Recently I needed medical intervention for a skin rash that had morphed into cellulitis in my left leg. I was in hospital a little short of three days.
My situation was never life threatening. PeaceHealth gave me blood tests, lab work, liquid antibiotics. I was discharged with a prescription for a generic pharmaceutical costing $4. Cool!
But then came the reality, the bills.
Medicare took care of $19,000 of the $22,000-something bill. I became liable for around $2,600. Two hours in the emergency room was almost $1,000. Without Medicare I would have faced a $23,000 bill. Ridiculous!
I requested a detailed breakdown of my hospital bill.
The presiding doctors? Almost $500 per hour. An antibiotic available elsewhere for $15? More than $170. Saline drip? $100 an hour. My windowless basement room? $6,000.
Well, I did get room service…
Once you walk through their doors you become their captive. They can charge anything they want, pretty much.
PeaceHealth would immediately go out of business if they were operating in the real world, where customers have choices.
Hospitals, in cahoots with the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry, enrich one other at the expense of the patient. There’s little wonder that health care in the U.S. is the most expensive in the world. In that breakdown of costs was the evidence.
Why does everyone turn a blind eye to all this? It’s a national scandal.