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$83,046 For A 3 Hour Hospital Visit – Why Are Hospital Bills So Outrageous?

The fastest way to go broke in America is to go to the hospital.  These days it seems like almost everyone has an outrageous hospital bill story to share.  It is getting to the point where most people are deathly afraid to go to the hospital.  All the financial progress that you have made in recent years can literally be wiped out in just a matter of hours.  For example, you are about to read about an Arizona woman that was recently charged $83,046 for a 3 hour hospital visit.  How in the world is anyone supposed to pay a bill like that?  I have a really hard time understanding why a visit to the doctor should ever be more than a couple hundred bucks or why a hospital stay should ever be more than a couple thousand dollars.  Outrageous hospital bills are a real pet peeve of mine and I have not even been to the hospital in ages.  What makes all of this even more infuriating is that Medicare, Medicaid and the big insurance companies are often charged less than 10 percent of what the rest of us are billed for the same procedures.  There is a reason why 41 percent of all working age Americans are struggling with medical debt right now.  It is because our health care system has become a giant money making scam.  Millions of desperate Americans go into hospitals each year assuming that they will be treated fairly, but in the end they get stuck with incredibly outrageous bills and in many cases cruel debt collection techniques are employed against them if they don't pay.

So why do we have to pay so much for medical care?  Back in 1980, less than 10 percent of U.S. GDP went to health care.  Today, about 18 percent of U.S. GDP goes toward health care.

And considering the fact that over the next 20 years the number of Americans 65 years of age or older is projected to double that number is going to go even higher.

On a per capita basis we spend about twice as much on health care as anyone else in the world.

In fact, if the U.S. health care system was a nation it would be the 6th largest economy on the entire planet.

America spent 2.47 trillion dollars on health care in 2009, and it is now being projected that we will spend 4.5 trillion dollars on health care in 2019.

Our system is completely and totally broken, and Obamacare is going to make things far worse.  We need to throw the entire system out and start over.

A perfect example of why this is true is what happened when 52-year-old Marcie Edmonds went in to a hospital in Arizona recently to get treated for a scorpion sting....

With the help of a friend, she called Poison Control and was advised to go to the nearest hospital that had scorpion antivenom, Chandler Regional Medical Center. At the hospital, an emergency room doctor told her about the antivenom, called Anascorp, that could quickly relieve her symptoms. Edmonds said the physician never talked with her about the cost of the drug or treatment alternatives.

Her symptoms subsided after she received two doses of the drug Anascorp through an IV, and she was discharged from the hospital in about three hours.

Weeks later, she received a bill for $83,046 from Chandler Regional Medical Center. The hospital, owned by Dignity Health, charged her $39,652 per dose of Anascorp.

What makes this even more shocking is that hospitals in Mexico only charge $100 per dose of Anascorp.

These days many hospitals will do whatever they can get away with on hospital bills.

One NBC News reporter was absolutely stunned at the bill that she received after she went in for neck surgery for degenerative disc disease recently....

Once I got my itemized bill, the grand total was a little over $66,013.40!   That was for a one night stay and a four level vertebrae fusion surgery.  The charges included $22 for one sleeping pill, $427 for one dissecting tool, and $32,000 for four titanium plates and ten screws.

I brought it to Todd Hill, a fee based patient advocate who helps people decipher their medical bills. "The screws in your procedure were billed at $605 a piece for a total of $6050 dollars. We've seen those in our past research for $25 or $30," he said. "In this case, the markup is tremendous," he added.

Considering the fact that 77 percent of American families are living paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time, a single hospital bill like this can be a financial death blow.

If you have time, read this tragic story where one man was charged $11,000 and all he had was a case of bad indigestion.  Nothing was even wrong with him and now his family is going to have to declare bankruptcy.

Often medical bills are so complex and so confusing that nobody can really understand them.  A lot of the times this is probably done on purpose to keep people from understanding how badly they are being overcharged.  The following is from a recent article in the New York Times....

Hospital care tends to be the most confounding, and experts say the charges you see on your bill are usually completely unrelated to the cost of providing the services (at hospitals, these list prices are called the “charge master file”). “The charges have no rhyme or reason at all,” Gerard Anderson, director of the Center for Hospital Finance and Management at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Why is 30 minutes in the operating room $2,000 and not $1,500? There is absolutely no basis for setting that charge. It is not based upon the cost, and it’s not based upon the market forces, other than the whim of the C.F.O. of the hospital.”

And those charges don’t really have any connection to what a hospital or medical provider will accept for payment, either. “If you line up five patients in their beds and they all have gall bladders removed and they get the same exact medication and services, if they have insurance or if they don’t have insurance, the hospital will get five different reimbursements, and none of it is based on cost,” said Holly Wallack, a medical billing advocate in Miami Beach. “The insurers negotiate a different rate, and if you are uninsured, underinsured or out of network, you are asked to pay full fare.”

It has been estimated that hospitals in the United States overcharge their patients by about 10 billion dollars every single year.

Medical bills are the number one reason why Americans file for bankruptcy.  As I mentioned earlier, approximately 41 percent of all working age Americans are struggling with medical debt.

And health insurance is not as much protection as you might think.  According to a report published in the American Journal of Medicine, of all bankruptcies caused by medical debt, approximately 75 percent of the time the people actually did have health insurance.

And if you can't pay your bills, many hospitals will come after you ruthlessly.

In fact, collection agencies sought to collect unpaid medical bills from approximately 30 million Americans during 2010 alone.

If you don't cough up the cash they are demanding you can even end up in prison.  The following example comes from CBS News....

How did breast cancer survivor Lisa Lindsay end up behind bars? She didn't pay a medical bill -- one the Herrin, Ill., teaching assistant was told she didn't owe. "She got a $280 medical bill in error and was told she didn't have to pay it," The Associated Press reports. "But the bill was turned over to a collection agency, and eventually state troopers showed up at her home and took her to jail in handcuffs."

Although the U.S. abolished debtors' prisons in the 1830s, more than a third of U.S. states allow the police to haul people in who don't pay all manner of debts, from bills for health care services to credit card and auto loans.

But why do these bills have to be so high?  It is not like many doctors are getting rich these days.  In fact, many of them are going broke.

So what is the deal?

Well, as a recent article by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts explained, there are a whole lot of people pulling profit out of the system other than just doctors these days....

There are two main reasons that US medicine is so expensive. One is that profits are piled upon profits. In addition to wages and salaries for doctors, nurses, and medical personnel, the American health care system has to provide profits for private hospitals, diagnostic centers, insurance companies, and for the accountants, attorneys and management consultants made necessary by the enormous litigation and regulatory compliance cost. American medicine is the most regulated in the world and the most criminalized.

And another big factor is that the rest of us have to make up the difference for the patients that are not profitable.

It has gotten to the point where some doctors in certain kinds of practices barely make any profit on Medicare and Medicaid patients.  In fact, in many cases doctors actually lose money treating them.

An article posted on medicalcostadvocate.com has some outrageous examples of the difference between what you and I are billed and what Medicare pays out for the exact same procedures....

A patient in Illinois was charged $12,712 for cataract surgery. Medicare pays $675 for the same procedure. In California, a patient was charged $20,120 for a knee operation for which Medicare pays $584. And a New Jersey patient was charged $72,000 for a spinal fusion procedure that Medicare covers for $1,629.

So not only do we pay very high taxes to support Medicaid and Medicare, we also have to pay higher medical bills in order to make up the difference for the money that doctors and hospitals are not seeing from those patients.

Unfortunately, Medicaid and Medicare are expected to grow dramatically in the years ahead.

For example, it is now being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to Medicaid.

And enrollment in Medicare is projected to grow from 50.7 million today to 73.2 million in 2025.

How in the world can our current system possibly handle this?

And please don't tell me that Obamacare is the answer.

The truth is that Obamacare is going to take everything that is wrong with our health care system and make it even worse.

For a good summary on this, please see this article.

In the years ahead it is going to get even harder for those that are not dependent on the government for health care....

-Approximately 10 percent of all employers plan to drop health insurance coverage entirely because of Obamacare.

-According to one recent poll, 83 percent of all doctors in the United States have considered quitting the profession because of Obamacare, and we were already projected to have a severe doctor shortage in the years ahead even before Obamacare came along.

We are heading into the greatest health care crisis the United States has ever seen, and none of our leaders seem to have any answers.

In a recent article entitled "11 Signs That The U.S. Health Care System Is Heading Straight Down The Toilet", I detailed a lot more reasons why our health care system is a national disgrace.  If you can handle some more ranting I encourage you to go check that article out.

I am just absolutely disgusted with the condition of our health care system.  It is dominated by government bureaucrats, pharmaceutical corporations and the big health insurance companies.  It is a giant money making scam that seeks to drain as much money from the rest of us as possible.

So do you have a hospital bill horror story to share?  Please feel free to share your thoughts below....

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  • Tatiana Covington

    You didn’t think the Ferengi were fictional, did you?

    • Really?

      Lol, it’s nice to have a chuckle in the face of idocracy.
      Thank you. Live long and prosper Tatiana!!!

      • Really?

        Idiocracy

  • Sofia

    An old high school friend is a medical coder. When I ran into her she was looking for work. Often the higher level coders work as auditors on contract. She was in the process of interviewing and told me that the health care management companies who oversee the doctors contracted under them wanted her to guarantee that she could increase their Medicare billings by 15%. She expressed her discomfort at this but said she wouldn’t get a job without agreeing. This would involve going back over all services rendered by each doctor in the plan and hunting for any service large or small that had not been billed, items such as medicines given, tests run, home help etc. this is done of course to maximize profits. No stone is left unturned in billing for medical services.

    • Sofia

      I also want to mention that my own health plan starts at home. I drink mainly purified water, cook almost all my family’s meals at home using lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. We stay fit and take good supplements to keep from getting sick. We grow fruit trees and get most of our entertainment from socializing at church, going to local sporting events and one of our sons is a pro athlete so we had great fun watching him play although now he is out of town most of the year. We use hydrogen peroxide to keep germs out of our mouths and teeth, high quality colloidal minerals as natural antibiotics, i ised honey to treat 2nd degree burns from some odd superglue that spilled on my legs and it healed fine, when my arm got caught in our automatic garage dooe opener I treated the scratches and blood myself rather than go to ER. Some funky facial bumps passed on to me by a friend visiting out of town I successfully treated with yogurt and bentonite clay masks after desperately scouring the internet for advice. It could have bee shingles and somebody I knew at church suffered for months with it and rejected my suggestion choosing to go the medical route. When my husband passed a painful kidney stone I read that apple cider vinegar would help. I use it every day now in our fresh salads and a year later no more stones. Im in my 50s and have never believed in our current medical establishment’s cut, poison or burn philosophy. I believe if I had to I could splint my own leg or sew up a deep cut if necessary. We are preppers and I have dental tools and basic medical equipment but no formal training. You can avoid some of these ripoffs but you must believe you are doing the right thing and stop believing the lies we are being fed. Herbs, medicinal mushrooms, home fermentation of natural probiotics, using argan or jojoba oil on the face and hair in tiny amounts have helped keep my hair and skin nice but I’m no supermodel just decent and I like it that way. My husband loves me for me and appreciates my self reliant attitude more every year.

  • djustin

    $250,000 for a hip replacement including $900 per pill for migraine med and $3000 per shot for same med. Appaling what they are doing to us. Dear God help us!

    • http://itsafluffy.blogspot.com DL.

      $900 for a migraine pill??? I get migraines (and clusters too, BTW) all the time (about ten a month), and I used to spend about $20 a pill getting from the neighborhood pharmacy. Now I spend $4 a pill getting them from Progressive RX. Cost is 20 to 30 percent what the typical pharmacy charges.

  • kimpunkrock

    One thing I wanted to point out is that from the 1940′s on down Doctors were NOT in it for the money, they were in it to help people, not get rich off people’s sufferings and ills. today that is NOT the case, you can hardly EVER find a doctor that will do free work for those that CANNOT pay, it use to be apart of their oath, to treat regardless of ability to pay. You do not see this anymore.

    There is ONE answer to this–GIVE EVERYONE FROM THE TIME THE ARE BORN MEDICADE AND MEDCARE REGARDLESS OF INCOME!

  • paul

    Thailand has good hospitals and doctors. And everything is much cheaper there. So, take a flight and have a holiday. For $80,000 you can even have a bypass operation in Hong Kong with beautiful view over this city.

  • paul

    Well, insurance is only the smallest part of risk management. And the most expensive.
    Minimising health risks through proper food, exercise and accident prevention (OH&S, seat belts, speed limits, environmental protection, etc) is much cheaper in the end.

    Get yourself an insurance that pays for the bypass and the insulin, and gives you a no claims discount, and then pay for the annual checkups by yourself and monitor your health that way.

    Get the checkup done in Cuba. Should be much cheaper.

    • paul

      Oh, I forgot: get youself a gun and ammo for extra protection.

      LOL

  • Gary2

    Tax the wealthy to keep us healthy–Single payer now.

  • KALEB

    Who cares, this country is dead, welcome to the new system pawns.

  • Michael Garland

    In 1988 I awoke one morning with what I was sure was a crick in my neck from falling asleep on my couch. I had to travel that morning from Westminster CA back to Las Vegas NV where I was working. I was in so much pain when I arrived in Vegas I went to a local emergency room. I was two hours in the waiting room in tears I was hurting so bad. Grown man crying like a baby from the pain! I was finally taken into the emergency room and mentioned to the doctor that I thought it was a crick in my neck from sleeping wrong, but the pain was horrific. The doctor mentioned the possibility that it was spinal meningitis. I had a spinal tap and the fluid removed from my spine was tested. Received some fluids and that’s it! The results were negative of course. The doctor came in and told me to go home, take some aspirin and rest; that it was just a crick in my neck from sleeping badly. Really! Received a bill two weeks later for $6000 +. $6000+, $10 for the band aid that was put on over where the spinal tap was done. $10 freaking $’s for a band aid. Unbelievable!

    • md

      There is a thing called the “standard of care”. It is a prescribed set of tests and treatments that must be followed if any malpractice protection is needed. The SOC does not include any common sense. That’s why I quit.

  • Mondobeyondo

    I actually had a bit of a health scare a couple days ago.

    Got violently ill on Wednesday afternoon (hoping it was just something I ate, and not an ulcer). The last thing I need is to spend a few hours at the ER! Spent Wednesday evening in bed, and most of yesterday in bed. Nearly everything that went down the hatch came back up a couple hours later, if you know what I mean. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time kneeling in front of the porcelain throne.

    After half a bottle of Pepto-Bismol and a couple of Advil, this morning I’m feeling much better. Well enough to post a message on here, at least. I need to get my strength back today, so some important things can get done (like paying the electric bill which is already 3 days delinquent!)

    • Mondobeyondo

      I should be back to my usual sarcastic form in a couple of days.

    • Michael

      Are you okay Mondo?

      Michael

      • Mondobeyondo

        Yes, I’ll be fine.

        • Michael

          My wife and I pray for you often Mondo. I hope you know that.

          Michael

          • Mondobeyondo

            Thank you, Michael!

            Mondo

    • paul

      cant you pay bills via Internet?

      • Mondobeyondo

        I pay most of my bills online (insurance, phone, Internet, etc), but I don’t have my electric and water bills set up that way. They’re both holdouts of an earlier age, when I paid all my bills by writing checks. Looks like it’s time to change that.

  • ALICE

    Totally deregulated industry…The whole medical industry needs to be regulated…They bankrupt 60% of Americans…They can charge anything they want, legally…Unnecessary surgeries, medications, procedures, hospital stays most of the time….I’ve been a Republican for 30 years, and Obamacare is necessary for us all….This belief is a result of my experiences….Viva Obamacare, should be named Americare….DON’T let the Republicans reverse AMERICARE….

  • Atilla2

    THREE things that could be implemented TOMORROW by exec. order that would have a dramatic impact on cost.

    1. Allow people to buy health insurance across state borders.

    2. Get the lawyers off the backs of doctors except for GROSS negligence.

    3. MAKE the loser PAY the lawyers costs.

    • ALICE

      Have you ever tried to collect a claim from an out of State insurance company? They always deny the claim, and you have to go to their State Court to make your argument. Obamacare/Americare is right for the public….

    • http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com chris1

      “2. Get the lawyers off the backs of doctors except for GROSS negligence.”

      Done to an extent in Tx.

  • paul

    After reading all these stories – your problem isn’t obamacare. It’s only because he is black or a democrat or both.
    Your problem is the lack of consumer protection legislation in health care.

  • Doug

    For some of the outrageous costs, you need to consider (a) lawyers, (b) people who don’t pay, and (c) the “sticker price” issue.

    Re. lawyers, take the case of your titanium parts. Maybe the screws only cost $25 each, but if you are in the titanium body part business, are you really going to just sell them for a small markup, when a single lawsuit will not only wipe out all your profits but possibly put you out of business as well? No, you need to charge enough per screw so that in the 1% of cases where things don’t go right, there are $millions to pay off the claims. Now go line by line through all those mundane items that it seems like you are being ripped off on, and ask yourself, if you were selling that item and having to bear that lawsuit risk, how much would you have to mark that item up to make sure you still had a profit left after some predictable % of failures that are inevitable just from pure statistics?

    Re. people who don’t pay, others have already mentioned, someone has to pick up the tab that is not being fully reimbursed by medicaid/medicare or indigent patients, and this is especially true at hospitals where the law requires them to provide care. So, everyone’s bill gets padded. Again imagine you run a bar and you sell beer to people just on good faith that they will pay, i.e. you let your customers run tabs. Only, the law says you have to provide this to anyone who asks, even people who aren’t regulars, and even including people who’ve not paid their tab before. So now a predictable number of people are not going to pay, how much are you going to have to pad your drink prices to make sure you don’t go bankrupt running your bar?

    Re. the “sticker price” issue, I am fortunate to have excellent health insurance. I’ve looked at the bills occasionally and noticed that all providers have very high official prices for their services, but they accept a much lower price from the insurer. Since most of their patients are insured, I have to believe they are able to make a profit at the lower price, and therefore the lower price is at least close to a real market price, or at least, it’s as close as you’ll come when a third party is picking up the tab. This lower price is, I presume, negotiated by the insurer in order to put the provider on a preferred list for their insured population. So, in a very real sense, this situation is not unlike the situation where you go into an auto dealer and there is a high price on the sticker for a new car, but you can find out the real price by looking on line at kbb.com or other similar sites. The kicker is, no one is in a position to haggle over the health care service. And the markup is often 100-500%, which makes car pricing, heck even airline pricing, look sane by comparison!

  • http://noseosdemais.blogspot.pt/ Nós e os Demais

    I think the problem with such high healthcare costs in the US is hospitals being able to do whatever they want. In europe no one charges you anything for healthcare, and you dont have to have health insurances either. How can americans tolerate paying so much for such a basic right such as acess to healthcare is beyond me and franckly, beyond most europeans.
    I’m always intested to know what americans think about us europeans not paying a cent most of the time for healthcare while you guys get charged thousands of dollars for the most basic services. Do you think its fair? How do you guys justify paying so much?

    Regards from Portugal

    • onething

      I wonder why Americans put up with a lot of things. One thing is, we are subject to a lot of propaganda, and lots of people fall for it. I think the quality of life here is greatly affected by the problems with healthcare. We are a downtrodden and beaten people.

  • LOLa

    Somebody posted a sap story about ER docs making around $180,000 a year. Poor things! $40 per patient seen – $40 for FIVE minutes of their precious time, egads!

    Heaven forbid they make do with less than $30K a year like most people.

    And the writer wonders why healthcare costs so damned much…

  • HecatesMoon

    My dad died when I was 20. He sold everything he had and when he had nothing left, they sent him home to die.
    My step dad died in February. My mother did not know he was so ill. Before he went to the hospital, which he avoided doing maybe until it was too late, he decided not to call an ambulance because it was too expensive.
    Had he just gone to the hospital sooner maybe he would have lived. Maybe he would have lived had an ambulance taken him…who knows. But that was his concern as he was dying- though no one realized he was- was the ambulance going to be too expensive.

  • http://lnx-bsp.net/ Tel

    There is no free market competition in the US medical industry.

    The doctors run a monopoly, so you can’t choose between a slightly better doctor who is more expensive and a slightly worse doctor who is cheaper. The lawyers run a monopoly so lots of the medical money goes to pay for expensive litigation. The drug companies run a monopoly so if you wanted to make your own drugs you would be arrested for that. The hospitals sort of run a monopoly because people get taken to the nearest one, and don’t get to negotiate. The insurance companies offer you some choices, but only limited choices because they are heavily regulated (and even more regulated now).

    In Australia they have kept the fees down, but it have resulted in government takeover of most of the industry. Thus, for example when the doctor Jayant Patel worked in an Australian government hospital he was very enthusiastic about surgery, but unfortunately not skilled in this area. He made a lot of blunders, people died, but the hospital administrators loved him because he was so productive, and anyway the medical records ended up getting faked but we haven’t entirely tracked down the details of how. The government kept the litigation under control, by running their own special claims commission that pushed the victims into secret payouts that were relatively speaking quite paltry (some victims have come forward attempting a real legal challenge to this, but it isn’t looking good for them).

    Also, the trick in Australia is that the businesses get slugged with compulsory workers compensation insurance, and the exact same medical procedure is two to three times more expensive when it goes into a compo claim than a regular government-funded procedure. Thus every X-ray place tries to force you to make a compo claim, because if you do they double their pay. The business insurance is used to cross-subsidize government healthcare.

    Gradually the system is getting heavier and heavier as the bureaucrats have discovered they can get their political buddies cushy jobs as hospital administrators. These guys don’t know the first thing about running a hospital, but they don’t need to because no one is going to check on them, and if things do go wrong they will be protected anyhow. Our basic tax in Australia is already 30% of GDP, but there’s a bunch of compulsory payments like compulsory superannuation and compulsory insurance that work like tax in disguise. Despite these high taxes, both the Federal government and the states are increasingly in debt, especially in recent years. I’d say the overall quality of hospital care is getting worse, from my personal observation. Not long ago the New South Wales Health Minister admitted that it was both faster and cheaper to take patients out of the waiting lists for public hospitals and pay for procedures in private hospitals. Increasing number of people are just giving up and going overseas… I’m serious.

  • Ken

    Here’s a good one for you…
    I DROVE my daughter to the emergency room less than two miles from my home where the accident happened, only to check for broken bones and internal bleeding.
    Upon arrival and a quick exam, the emergency nurses and technicians, (no doctor observed my daughter)it was determined that she go to a children’s hospital 30 miles away for further examination and x-rays.
    In the end there was an x-ray exam and dressing wounds, two hospital visits and an ambulance ride, in which I followed in my car to drive my daughter home after the visit.
    The tab? $50,000 dollars!!
    People ask, “Did you have insurance?” yes, but that does not discount the unnecessary ambulance ride and another hospital visit 30 miles away along with the obvious extortion of the American tax payer!
    A well trained physician would probably be able to determine broken bones and internal bleeding without x-rays, ambulance rides, etc., and for what would amount to less than a hours work, charge a reasonable one tenth of one percent of my charge ($50), in a perfect world.
    I still get mail from what amounts to be online ambulance chasers, yes lawyers are looking to sue.
    The culprit in the accident they are looking to sue? Me, I caused the accident, so as a legal custodian ( I am her father ) I should sue myself?!
    Corruption, greed, end of Empire. In the far off future I wonder what legacy will be remembered of the long forgotten American Empire? Bloodiest period of history, mass insanity, dumbest, most inept humans in history, going to the moon or the time of the bank owned world? Every empire in history thought of themselves as the greatest and everyone of them disappeared in the end. The good ole’ USA seems to be no different. In fact in terms of time as an Empirewe are not even exceptional.
    This assumes that the American Empire will end. I think it already has.

    • Mondobeyondo

      I’m sorry about your experience, Ken.
      There is no way in the Eternal Inferno, that you should have to pay $50,000 out of pocket (?) for what you went through.

      It sickens me what is happening to our medical care. Don’t get me wrong, the U.S. still has the best health care in the world.

      IF. YOU. CAN. AFFORD. IT!!!!!!!

      If you are (former) Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (regardless of party or political persuasion, you have to admire her courage and determination – she is one hell of a lady) – you’re getting the best health care in the world.

      The University of Arizona Medical Center, in Tucson, Arizona, is a top notch medical facility. Certainly one of the best in the U.S. when it comes to medical research and treatment. If I had to choose a place to get shot in the head, and if I was driving up the Catalinas from downtown Tucson towards Mount Lemmon (Summerhaven, AZ – which is an AWESOME place by the way!!) – AZ Med Center would be my #1 choice, bar none.

      She’s an American. I’m an American. Don’t we deserve the same quality of health care? I mean – if some guy robbing a Wal-Mart shot me in the head, would I get the same quality of care that Gabby Giffords did? (Nope, not in Phoenix.)

      One would think so. One would hope so.

      Or perhaps the entire system is plutocratic? Yeah, probably.

  • A.S.

    A short term solution will be to improve your health:
    1. eat only organic from local farmers if you can afford it
    2. stop eating out period!
    3. stop eating anything anything from a bag, box, can, etc.
    4. stop taking all medication unless absolutely life-threatening (this means you will die within minutes without it)
    5. research sites like http://www.naturalnews.com for free advice on how to live healthy
    6. never go to doctors or emergency rooms unless you are severely bleeding or having organs popping out…

    Essentially, the whole system is more than corrupt, it is evil. The best way to avoid is to hope and pray for ultimate health. Let them fry and go bankrupt before they take advantage of one more person.

    • http://itsafluffy.blogspot.com DL.

      Good grief AS I actually agree with you! and I’m a stupid goy! Sorry, Shicksa…

  • John

    I spent $5.00 last time I went to a hospital. And that was for parking. Of course, I live in Canada. We spend, per capita, about half what Americans do on health care (private and public), every citizen has a basic level of coverage, we’re healthier than Americans, and we live longer. We must be doing something right.

  • A.S.

    Looks like the evil liberals are trying to convince people obamacare is good:
    thanksobamacare.org.

    I just read through it and can’t believe the absolute garbage on that site and mindless people will actually buy into it. Well I have one question that destroys all their arguments which they can’t answer, but I people like me, Michael and a few others here can: if obamacare is so good, why did Congress exempt themselves from it, while keeping their own special on-demand private doctors (paid for by taxpayers)? Because obamacare really is really, really bad, and will make us like the U.K. the moment it takes effect completely. So come January 1, 2014, say hello to a 3 month line just to see a doctor for a cold.

    • http://itsafluffy.blogspot.com DL.

      Right again AS!

  • Mark

    “our health care system has become a giant money making scam”

    can anyone identify one single thing in this free-range asylum that *hasn’t* been turned into a giant money-making scam???

  • free!

    bankrupt USA ! Obamacare if it goes through!

  • shogun_01

    thank god healthcare in my country is free! yay canada

  • America dead

    Sell your kidneys while they’re still healthy for a couple thousand bucks-maybe 5 grand???

    • Mondobeyondo

      A kidney dialysis machine costs more than 5 grand, I’m sure.
      No thanks, I’m keeping my organs. :)

  • http://NA Ratchett3

    Went to hospital last year. Spider bite on foot. Spent 5 days in hospital on antibiotics, they cut the infection out, staph from spider. Ran all sorts of tests on me. Went for 2 skin grafts (cut out quite a bit of top of foot to get all of infection out). Had home care 2x a week. Had to go back to emergency room to receive antibiotics 2x (but charged regular). $86,000.00 total. After renegotiated down by insurer, $64k or so. It’s not like I had open heart surgery. If it weren’t for my insurance, would have lost everything, probably even the house. Don’t have $86k spare change sitting around. Also in 50′s.
    Pretty scary knowing that with our current healthcare people are losing their entire life savings in a week or two (if they don’t have insurance). Before the bankruptcy reform, individuals could file bankruptcy, now w/the reformed bankruptcy laws, if you have anything, work, and are in the system, you lose it all. That Fast. Almost have to live in a state with good homestead laws, at least keep your house. And/or keep your income under the means testing for CH.7; and/or irrevocable trust, otherwise, one hospital bill WILL/CAN wipe you out.

    • http://itsafluffy.blogspot.com DL.

      Actually you got off easy. I know a guy who spent about half a mil for basically what you had done (fortunately, the guy of which I speak is wealthy, but anyway…).

      Got a brown recluse spider bite once. If not treated it’ll cause your skin to rot and gets very badly infected. cost of antivenom? $75 a shot. sounds expensive but the alternative is worse. Of course that was a few years ago it’s probably over $100 now.

  • Jorge

    I just spent three days at a hospital, and my insurance ended up paying over 10,000. It is outrageous.

  • Tony

    here in australia health care is covered by a $1,500 medicare levy , this year I have had 2 CT scans , a trip to a heart suregeon , 5 GP. visits & a nose reconstruction (cosmetic surgery) and it was all covered by this $1,500 levy , it means you get unlimited healthe care as required yes surgery and medicines as well , yes even hospital stays are included, Nope out of pocket fees either . Socilist medicare like we have in australia , enlgand and canada is a blessing , it cover the cost of seeing a doctor , an eye doctor and yes even a dentist with fillings if you need it and chiropractor and dietician. the list endless we are truly lucky.

  • Tony

    I pity healthcare in america soo very expensive and your nations leaders lie to you , look at canada as a role model for healthcare. your leaders might learn something.

  • Tony

    I read $250,00o for a hip replacement in america , here in australia its free.

  • http://www.scribd.com/doc/102435452/Why-Hair-Loss-Surgery-Can-Be-Your-Most-Significant-Choice natural hair growth remedies

    I almost never comment, however after reading a few of the remarks on
    this page $83,046 For A 3 Hour Hospital Visit – Why Are Hospital Bills So Outrageous?. I actually do have a couple
    of questions for you if it’s allright. Is it only me or does it look as if like a few of the remarks come across like they are coming from brain dead people? :-P And, if you are posting at other online social sites, I would like to keep up with everything new you have to post. Could you list of every one of all your social networking sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  • xiou

    it is funny, you people have put the world in to poverty and that was kool. we chinese have suffered poverty for decades now its our turn to have fun. being white doesnot make you superior humans! watch “confessions of a economic hitman” and you’ll know why you were so rich and the rest of the world was so poor. wat goes around comes around. all men equal! US isnt collapsing the earth is balancing its self. us=bully corporation vs rest of the world=innocent people, ur dirty game back fired

  • rugo

    I went to the hospital for 5 minutes treatment of “jaw dislocation” they charged me 1300$ for just pushing my jaw back. At first they wanted to offer me a scan and other treatments. Thank god i did not went along with their plan. I would have to pay lot more for those.

  • mandi

    Even those with insurance end up paying through the nose too. I went into the doctor for some persistent stomach pains. I was told that it was caused by dehydration and to drink more water. No tests, or anything. 15 minutes maximum with the doctor. A few weeks later I got a $300 bill in the mail. I looked up online, the visit was only supposed to cost about $75. It’s ridiculous, my insurance should have covered that. Why are my husband and i paying thousands of dollars a year in insurance if it can’t even cover a dumb 15 minute doctor visit?If you get an outrageous bill try to fight it with the hospital. Sometimes you can get them to lower it a bit. They took $100 off my bill.

  • Nai

    Yep outrageous. I went to the emergency room for a motorcycle accident. Nothing was broken. Took me in did 2 Xrays. Dr came in and ask a few questions. Pressed on my body to see if I’m in pain. 3
    Hours later discharged me. Figured it would be 2 thousand dollars at most for the visit. My insurance was billed 22k for that. No CAT scan, Mri, surgery. They didn’t even scrub/clean my wounds in my knee. Basically besides the Xrays nothing was done to me to be worth $22k.

  • Alexander

    Yeah I went to see a doctor and was there less then an hour and just basic examination of light injury and basic urine/std test, less then hour at the appointment. Received 2 bills for some reason from different PO Box mail-to addresses and totaling over $1,100. For what??? I didn’t even have any x-ray or blood tests nothing that would require advanced/specialized technology etc.
    Again what makes it strange is 2 separate bills for 1 visit, and also that I had very similar visit for examination and test and I paid only about $200 or so then. Again this is ridiculous and without any logic. I will have to try calling them hopefully it is a mistake or they will adjust and I cannot pay over a grand especially for simple visit that took less then an hour at the clinic…

  • clay

    I was charged a 2000 dollar bill because I was forced into going to the hospital by the volunteer service I was working for. I received no treatment but was instead given a paper saying that I did indeed go to the hospital wish I could give to my phone to your agency , but then I was sent a 2000 dollar bill in the mail which I thought was a mistake because I hadn’t even seen a single medical professional only a nurse who told me that I could so once I got the paper saying I did indeed go to the hospital . $2000 and there is not a single viable reason why it cost anything for me to even be theresince I received no treatment medication or anything of any kind while I was there I mean I didn’t even see a doctor so why would they send me a bill in the first place. thank you guys for voting for Obama and welcome to the newest additi
    on to the third world, the usa

  • Melissa

    Reminds me of when I had to take my little pomeranian to the vet. He ate a huge piece of baking chocolate from the garbage, and the vet charged me $270 and all they did was give him activated charcoal to make him vomit. I had a bottle of activated charcoal in my home, why didn’t they tell me this over the phone?

  • Lulu

    I am a nurse and just had the pleasure in administering a medication for a stroke ….hospital cost 4700…. Cost to patient 59000….. I could not believe when the pharmacist showed me the cost. It is ridiculous.

  • Lulu

    My personal solution to this mess…I am getting on a plane home when I get sick….Germany…socialized medicine.

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