Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, August 17, 2014

Last August, Baer Hanusz-Rajkowski, of Bayonne, N.Y., accidentally cut his finger with the claw-end of a hammer. He says he waited a few days for it to heal but the cut didn't seem to be closing, so he went to the Bayonne Medical Center emergency room to ask whether he should get stitches. The nurse practitioner determined no stitches were necessary, he says. There was no X-ray either. Instead, Hanusz-Rajkowsk got hit with an $8,200 bill for the emergency room visit. On top of that, Bayonne Medical Center charged $180 for a tetanus shot, $242 for sterile supplies, and $8 for some antibacterial ointment in addition to hundreds of dollars for the services of the nurse practitioner.

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Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.

Stay calm people. It's how Obamacare works.

#1 | Posted by DeadSpin at 2014-08-16 09:16 PM | Reply | Flag:

By being not much different than before? I had a similar, less but still absolutely egregious bit of price-gouging myself from an ER several years ago. Went in over some stomach bug that had me dehydrated and weak enough despite being in good shape and around 30 I was actually a little scared. Couldn't touch water or I threw up multiple times what I drank, plus other vomiting, diarrhea, fever, etc to where I couldn't stand up without holding onto a wall and made clicking sounds with my excessively dry tongue trying to talk. Freaked me out, and though I had never before in my adult life gone to the Dr over being sick, went that night. Told them I wasn't there for much - an IV for hydration since I couldn't keep anything down, maybe some phenergan, and I'd be set. They did just that, added in a tiny dose of morphine for the stomach cramps and diarrhea, (to my girlfriends chagrin - opiates don't knock me out, they knock out my ability to shut up) and sent me on my way within a couple hours. $3500 in hospital bills, another $600 for Dr and something else I don't recall.

An IV bag is maybe a couple dollars. Morphine surprisingly cheap, probably under ten for a dose. Less for phenergan. So what exactly did the rest of my bill pay for?!?

Another reason Obama Care didn't go far enough. We need single payer and price controls.

#2 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-08-16 10:13 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

This is why you go to a med clinic, not an ER.

#3 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2014-08-16 11:17 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

I had a friend who sliced his hand open with a box-cutting razor, and I took him to a little med clinic. I think they charged him about $75 to stitch it up.

#4 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2014-08-16 11:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

#1 | Posted by DeadSpin

It's got nothing to do with the ACA, idiot.

.

#5 | Posted by Dave at 2014-08-17 11:57 AM | Reply | Flag:

He should not have gone to the ER for the problem he had.

Having said that, to me it looks like a fundamental problem with the for-profit medical industry. Such price gouging is going to become all the more prevalent unless and until medical treatment costs are more documented and publicized, and people can shop around for non-emergency treatment.

#6 | Posted by LampLighter at 2014-08-17 01:47 PM | Reply | Flag:

This is what you get in a "free market" solution for medical care. It merely proves that the ACA can't stop all abuses in the system. Single payer would fix that.

#7 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2014-08-17 01:47 PM | Reply | Flag:

Without insurance companies to scrutinize the bills and keep hospitals moderately honest, the average consumer-patient is a sheep in the care of wolves. Unexpectedly, Obama's signature legislation, does nothing to protect consumers.

#8 | Posted by visitor_ at 2014-08-17 02:12 PM | Reply | Flag:

#4 | POSTED BY HELIUMRAT

Dude, those places are awesome.

Went to one both times I ended up with pneumonia, one with and one without insurance. W/out insurance I paid with x-ray and meds about 250, with insurance I ended up paying more (due to the deductible and stronger antibiotics) but not much, only 150 (because the 'biotics cost 225.00 for 7 pills).

#9 | Posted by Lohocla at 2014-08-17 02:53 PM | Reply | Flag:

The "Best" care costs plaenty

#10 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-08-17 03:23 PM | Reply | Flag:

Amazing that the rest of the world doesn't have these problems.

#11 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2014-08-17 03:38 PM | Reply | Flag:

#11

Nope. Greed is king in America.

#12 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2014-08-17 05:06 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Mr Hanusz-Rajkowski could have flown to Mexico, spent a weekend on the beach, paid the walk-in clinic $25, and saved $7,500

#13 | Posted by SammyAZ_RI at 2014-08-17 05:12 PM | Reply | Flag:

I had a friend visiting me here in Germany who cut his hand really bad and refused to let me take him to the ER until he got approval from his health Ins back home and that took about an hour over the phone and I kept telling him it would not cost so much and to just go. Once he got some sort of approval number that he would be reimbursed after his deductible I got took him to the local ER and they stitched him up gave him a tetanus shot and sent him up to billing. The whole thing cost him 40 euros. a bit less then I expected. My guess is the phone call on hold cost about the same as what the ER charged. Last time I needed to see my doctor I had a infected finger and she wanted me to come let her check it every day for a week. Totally covered by my health ins. I paid nothing out of pocket. There is no reason America does not have medical coverage of equal quality or better. I don´t know how many times in the US with Health Ins I did not go to a doctor when I should have because I could not afford to pay the deductible.

#14 | Posted by THomewood at 2014-08-17 05:13 PM | Reply | Flag:

serves you right go to a clinic not the er.
clinics are everywhere

#15 | Posted by tmaster at 2014-08-17 07:16 PM | Reply | Flag:

Clinics are great. Except for their hours. Meanwhile, there really is no justification for ER's costing all they do. Then too, there's no justification for for-profit healthcare. If anything on Earth fits the definition of "promoting the general welfare," a duty of our government, it is that.

#16 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-08-17 07:53 PM | Reply | Flag:

Awful. However, mandated R.R. care and admission if necessary (Federal law) leads to lots of service and supplies not paid for so outrageous changes are put in the make up for it. However, ordinary citizens are penalized for deeds that they have not committed. This kind of stuff really makes people angry. Whether that anger will vote people in who will do something about all this is another question.

#17 | Posted by Donald at 2014-08-17 09:06 PM | Reply | Flag:

Or we could just do what all the civilized countries do. We are the only industrialized country that prioritizes "free markets" and profit above human life.

#18 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2014-08-17 09:51 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

This is why you go to a med clinic, not an ER.

#3 | POSTED BY HELIUMRAT

Yep. This spring I cut my thumb pretty badly. I went to the med clinic and they patched it up for $50.

Amazing that the rest of the world doesn't have these problems.

#11 | POSTED BY WHODAMAN

Nope. They just have to wait over 2 months to receive treatment for urgent health problems. Government price controls leads to a shortage of care, the end result is rationing and long waiting time for care. Sure sounds like Utopia to me.

#19 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-17 09:58 PM | Reply | Flag:

Nope. They just have to wait over 2 months to receive treatment for urgent health problems.

Link?

#20 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2014-08-17 10:13 PM | Reply | Flag:

#20

Google wait times for Britain's healthcare system.

I'd link it for you but I have to run - I have to work tonight and I have to leave the house right now.

#21 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-17 11:30 PM | Reply | Flag:

shame he wasn't on a medicare supplement.

#22 | Posted by Tor at 2014-08-17 11:35 PM | Reply | Flag:

Britain isn't the best comparison. They're in 18th place. 17 other countries are better. They went on a privatization kick, too. Remember Maggie Thacher?

universal healthcare doesnt mean waiting longer to see a doctor

enough with the wait times already

americas waiting times are the worst in the world

#23 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2014-08-18 12:50 AM | Reply | Flag:

This is what you get in a "free market" solution for medical care. It merely proves that the ACA can't stop all abuses in the system. Single payer would fix that.

#7 | POSTED BY WHODAMAN AT 2014-08-17 01:47 PM | FLAG:

Who lied to you and told you this was a free market? This is the most heavily regulated, obfuscated market in the country. What we have now is the long term results of coupling healthcare to employer benefits and decoupling the consumers from the pricing structure.

#24 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2014-08-18 07:46 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

"What we have now is the long term results of coupling healthcare to employer benefits and decoupling the consumers from the pricing structure."

No, what we have now is the result of privatizing hospitals which formerly were owned and operated by cities and counties. As with most forms of privatization consumers are the losers when profits can be sucked out of any necessary service provided by government.

#25 | Posted by danni at 2014-08-18 08:42 AM | Reply | Flag:

Well, these hospitals are getting screwed over their state not opting into Medicaid expansion......LOL

(this would be the meme if this actually happened in one of those states)

#26 | Posted by eberly at 2014-08-18 08:54 AM | Reply | Flag:

#24 | Posted by sitzkrieg

Perhaps a more appropriate wording would be "for profit". I don't want to get into a p------ match over the definition of "free market".

#27 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2014-08-18 09:24 AM | Reply | Flag:

In most industrialized countries, for-profit insurance for basic medical care is illegal. However they allow for-profit insurance for "gold-plated" medical care for the more affluent if they want to pay for it. It covers things like private rooms, special meals, etc.

#28 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2014-08-18 09:28 AM | Reply | Flag:

No, what we have now is the result of privatizing hospitals which formerly were owned and operated by cities and counties. As with most forms of privatization consumers are the losers when profits can be sucked out of any necessary service provided by government.

#25 | POSTED BY DANNI AT 2014-08-18 08:42 AM | FLAG:

Do you know the difference between gross & net profit? Health insurance company net profit margins do not match your hyperbole. Big % net profits come from medical bio-tech companies.

Hospitals are privatized because otherwise they would shut down, which is the least desirable solution economically and politically. US, Germany, UK, all the same reason. The NIH studied it here.

#29 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2014-08-18 09:59 AM | Reply | Flag:

Sounds about right for an ER visit. There is parking security and or valet that have to be paid. Housekeeping to keep the common areas and bathrooms clean. Housekeepers to keep hospital rooms, ER, operating rooms cleaned. A whole city in it's self to keep the food & beverage operation running smoothly for the patients and the guests to will eat at the restaurant. Then there is the receptionist who will register you. The billing person that takes all your information. The LPN to triage the situation. Then the person to treat you, high salaries there. Don't forget another city within the hospital, central supply that stocks and maintains needs treatment items. Or the pharmacy that keeps most known medicine's know to man ready 24/7. And then you have administrative costs. Accounting. Human Resources. Director's of Nursing, all needed to run a hospital.

So the bill is not unreasonable at all. An emergency room is for emergencies. Heart attacks, limb loss, etc. Not a tetanus shot and band aid.

So if you don't like the price tag go to a walk in clinic. With my insurance the co-pay is $25.00. Without insurance the listed cash price $75.00.

#30 | Posted by gracieamazed at 2014-08-18 12:18 PM | Reply | Flag:

OK, so we'll just call it ObamaDon'tCare

#31 | Posted by DeadSpin at 2014-08-18 01:59 PM | Reply | Flag:

"No, what we have now is the result of privatizing hospitals which formerly were owned and operated by cities and counties. As with most forms of privatization consumers are the losers when profits can be sucked out of any necessary service provided by government."

I can partially agree with your asessment. However, the real culprit is that hospitals are no longer required to have a certificate of need. That opened the door for the boutique hospitals to pick and choose the profitable patients without having the non-profitable service lines. LIKE EDs, ICUs, PICUs, general medical, etc.

And for the record. States and municipalities have become some of the biggest abusers. Basically, the State's are slowly working thier way out of the healthcare business. Thus dumping those patients on the facilities that are left. The CHA hospitals are getting hammered right now having to absorb patients from the State Hospitals. All while the little 10 bed surgical hospitals are making money hand over fist serving only those that can afford the service.

#32 | Posted by bogey1355 at 2014-08-18 02:09 PM | Reply | Flag:

As with most forms of privatization consumers are the losers when profits can be sucked out of any necessary service provided by government.

#25 | Posted by danni at 2014-08-18 08:42 AM | Reply | Flag:

The American healthcare industry isn't private. IF you like communism go to Cuba

#33 | Posted by danv at 2014-08-18 03:04 PM | Reply | Flag:

Romneyobamacare working exactly as the fascisti that owns both parties intends.

You stupid sheeple didn't think that it was real national health care like the rest of the industrialized world has? Did you?

There is no difference between the parties. Just another political football that they use to keep the masses in their cages.

#34 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-08-18 09:18 PM | Reply | Flag:

Shawn,

You're kind of repetitive with your comments.

It would be kind of interesting to hear your opinions on something non-political. Perhaps that thread where the police officer who saved an infant's life in '93 attended her wedding, or something like that.

Just sayin'

#35 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-18 09:45 PM | Reply | Flag:

Don't waste our time, Jeff.
101 and Shawn

#36 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2014-08-18 09:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

#36

You club Canada Geese with a cane, so your opinion is hardly relevant.

#37 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-18 09:58 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Do you know the difference between gross & net profit? Health insurance company net profit margins do not match your hyperbole. Big % net profits come from medical bio-tech companies."

Fool thinks "profits" is where the big winners extract their winnings. Hilarious.

#38 | Posted by danni at 2014-08-18 10:06 PM | Reply | Flag:

Its not just Obamacare. This problem pre-dates Obamacare. But Obamacare sure as hell made it worse.

The problem is (mostly) this:
Hospitals are required to provide care, even when not paid. Furthermore, cost to the hospital is never covered by grants (perhaps a fraction is covered, but only a fraction). They have to make up the difference from those who can pay. So they send out the bills and try and collect what they can, where they can.

My START of a solution:
When sending out such bills, list the ACTUAL cost of such services, and then list the mark-up SEPERATELY.

KEY POINT:
Given that the hospitals have no choice on the minimal services they have to provide, I don't actually object to the mark-up. But I object like hell to the mark-up not being crystal clear for what it is.

#39 | Posted by USAF242 at 2014-08-19 07:23 AM | Reply | Flag:

Fool thinks "profits" is where the big winners extract their winnings. Hilarious.

#38 | POSTED BY DANNI AT 2014-08-18 10:06 PM | FLAG:

You've have not ever received a dividend in your entire life, have you? Had an ownership stake in any business?

I've seen your posts on business and investment, "open factories!". You come off as the least qualified person to comment on business out of every poster on here, including babbles.

#40 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2014-08-19 08:01 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Had an ownership stake in any business?"

Actually, I owned and operated a business for about ten years. I have also made a living in sales for the best part of my life. I avoid insulting folks like you and would appreciate the same courtesy.

#41 | Posted by danni at 2014-08-19 08:11 AM | Reply | Flag:

"But I object like hell to the mark-up not being crystal clear for what it is."

How do you feel about subsidizing the care for the poor not paid for by Medicaid because politicians' object to the Medicaid expansion though taxpayers from your own state get to pay for it anyway?

#42 | Posted by danni at 2014-08-19 08:13 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Do you know the difference between gross & net profit?"

I just read this little insulting bit of crap you post, you really are quite sad.

#43 | Posted by danni at 2014-08-19 08:14 AM | Reply | Flag:

How do you feel about subsidizing the care for the poor not paid for by Medicaid because politicians' object to the Medicaid expansion though taxpayers from your own state get to pay for it anyway?

#42 | POSTED BY DANNI

As a taxpayer, any state that expanded Medicare means I am subsidizing healthcare in that state.

#44 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-19 08:19 AM | Reply | Flag:

"As a taxpayer, any state that expanded Medicare means I am subsidizing healthcare in that state."

Exactly, so if your state doesn't accept the Medicaid expansion you are subsidizing other states but not your own. Brilliant plan.

#45 | Posted by danni at 2014-08-19 08:25 AM | Reply | Flag:

And it is Medicaid not Medicare that was expanded.

#46 | Posted by danni at 2014-08-19 08:26 AM | Reply | Flag:

As a taxpayer, any state that expanded Medicare means I am subsidizing healthcare in that state.

#44 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-19 08:19 AM | Reply | Flag:

You already do for everyone that uses the ER and can not pay.

#47 | Posted by LarryMohr at 2014-08-19 08:27 AM | Reply | Flag:

#46

I know.

It was a typo on my part.

Medicare was actually cut. Of course, the savings didn't go toward extending its solvency. The savings went to help fund a brand new entitlement.

#48 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-19 08:38 AM | Reply | Flag:

The first 2 words of this posting say " Last August"
Being that Obamacare didn't start until January, only a retard would connect the two.

#49 | Posted by 503jc69 at 2014-08-19 10:01 AM | Reply | Flag:

The majority of US hospitals were non-profit until the 1960's. There were no CEO's making 100's of $millions. Most of the largest ones were operated by municipalities and counties or states. The privatization of hospitals happened during and after the Nixon administration.

#50 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2014-08-19 11:22 AM | Reply | Flag:

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