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Old 07-07-2010, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Hanover, New Jersey
8 posts, read 35,690 times
Reputation: 12

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Emergency room visit / Cost of medical care / New Jersey

Hello everyone.

A few weeks ago I was washing dishes, one of the tall glasses broke and cut little finger on my right hand.
It was bleeding plus the cut didn't look good, so I decided to go to a local hospital instead of taking care of it on my own.
It took about 10 minutes to get dressed and drive to Morristown Memorial Hospital in Morristown, NJ.
Explained in ER that I got cut and need a few stitches.
Wait about 15 min.
Some people took my blood pressure and temperature and directed me to another department.
Wait about 40 min.
Someone admitted me, pointed to an exam (or whatever) room.
Wait about 30 min.
Doctor came, examined my finger and promised to fix it.
Wait about 5 min.
A girl stopped by and gave me a Tenanus (?) shot.
Doctor came back and stitched up my finger.
Wait about 20 min for someone to stop by and say “you can go now”.

Than I've got a bill from hospital
(http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/2...taledited1.jpg).
Total $970 minus self pay discount = $582.00

Not cheap, have no insurance, but it's not like I can do something about it.
Came to hospital and paid the bill.

Next day (yesterday) received ANOTHER bill from Emergency Medical Associates for $494.00 for Emergency Physician's services...
(http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/9...emaedited1.jpg)

Isn't it wrong?
If doctor charges me for his work $494 than what for hospital charged me $582?

Just doesn't add up in my head.
Total I have to pay is about 11 hundred bucks = about two weeks of my work to bring home this kind of money after taxes.

I understand that medical care is not cheap, but if 20 minutes of stitching up my finger = to about 2 weeks of my work, than there something has to be wrong.
No x-rays or other sophisticated machines were used. In fact, most sophisticated device was a surgical needle...

Is it NORMAL?
Is it because it's New Jersey?

Last edited by Alex75; 07-07-2010 at 08:27 PM..
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH
753 posts, read 2,164,376 times
Reputation: 765
Unfortunately yes it's normal.

I went to the ER on 6/16 and it was $815
Ultrasound was $500
The Dr that read the ultrasound was $100

So if looking at a picture was $100, I can see stitches being $500.

It's sickening!!!
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:41 PM
 
9,454 posts, read 15,010,253 times
Reputation: 15406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex75 View Post
Emergency room visit / Cost of medical care

Hello everyone.

A few weeks ago I was washing dishes, one of the tall glasses broke and cut little finger on my right hand.
It was bleeding plus the cut didn't look good, so I decided to go to a local hospital instead of taking care of it on my own.
It took about 10 minutes to get dressed and drive to Morristown Memorial Hospital.
Explained in ER that I got cut and need a few stitches.
Wait about 15 min.
Some people took my blood pressure and temperature and directed me to another department.
Wait about 40 min.
Someone admitted me, pointed to an exam (or whatever) room.
Wait about 30 min.
Doctor came, examined my finger and promised to fix it.
Wait about 5 min.
A girl stopped by and gave me a Tenanus (?) shot.
Doctor came back and stitched up my finger.
Wait about 20 min for someone to stop by and say “you can go now”.

Than I've got a bill from hospital
(http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/2...taledited1.jpg).
Total $970 minus self pay discount = $582.00

Not cheap, have no insurance, but it's not like I can do something about it.
Came to hospital and paid the bill.

Next day (yesterday) received ANOTHER bill from Emergency Medical Associates for $494.00 for Emergency Physician's services...
(http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/9...emaedited1.jpg)

Isn't it wrong?
If doctor charges me for his work $494 than what for hospital charged me $582?

Just doesn't add up in my head.
Total I have to pay is about 11 hundred bucks = about two weeks of my work to bring home this kind of money after taxes.

I understand that medical care is not cheap, but if 20 minutes of stitching up my finger = to about 2 weeks of my work, than there something has to be wrong.
No x-rays or other sophisticated machines were used. In fact, most sophisticated device was a surgical needle...

Is it NORMAL?
Yes, this is typical.

Even with insurance, I've had ER bills add up to $1000 or more.

Last Sat I was having symptoms I thought indicated a stroke, but hesitated to go to the ER because of the cost, even though we have insurance. I went anyways, they didn't do jack, have yet to see the bill. I figure they took their good old time treating me---I sat there 2 hours before they so much as took blood work, so I will take my good old time paying them.

I figure $10 a month payment is following the same pace at which they treated me.

Are there any minor emergency clinics near you? You might want o locate one for future such problems. There's a chain here called Promed, you might look them up. They typically are much cheaper, take insurance, you don't wait forever. I went to one a few weeks ago when the cat bit me, got in and out in under an hour and for $45.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,631 posts, read 53,468,042 times
Reputation: 18538
Yeah, ERs all over are expensive and almost all of them bill separately from the doctor. They bill for the time you sat in an exam room,the cost of any shots, the cost of the bandages, the cost of the sterile needle and suture material, the overhead for the clerk that registered you, the person who gave you the tetanus shot, etc. The doctor bills for his expertise in whatever he did.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,481 posts, read 26,078,274 times
Reputation: 26426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex75 View Post
Emergency room visit / Cost of medical care / New Jersey

Hello everyone.

A few weeks ago I was washing dishes, one of the tall glasses broke and cut little finger on my right hand.
It was bleeding plus the cut didn't look good, so I decided to go to a local hospital instead of taking care of it on my own.
It took about 10 minutes to get dressed and drive to Morristown Memorial Hospital in Morristown, NJ.
Explained in ER that I got cut and need a few stitches.
Wait about 15 min.
Some people took my blood pressure and temperature and directed me to another department.
Wait about 40 min.
Someone admitted me, pointed to an exam (or whatever) room.
Wait about 30 min.
Doctor came, examined my finger and promised to fix it.
Wait about 5 min.
A girl stopped by and gave me a Tenanus (?) shot.
Doctor came back and stitched up my finger.
Wait about 20 min for someone to stop by and say “you can go now”.

Than I've got a bill from hospital
(http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/2...taledited1.jpg).
Total $970 minus self pay discount = $582.00

Not cheap, have no insurance, but it's not like I can do something about it.
Came to hospital and paid the bill.

Next day (yesterday) received ANOTHER bill from Emergency Medical Associates for $494.00 for Emergency Physician's services...
(http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/9...emaedited1.jpg)

Isn't it wrong?
If doctor charges me for his work $494 than what for hospital charged me $582?

Just doesn't add up in my head.
Total I have to pay is about 11 hundred bucks = about two weeks of my work to bring home this kind of money after taxes.

I understand that medical care is not cheap, but if 20 minutes of stitching up my finger = to about 2 weeks of my work, than there something has to be wrong.
No x-rays or other sophisticated machines were used. In fact, most sophisticated device was a surgical needle...

Is it NORMAL?
Is it because it's New Jersey?
Yep, this is pretty typical. The first bill paid for everything the hospital supplied, from nurses to the room you were placed in to the needle and suture and local anesthetic
to the person who cleaned the room and changed the linens after you left. The second bill was for the doc who looked at the injury, decided it needed stitches, numbed it and sewed you up. If you had needed any xrays, you would have gotten two bills for those, too: one from the hospital for taking the pictures and one from the doc who looked at and interpreted them.

Before you head to the ER, take a time out. Try to decide whether the visit is really necessary. If your doctor's office is open, call and see if it is something they can take care of. Think you need a few stitches? Ever had any surgery done? Call the surgeon's office and see if they could fix you up in the office.

Try not to go to the ER with minor complaints like colds and bladder infections. Those make you miserable, but the cost will be many times higher than at the doctor's office, or as suggested by another poster, an urgent care center. If you go to an ER with a minor complaint, you will be at the bottom of the list of priorities.

Save the ER for real emergencies, such as chest pain, symptoms suggestive of a stroke, a severe headache like you've never had before, or serious injuries like fractures or large, deep lacerations.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Missouri
6,044 posts, read 21,125,101 times
Reputation: 5033
I believe it. I went to the ER in January for what turned out to be a UTI. I believe the bill was roughly $1,000. Fortunately I had insurance, although I still had to pay a hefty copay.
Find out, for future reference, where the nearest urgent care center is, and what their hours are. Likely it would have been much cheaper.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:36 PM
 
48,519 posts, read 80,998,062 times
Reputation: 17978
Yep;don't go to a emergency room for minor care unless you want a big bill.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:45 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,527 posts, read 29,228,109 times
Reputation: 21263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex75 View Post
Emergency room visit / Cost of medical care / New Jersey

Hello everyone.

A few weeks ago I was washing dishes, one of the tall glasses broke and cut little finger on my right hand.
It was bleeding plus the cut didn't look good, so I decided to go to a local hospital instead of taking care of it on my own.
It took about 10 minutes to get dressed and drive to Morristown Memorial Hospital in Morristown, NJ.
Explained in ER that I got cut and need a few stitches.
Wait about 15 min.
Some people took my blood pressure and temperature and directed me to another department.
Wait about 40 min.
Someone admitted me, pointed to an exam (or whatever) room.
Wait about 30 min.
Doctor came, examined my finger and promised to fix it.
Wait about 5 min.
A girl stopped by and gave me a Tenanus (?) shot.
Doctor came back and stitched up my finger.
Wait about 20 min for someone to stop by and say “you can go now”.

Than I've got a bill from hospital
(http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/2...taledited1.jpg).
Total $970 minus self pay discount = $582.00

Not cheap, have no insurance, but it's not like I can do something about it.
Came to hospital and paid the bill.

Next day (yesterday) received ANOTHER bill from Emergency Medical Associates for $494.00 for Emergency Physician's services...
(http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/9...emaedited1.jpg)

Isn't it wrong?
If doctor charges me for his work $494 than what for hospital charged me $582?

Just doesn't add up in my head.
Total I have to pay is about 11 hundred bucks = about two weeks of my work to bring home this kind of money after taxes.

I understand that medical care is not cheap, but if 20 minutes of stitching up my finger = to about 2 weeks of my work, than there something has to be wrong.
No x-rays or other sophisticated machines were used. In fact, most sophisticated device was a surgical needle...

Is it NORMAL?
Is it because it's New Jersey?
If there isn't any glass IN the wound and you can wiggle your fingers (no ligaments or tendons cut), just irrigate it with hydrogen peroxide (or alcohol if you are really tough), and wrap that sucker UP.

Those people didn't do anything that you could not have done yourself. And you don't need a tetanus shot for a wound like that!

Just think what you could have done with all that money! You could have taken a vacation!

Their thieves as sure as if they would have put a gun to your head.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:07 AM
 
8,316 posts, read 17,635,046 times
Reputation: 10896
I work in a hospital and I hear this crap all day long.

Why did you go to the ER? Go to a walk in clinic, they could've and would've taken care of your finger for much less. ER is for emergencys and when ppl finally figure that out, maybe these kinds of complaints will stop.

Just had a lady complain because she didn't feel that she was given the attention she deserved by the ER dr and is refusing to pay the bill. He told her up front, we can't do anything for you, you need to see your own dr and get a referral from him. I guess she thinks ER docs work for free.
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Saint Petersburg, FL
1,881 posts, read 3,031,458 times
Reputation: 16514
Yes, that's how they bill.

My dh was in ER thinking he was having a heart attack (he wasn't) a couple months ago. When he checked out, he was told he could have the self pay discount if he paid right then and he wouldn't be billed anything else. So he forked over $1,100 (that was after a 70% discount) thinking there wouldn't be any more bills. Big surprise when the $150 radiology bill, the two other bills I can't remember anymore, and the $1,500 doctor bill arrived.
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