It’s no wonder why routine healthcare costs in the United States are so ridiculously high, and why health insurance premiums are skyrocketing. Today’s healthcare providers are gouging patients like highway robbers.
They do it because they can.
Hospitals are charging patients a small fortune for the most minor of services; treatments like applying a Band-Aid to a small cut. A New Jersey man found this out the hard way when he was gouged almost $9,000 after an ER aide treated a small cut on his middle finger.
The man cut his finger with a hammer and thought he might need stitches so he went to the local ER at Bayonne Medical Center. He didn’t need stitches. He got a tetanus shot from a nurse practitioner who sterilized the cut, applied some antibacterial ointment, a bandage and sent him home.
Later he received the bill: $8,200 for the ER visit; $180 for the shot; $242 for the bandage; $8 for the ointment; and nearly $370 for the nurse. "I got a Band-Aid and a tetanus shot. How could it be $9,000? This is crazy," the man told reporters.
Yes, this is crazy.
Now the hospital says it charged that amount because the man’s insurance carrier refuses to offer fair reimbursement rates. This hospital apparently believes that $9,000 is a fair charge for applying a Band-Aid to a small cut.
The insurance carrier says that this hospital is just trying to gouge its patients.
Gee, do ya think?
A spokesperson for the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute says that the right price for getting a finger bandaged should be $400 to $1,000.
That, of course, is equally ridiculous. In fact, it’s outrageous! I say that if a hospital can’t apply a Band-Aid to a small cut and then send the patient home for less than $100, that hospital shouldn’t be treating patients. Its administrator’s and staff should be in jail.
This is a primary reason why healthcare costs are out of control in the U.S. Just about everyone now has insurance to cover every treatment from the most insignificant to the most complicated. When everyone has insurance covering everything, they go to the doctor or hospital for things like cut fingers, and the healthcare providers start gouging.
They do it because they can. After all, the insurance company or the government is paying the bill. If patients had to pay for minor medical treatments out of their own pockets this kind of thing wouldn’t happen.
That’s how healthcare was administered in the old days and it worked quite well. But those days are gone and today we have only healthcare gouging culprits.