Matt Anderson sliced his finger while doing dishes away at college. It was nearly 11 PM at night, but he knew that he had used that same knife to cut raw meat and was worried about infection. His roommate, a biology major, suggested that he go to the emergency room to make sure it wouldn’t get infected.
He arrived at the Chestnut Hill Hospital’s ER around 11 PM. He waited for about an hour before a nurse came by to clean the wound just after midnight. He waited again until a doctor came by to inspect the wound and apply liquid stitches, sending Matt home around 1 AM.
I saw a nurse for maybe five to ten minutes, and the doctor for maybe five minutes tops,” he said.
The hospital didn’t actually stitch up the wound, so Matt didn’t think too much about how much the bill would be…until a few weeks later, a bill arrived for $2,783. His insurance wasn’t going to cover it because his family’s plan had a $4,000 deductible per person that hadn’t been met yet.
Matt’s father tried to negotiate the price of the bill, but it has since gone to collections.
Why was it so high? The hospital charges $704 for walking into the ER and $322 for simple procedures. His insurance negotiated this down to $722, but that was all they could do.
The emergency room associated with the hospital – not the hospital itself – then charged for two days of care, since Matt’s visit technically spanned across the hours of 11 PM and 1 AM.
His father says that if they hadn’t charged two days, he probably would have simply paid the bill and moved on – but they fact that they charged twice for “two days of care” is making him fight back.
Local walk-in clinics charge $150 to $225 for the exact same procedure, and his parents want others to know that you don’t always have to go to the ER for these “simple procedures.” Hospitals rarely disclose their prices, but local clinics are much easier to negotiate with, and his parents have learned a valuable lesson.
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