- Posted February 21, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Bitter pill: The cost of health care in the U.S.
$20000 emergency room visit for no conclusive diagnosis.
I was taken to the nearest hospital, where I lay in the emergency room literally screaming in pain (and I have a very high pain tolerance) and begging for blankets because of intense cold chills. It was three hours before I was attended, at which point they began running various tests focused on my heart. The intense pain continued without letup, making it excruciating to even move my arms or torso at all.
I was finally moved to an empty hospital room for observation, though never formally admitted to the hospital. The pain finally decreased after over 24 hours, and after 36 hours I was sent home, no diagnosis except the suggestion that I had food poisoning or maybe pleurisy. No medication, no treatment plan, no follow-up except to go see your own doctor. (I didn't have one, since who can afford to go to the doctor without insurance.)
A few days later the bill came: $20,000. No treatment, no diagnosis, but I owe them $20,000 anyway.