In Los Angeles, a woman is facing a hospital bill of almost $2,000 after fainting at her dying father’s bedside. After fainting, the 57-year-old woman was taken to the emergency room in the same hospital, given an anti-anxiety drug, and then released 90 minutes later.
Her insurance company looked at the $2,000 bill and told the woman a quick blood-pressure examination cost her $232, plus $19.54 for a couple of lorazepam pills and a $1,700 fee for emergency services. Fainting in a hospital can cost consumers up to $2,000, close to the same price as a brand new Apple computer.
What Are Some Examples of Inflated Hospital Bills?
Unfortunately, stories like this are all too common. The founder of Medical Billing Advocates of America has provided several examples of price gouging in American hospitals.
- Tylenol, the commonly used over-the-counter pain medication, can cost as much as $15 per pill in hospitals. How much does it cost if you buy it at the local WalMart? Consumers can buy a bottle of 100 Tylenol pills for $8.95.
- A box of tissues provided by hospitals can cost patients up to $8. At a local Target, a box of tissues can cost less than $2.
- Alcohol swabs, commonly used to sterilize tissue near an injection site, can cost $23 per swab. These alcohol swabs can average out to $322 for the average hospital stay.
Although the new credit scoring system treats medical debt with more leniency, unpaid hospital bills can still come with severe consequences, such as wage garnishments and harassment from debt collectors. By contacting a bankruptcy attorney, people can discover options for discharging hospital bills.
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