taking off the 20% in administrative costs

      America has the worst non system of health care in the world. (the health care itself is equivalent of other countries–not measurably better) However, we do lead the idustrialized world in bankruptcy related to medical expenditures–it’s unknown elsewhere (about 60% of personal bankruptcy), we are numero uno in costs (1.5-2 time the amount spent/capita of other industrialized countries) and we lead the industrialized world, by far, in the proportion of citizens lacking coverage-about 50 million citizens without coverage.

    • Rhazpun says:

      I don’t know about scorpion stings. But a close friend was bitten by a Black Widow and he ended up with symptoms similiar to having the flu. Usually anti-venom for Black Widow bites aren’t given unless the person is having a really bad reaction. Apparently once the anti-venom is given to someone that person can’t take it again in the future.

  2. Coffee says:

    Yup…yup…I’ve already gone through it in my head…unless there’s an anti-venom for the poisonous creature that bites me, I’m not going to the hospital. Fuck that noise…black widows can suck it (as I scream like a girl and poke at them with very long sticks).

    • scooby111 says:

      That’s not very smart. A widow or a recluse bite can be very serious and life-threatening. Anti-venom isn’t the only treatment option for such a situation. Avoiding medical care can result in a much more serious situation than a big bill.

  3. Olivia Neutron-Bomb says:

    “…the best healthcare system in the world..”

    – John Boehner

    • impatientgirl says:

      Compared to all the places where she wouldn’t be getting that treatment at all? yes it is.

      • HomerSimpson says:

        Not to worry…Mittens will fix that pronto!

      • lanman04 says:

        Like where? Somalia? In Mexico you’d be treated for free, ASAP.

        • Zowzers says:

          1st off, Citation needed. 2nd,”Free”, really you think the doctor and hospital are doing all that stuff out of the kindness of their hearts? Someone somewhere is paying for it. It may not directly be you, but rest assured someone is signing a check to pay for that service.

          • Chmeeee says:

            Yet somehow I think that whoever is signing that check is signing a $300 check, not an $83,000 check.

            • Zowzers says:

              Which highlights the silliness of our system. Congress wrote it in to law that hospitals are required to treat emergency cases regardless of their ability to pay, mind you with out adding in a provision to actually make up the difference. So, the health system has to jack the prices up on those that can pay to make up the difference for the services they are required to provide for those that can not pay.

              Hence, ridiculous markups like this.

              • Zowzers says:

                Indecently I’m not raging in defense of health care, as ours is seriously screwed up. I’m raging against those that seem to think health care magically becomes “Free” just because they don’t happen to have to flop some cash down at the time of service. Its either ignorant, or deliberately being disingenuous.

                • JEDIDIAH says:

                  There is a huge chasm between expecting something for free and expecting billing rates to reflect actual costs. Even the shared burden of freeloaders doesn’t justify the markup here.

                  This situation would make even Crassus Maximus blush.

                  • dangermike says:

                    Costs factor into prices only insofar as to determine whether or not a good or service is worthwhile to produce. That is, if costs are covered by the going market price (with healthy profit, of course), the the good or service will be produced. If the costs over-run the price, then they will not. Prices themselves are entirely a reflection of supply vs. demand. That is to say, if the supply is small and/or the demand high, prices rise until supply and demand meet. It just so happens that in a market where multiple suppliers exist for interchangeable goods or services, those supplier must compete for bidders, and that competition will push prices down to a point close to the production costs. The problem here is not so much that gouging prices are being charged but rather that the normal economic forces that would drive prices down have been disrupted by anti-competitive policy and culture.

                    • dangermike says:

                      Or perhaps a more valid parallel to draw would be to say that if pricing is offset by subsidization, demand will grow to exceed capacity to supply. The classical example of this would be rent control with its 30-40 year waiting lists in New York and Santa Monica. But we can see current examples in the high prices of education and housing. GSE intervention has prevented house prices to fall to where local wages can support sensible loans. Fed intervention has prevent rates from rising to properly price in the risk of writing those loans. As there seems to be a resounding sentiment that post secondary education costs too much, the response from the government is to make it easier for us to hand over even larger loans than the already too-big-to-handle debt loads we’re not allowed to go BK on.

          • kathygnome says:

            Yup, it’s part of your government services. The idea is you band together to do things that you couldn’t do alone that benefit everyone.

            It’s what Republicans call “socialism” and what the rest of the world calls “civilization.”

            • TBGBoodler says:

              Yes, or “citizenship.”

            • MarkFL says:

              By that measure, the entire space program was a socialist program…brought to you by the National Aeronautics and Socialism Administration, and those Commies Alan Shepherd, John Glenn, and Neil Armstrong (RIP).

          • The Beer Baron says:

            I can certainly attest that I have never paid for treatment in a Mexican Hospital. They have sent me bills, of course, but I dare them to cross the border to collect on them!

            • euroae says:

              The border hasn’t stopped thousands of other mexicans from just walking on over, what makes you think it would stop them if they REALLY wanted the money?

        • humphrmi says:

          I was thinking the same thing. I travel a lot, and I’ve gotten better and quicker medical care in so-called third world countries than here.

      • dolemite says:

        Yes, compared to countries like Ethiopia, I suppose we have a pretty good system. Compared to every other industrialized country in the world, our system is lacking, majorly.

      • Hotscot says:

        So you’re saying that compared to the worst the US is best in the world?

      • Rhinoguy says:

        You mean like Mexico?

      • Such an Interesting Monster says:

        Compared to all the places that would treat her and not get any bill at all? No it’s not.

      • Jawaka says:

        I wonder how much the anti venom would have cost in Canada.

        They have snow scorpions there don’t they?

      • MuleHeadJoe says:

        “Best” is a stand-alone superlative, not “compared to” but universal. “Better than” is qualifiable with “compared to”. The US healthcare system is obviously — beyond any rational doubt — NOT the best in the world.

        • woot says:

          Yup. The US is #1 in cost and #37 in results according to the World Health Organization.

          The “Best” is France, which has privately owned hospitals. The only difference between them and us is single payer (aka: “government pays”). So you raise taxes a bit but get rid of insurance companies and pass those savings on.

      • MarkFL says:

        None of those places are in industrialized nations.

      • MarkFL says:

        None of those places are in industrialized nations.

    • Quirk Sugarplum says:

      It’s the finest system that your money can’t buy.

  4. Hungry Dog says:

    What the hell! Pay less! What socialistic dream town do you live in. This is a capitalistic society and if you want to live you have to pay for it. That’s why I’m going into the lucrative business of making and selling drugs. Breaking Bad can serve to be a inspiration to us all.

    • HomerSimpson says:

      Darn right! Get a/another job and quit leeching off welfare, lady! /s

    • Quirk Sugarplum says:

      Exactly! The smart money is on investing in scorpions! When the wealthy find out that only they can afford to be stung by one, it’s going to be THE status symbol of the decade!

  5. STXJK says:

    I read this on another news site which said she was given the antivenom to alleviate the symptoms of the sting more quickly (i.e. swelling and pain). But the sting wasn’t life-threatening. Soooo, $85K for an optional treatment, with no prior explanation of the cost? That’s the real sting.

    • mikedt says:

      Yes, nowhere in the hospital system are the costs given to you before the service is provided. I had a weekend ER visit for a finger laceration. It required 3 stitches and cost $3,000 with $800 of that coming directly out of my pocket. If that had told me that up front, I might likely would have decided to just superglue the skin back together.

      • andsowouldi says:

        I went for a brain injury (taken unconscious by ambulance…seems like a must anyway though, yeah?), and they did practically nothing for me. Ran some tests, told me I had a brain contusion. Said it would heal. Didn’t even examine me enough to know that I had been unconscious in an ant pile and covered with bug bites and give me some ointment. I’ll admit my memory is hazy, but I don’t even think I was ever put on an IV or anything (I was in “intensive care” for a while, but I’m not positive what that means). Definitely no surgery or stitches or anything.

        Total cost for a sleepover in the hosptial and a few scans? ~$20,000. $5,000 out of pocket with a bonus $900 ambulance charge for a 3mi lift.

      • Chuft-Captain says:

        I’m going to say we often do stitches where we don’t really need to. I cut my thumb damn near in half when I was about ten. Pocketknife blade snapped shut on the end, slid right down along the side of my thumbnail. Ran home faster than the speed of sound and panicked until I finally fessed up to mom and asked what to do to fix it.

        I was given two options: Hospital and stitched, or butterfly bandaids and gauze and tape. I went with the latter. Healed up fine, no loss of sensation, just the edge of the nail grows a little odd and I have a funky scar there.

        Then about ten or eleven years later, I slipped with an X-Acto knife I was working with. Brand new blade. Literally drew a line on the UNDERSIDE of my other thumbnail with the tip. Repeated the method from before, and it ended up good as new too.

      • JEDIDIAH says:

        This is what “urgent care” places are for. In the old days, this would have been something for your family doctor to deal with. An ER is massive overkill for something like this. They are geared up for very expensive problems and are inherently expensive to operate.

        An ‘urgent care’ clinic is more than capable of “minor outpatient surgery”.

        • gellfex says:

          Urgent care is bullshit. I was having an asthma attack 2 hrs from home without an inhaler. Went to a nearby urgent care and they said if they weren’t my primary they couldn’t take my insurance at all, and wanted hundreds just to write me scrip.

      • MarkFL says:

        Dang, she could have traded that scorpion sting for 20 lacerated fingers and still had enough money left over to buy several thousand shares of Facebook.

  6. benminer says:

    There isn’t enough information in the article to say ZOMG USA HEALTH CARE SUCKS!. Perhaps this was a specialized treatment that only a few people needed because of the type of scorpion? (hence the high cost). Perhaps this woman had other medical considerations so conventional (less expensive) treatment wouldn’t work. Perhaps she got stung and waited for days until it got really bad? Perhaps she was stung in a “special place”?

    Not saying any of the above are true, but there might be reasonable explanations for the high cost so I don’t care to jump on the band wagon just yet.

    As far as the $100 knock off goes, it could almost certainly not be sold in the US because it violates patents.

    • mikedt says:

      “As far as the $100 knock off goes, it could almost certainly not be sold in the US because it violates patents.”

      Bet you dollars to donuts the mexican version and the usa version come from the same company.

    • edman007 says:

      Knock off? No, it’s cheaper in Mexico because that’s the market price for it (there may be competivitive products out there), and two the insurance/hospital system simply doesn’t add the markup (much of what you see in the US is hospitals marking it up to pay for the uninsured and marking it up so the insurance company has something to cut out)

      As for patents, maybe, but antivenin really shouldn’t be patented (or at least I don’t see what there is to patent), it’s usually not made like other drugs, they usually just inject some scorpian venom into a horse or something, and then take it’s blood,extract the plasma, and usually just call the plasma “antivenin”, maybe with an extra processing step in there, that’s a big reason it’s cheap in mexico, the stuff is cheap to develop and cheap to produce.

    • nishioka says:

      > There isn’t enough information in the article to say ZOMG USA HEALTH CARE SUCKS!

      Yes there is. The information is that a dose of antivenom is EIGHTY THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS.

    • DRcxz says:

      “As far as the $100 knock off goes, it could almost certainly not be sold in the US because it violates patents.”

      Not True – The drug was developed in Mexico and brought to the US – http://www.npr.org/2011/08/06/139023806/mexico-to-the-rescue-in-americas-venom-belt

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      This happened in Arizona not Alaska. Scorpion stings are common in Arizona.

      Mexico has the same brand name drug companies as in the US – the only difference is that the boxes are printed in Spanish.

  7. Blueskylaw says:

    How about if she buys 10 doses from a Mexican
    pharmacy, gives it to the hospital and calls it even?

    • Bsamm09 says:

      I’d be careful buying stuff from a Mexican pharmacy. Especially one just over the border.

      • ChuckECheese says:

        Why? I do it all the time with no problem at all. I also get my teeth cleaned and fixed, and have an occasional haircut. The meds are often European-made name brands, along with some Mexican made drogas.

      • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

        Why? The drugs come from the same brand name manufacturers.

  8. Zowzers says:

    Which highlights the silliness of our system. Congress wrote it in to law that hospitals are required to treat emergency cases regardless of their ability to pay, mind you with out adding in a provision to actually make up the difference. So, the health system has to jack the prices up on those that can pay to make up the difference for the services they are required to provide for those that can not pay.

    Hence, ridiculous markups like this.

  9. Mr_Magoo says:

    csb:

    A few years ago I was sleeping soundly until about 2am, when I woke up screaming, scaring Mrs. Magoo to death. My toe felt like someone had jabbed a hot needle all the way through it. Eventually, I pulled back the covers and found a scorpion, about 2″ long. It really, really hurt for a couple of minutes, then kind of hurt for a couple of hours, and was sore for a couple of days. After about twenty minutes, part of the toe went numb, and stayed numb and tingly for over a day. We called the hospital and talked to a nurse who assured us that it was no big deal as long as it didn’t start spreading.

    I don’t know where the scorpion came from – it was the first one I’d seen, and I’ve never seen another one, and we’ve lived here for over 20 years. I put the scorpion in a 2 liter bottle with the cap glued on, and it lived for almost a year.

    /csb

    And, the entire health care/health insurance economy needs to be totally torn down and rebuilt, but that’s not gonna happen.

    • Hotscot says:

      “I put the scorpion in a 2 liter bottle with the cap glued on, and it lived for almost a year.”

      That sounds unbelievably cruel!

  10. msbaskx2 says:

    An article in the Arizona Central states, “Edmonds’ mild tingling sensation worsened with throat tightness, blurry vision, darting eyes and tense muscles. She could not walk and had trouble breathing.”

  11. dragonfire81 says:

    GET OVER HERE!!…and pay this bill.

  12. Torchwood says:

    Perhaps it would help if the hospitals actually published their rates on their procedures on their websites so that there could be cost comparisons.

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      Maybe, but it’s also hard to comparison shop when your throat is swelling shut.

      • TuxthePenguin says:

        Might be true, but in the article they say at no point was she in danger of her life and the doctor even mentioned there were other options available.

        That’s the main problem with our system – we accept whatever the doctor says. Rarely does a patient go “is there a cheaper version” unless they know its coming out of their pocket.

    • PunditGuy says:

      Yeah, I should have been a more informed consumer when I had my heart attack. I could have saved my insurance company a few grand. Instead, I foolishly had the ambulance driver take me to the nearest facility.

    • wrjohnston91283 says:

      That would work if you are uninsured, but many insurance plans are different. When my son was born, I called Blue Cross to make sure we were covered with the OB we were using and at the hospital they work at. The OB had three locations; and the two we were going to were not in Blue Cross’s system. I talked to the OBs office about it; and turns out they bill out of one of their offices, which WAS in the system.

      Even after that, figuring out what items they cover in full; what items we’re responsible for 20% co-insurance, and what items have a deductible was still near inpossible. Luckly, I knew that no matter what, we would hit our annual out of pocket maximum, so it didn’t matter in the end – we were capped at $2,500.

  13. eetonaee says:

    Scorpions are rarely if ever found in Canada but our health care system fully covers treatment for harmful attacks from the packs of beavers that roam freely through our cities.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      I just read an article the other day about a woman who was attacked by a rabid beaver somewhere here in the US.

      As an aside, I’m glad I don’t have to worry about packs of angry attacking beavers roaming freely through my neighborhood! :)

  14. PragmaticGuy says:

    I was watching some show last week about how to survive in the desert and the guy host ATE a scorpion so they can’t be that bad. I will admit I’m pretty sure he pulled off the stinger first.

    • Mr. Spy says:

      I don’t know about scorpions, but I know some poisons are if poked, but perfectly safe to drink/eat, so long as you don’t have an open sore within your body. Some people drink rattlesnake or cobra venom without harm. Absolutely idiotic because people have died thanks to ulcers.

  15. midtower says:
  16. Hotscot says:

    So you’re saying that compared to the worst the US is best in the world?

  17. axolotl says:

    Sounds like that scorpion really rocked her like a hurricane.
    ..
    You know, in a financial sense.

  18. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    It’s a self-subsidizing business. Between under/uninsured and the whatnot that come into ER’s, hospitals try to charge as much as they can get away with to recoup costs. That’s why insurance companies negotiate rates with providers. Unfortunately, ER visits seldom have any pre-negotiated rates. Most plans require the patient to pay percentage of the total cost, so if you can wait to see your doctor, or go to urgent care instead, then do so.

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      Those “pre-negotiated” rates are part of the problem. The “negotiation” goes like this:

      Hospital: “This service costs us $400 to perform.”
      Insurance company: “You’ll get $150 and you’ll like it.”

      I’m convinced that there are very few things wrong with the US healthcare system that couldn’t be solved by giving the average person an alternative to a for-profit health insurance provider. The less they pay, the more money they make.

      I do agree, however, that ERs are over-used. Unfortunately, they are the only source of health care services that lots of people have. How do you fix that? You give people access to more efficient methods of care, like a regular doctor or walk-in clinic. Better for the patient, better for the provider, better for the system, better for the country.

      Lack of access to affordable care kills thousands of Americans every year. It seems like lots of people out there think that their right to be ripped off by Blue Cross is more important than people’s lives.

  19. Gravitational Eddy says:

    My significant other wears a pacemaker:
    the original one was somewhat lacking (read as not upgradeable).
    The surgeon calls and says they have to upgrade the pacemaker, it means an overnight stay
    and surgery to remove the old and implant the new.
    OK.
    A one night stay in a semi-private room, the surgery isn’t complicated, just new smaller implants and a new battery pack/pacemaker unit. Not really cutting edge tech but still it’s a pretty solid technology, lots of people have pacemakers these days.
    (We are not talking about intensive cardiac care, which is $$$ way more expensive)
    Remember, just -one- day in surgery and an overnight stay.
    The bill for this?
    hold on to your hat…very close to $200,000 US.
    I’m pretty sure the Jarvik Heart didn’t cost that much.
    It appears the hospitals are using those same people that supply those $40,000 toilet seats to the military.

  20. Foosefoose says:

    Besides shaming the hospital for for this outrageous case of gouging the customer,
    Why is this hospital accepting the massive markup of this drug? Don’t they fell they have any responsibility to control their own costs and help keep patient costs down?
    Also, why doesn’t this article name and shame the distributors who are charging this ludicrous markup?
    There is a distinct lack of accountability here that the press should be making a far bigger deal
    out of.

    Health care costs are so high because no-one in the industry is trying to keep them down, and no-one in the industry will make the attempt unless the press does their job and really hammers them about this stuff.

  21. shepd says:

    And this is why the US healthcare system is screwed up–no choice on the quality of service you want.

  22. dangermike says:

    Yep, our system sucks. But not for the reasons most are citing. There’s little to no involvement of the consumer in deciding the pricing of goods and services. I was recently bitten by a dog. I had a gash on one of my fingers that was down to the bone and a puncture to the knuckle on my other hand, along with a few other quite minor lacerations. I’ll admit my level of practical first aid knowledge and experience is limited. I assumed injuries of that nature would require stitches. So I went to a local emergency room.

    The first half hour was spent filling out forms and establishing my billing account. No mention was made of any course of treatment and was concluded by my payment of the $250 ER copay my health plan has.

    The next 15-20 minutes was with an RN who sorted out the details of the incident for reporting purposes, both to the local authorities and to the attending physician. Then I was moved to another room for examination of the wound by the doctor. His advice was that it would be best to leave it open so as to avoid stitching in any microorganisms or debris that could cause infection. My total time talking with him was under 5 minutes. Then he sent another RN in to clean and dress the wounds, administer a tetanus shot, and explain the antibiotic regimen he prescribed (as well as giving me the first dose). The cleaning and dressing involved dousing them with betadine, dabbing on a few dollops of triple antibiotic cream from a handful of individual-use packets, covering everything in dense sterile gauze, and then wrapping my hand in a long strip of lighter gauze. My whole visit was under an hour.

    Since no efforts were made to clean the wound internally, I did end up with a minor infection (which I did treat at home) as well as the unpleasant experience of debriding a pea-size chunk of rotten flesh from the margin of the wound.

    Several weeks later, I received the follow bill. My plan is 20% deductible in addition to the $250 copay. That came out to another $287. And I received another bill. this was from the physican himself for $14 and change. But there was a “discount” applied to the insurance portion of the bill. They paid somewhere around $1800 for my visit. So by the time all was said an done, it cost almost $2500 to rinse apply $20 worth of OTC pharmaceuticals.

    If I had the treatment and costs lined up beforehand, I probably would have just gone home. The way it worked here would have been like going out to buy a car and making sure you want to get something with enough room for a carseat. So they send you home with Chevy Suburban with a 20 foot trailer and charged over a million dollars for it. But because I have insurance, I only had to pay about $150,000 of that. When all I really needed was an old civic that I probably could have found for about $5,000. That choice — or rather that lack of choice — is what’s wrong. There’s no price list. There’s no accountability. It’s all a game to try to pull as many dollars as possible from from people who are vulnerable and unable to mount any kind of defense against the scam. Godforbid it’s actually something like threatening. Like a scorpion venom allergy. They would probably want to charge a few years’ wages for something like that.

  23. Pontiac says:

    $82,846 is probably to cover the cost of trying to understand all the bureaucratic muck passed in 2010…

    Also look up the FDA’s meddling in the drug “Makena”.

  24. J-Mac says:

    Here we go again: An article about an extremely high medical bill and most here decide to argue healthcare costs in US vs. other countries. This lady wasn’t in another country, was she? Why is that even a consideration here?

    The fact is her hosp[ital bill is virtually unpayable for most Americans today. So why even attempt to charge that much? Are they crazy?

    If you want to argue, then argue about the issues in the US – there are plenty of them; just pick one! E.g., a study by Johns Hopkins University Med School that found that self-pay patients, whether uninsured or foreign, are charged fees that are, on average, 3.07 times as much as insured patients. Hmmm… That ratio was almost exactly the reverse in 1957 when most hospitals were non-profit agencies.

    Jim

    • MarkFL says:

      They charge that much because they can. The ACA is hitting at that by forcing providers to charge more reasonable prices, which saves money for Medicare and Medicaid. Unfortunately, this is being labelled “cutting Medicare.” Which, of course, it isn’t.

      Your statistics on costs back this up. Insurance companies have much more clout with healthcare providers than than private individuals do. In this regard, Medicare and Medicaid are no different from insurance providers, but if they try to force prices down in the same way, some people scream about government interference.

  25. Bob A Dobalina says:

    Walter White is now considering changing his product

  26. Cooneymike says:

    Mexican anti-venom is medically helpful if administered quickly enough after the bite and particularly for children or medically fragile populations. It will reduce pain and the larger neuro effects.

    But adminstering a drop of Chuck Norris’s blood will not only immediately cure the problem, it will hunt down and kill the offending scorpion and all of its offspring.

    • MarkFL says:

      Yes, but how much does THAT cost?

      “Blue Cross/Blue Shield regrets to inform you that Chuck Norris’ blood is not a covered treatment for scorpion stings. Furthermore, the severe injuries you received in attempting to obtain said treatment are considered a separate incident, thereby requiring that you pay an additional $500 deductible before covering treatment for non-scorpion related ailments.”