- Posted February 21, 2013 by
San Francisco, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Bitter pill: The cost of health care in the U.S.
The "Almost Half-Millon Dollar" Man
For an aneurysm which did not require an operation to the brain since the bleeder ihad sealed itself off but left a residual pool of blood which the body had to reabsorb, the total cost for two hospitals came to a total of $340,000 from 11/27 to 12/14. This was not a Medicare situation. My husband was transported by ambulance to the city's general hospital which was an out of network facility. Their cost after 4 days of ICU and multiple angiograms, MRIs, and CAT scans came to $115,000. He was then transferred to an in-network hospital in our hospital plan. He spent 7 days in ICU and the 14 remaining days in transitional care unit until his release from the hospital. Total bill from the second hospital after more MRIs and 2 angiograms, a whopping $235,000. This didn't even include the physican's professional fees which are coming to another $8000. Even though our health plan covered everything except $250 for the in-network hospital and $1100 for the out of network hospital and $250 for the professional services, we felt it was absolutely outrageous. Upon reviewing the bill we tried to dispute charges for items which were billed but not performed, for example occupational therapy and physical therapy. After speaking with the hospital and to our own insurance company that further investigation should be done by the insurance company, we felt that there was no interest by either party to address or resolve the issue of these unperformed procedures. We were told that the insurance company just pays but when the patient tries to dispute or bring light to the insurance company about items that should be addressed, they are not interested in pursuing the matter.
All my husband and I can hope for is that he never has to go to the hospital again otherwise our next visit will max out his lifetime cap. I was worried about costs the entire time even asking about moving my husband out of the out-of-network hospital as soon as he was safe enough to be moved and trying to be as pro-active with the insurance company so they were aware of costs.
What a sorry state of healthcare in the most advanced and wealthiest country in the world. The city's general hospital is currently building an additional wing and my husband and I joke that we at least contributed to a wing in the new building. No one cares!