Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Hospital Charged $1,877 to Pierce 5-Year-Old's Ears

Two years ago, Margaret O'Neill brought her 5-year-old daughter to Children's Hospital Colorado because the band of tissue that connected her tongue to the floor of her mouth was too tight. ... During a pre-operative visit, the surgeon offered to throw in a surprising perk. Should we pierce her ears while she's under? ... Only months later did O'Neill discover her cost for this extracurricular work: $1,877.86 for "operating room services" related to the ear piercing -- a fee her insurer was unwilling to pay. At first, O'Neill assumed the bill was a mistake. Her daughter hadn't needed her ears pierced, and O'Neill would never have agreed to it if she'd known the cost. She complained in phone calls and in writing. The hospital wouldn't budge.

More

Wasteful use of medical care has "become so normalized that I don't think people in the system see it," said Dr. Vikas Saini, president of The Lown Institute, a Boston think tank focused on making health care more effective, affordable and just. "We need more serious studies of what these practices are."

Experts estimate the U.S. health care system wastes $765 billion annually -- about a quarter of all the money that's spent. Of that, an estimated $210 billion goes to unnecessary or needlessly expensive care, according to a 2012 report by the National Academy of Medicine.

Comments

Capitalism + healthcare = overcharging for unnecessary procedures.

#1 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-11-29 05:31 PM

When your daughter turns 18 she can decide if she wants decorative holes poked in her. Why not give her a tattoo.

#2 | Posted by bruceaz at 2017-11-29 05:44 PM

-- Her daughter hadn't needed her ears pierced, and O'Neill would never have agreed to it if she'd known the cost.

Why would she agree to it even if it was free? I feel sorry for the girl, having such an irresponsible mother.

#3 | Posted by nullifidian at 2017-11-29 05:51 PM

Correction: They charged $3 for the piercing and $1,874 for services provided to the uninsured and underinsured

#4 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2017-11-29 05:57 PM

Why would she agree to it even if it was free? I feel sorry for the girl, having such an irresponsible mother.

#3 | POSTED BY NULLIFIDIAN

Yes, Nulli. That's the issue...

#5 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-11-29 06:01 PM

Is this Bogey1335's hospital perchance?

#6 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-11-29 06:02 PM

I'd love to know which CPT code this was billed to. Honestly this sounds like fraud.

#7 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-11-29 06:04 PM

Please, remind me again how American health care is the best in the world, and that the GOP returning us to the pre-ACA system is so great.

#8 | Posted by e1g1 at 2017-11-29 08:06 PM

That is called up-selling.
Hospitals should not be allowed to bill for elective procedures if they don't provide a max-price quote before starting. Silly regulations.

#9 | Posted by bored at 2017-11-29 08:07 PM

"Silly regulations."

Your post actually makes a case for "lack of silly regulations."

If this were a bill I received I'd tell them to take me to court, I would never pay it. Neither the hospital nor the doctor would even try to contest this.

Quite honestly, I have been billed for things during my life that I didn't feel I owed, I actually did find that just telling them to go f**k themselves worked more times than not.

#10 | Posted by danni at 2017-11-29 08:57 PM

I guess I should add an /s.

#11 | Posted by bored at 2017-11-29 09:06 PM

I wonder if the surgeon got a cut (forgive the term) of the action?

#12 | Posted by SomebodyElse at 2017-11-29 09:10 PM

Shameless greed at work in these places.

#13 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-11-30 06:41 AM

Please, remind me again how American health care is the best in the world, and that the GOP returning us to the pre-ACA system is so great. - #8 | Posted by e1g1 at 2017-11-29 08:06 PM

Please remind me how something that happened while the ACA system is in effect, something that you seem to have a serious problem with, has any bearing on the pre-ACA system?

#14 | Posted by Avigdore at 2017-11-30 08:26 AM

I wonder if the surgeon got a cut (forgive the term) of the action?

#12 | POSTED BY SOMEBODYELSE AT 2017-11-29 09:10 PM | FLAG:

Yeah, their billable hours are rolled into it.

You're paying for an actual doctor to perform a body modification. If you want it cheap, go to a tattoo shop.

#15 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-11-30 09:33 AM

"Please remind me how something that happened while the ACA system is in effect, something that you seem to have a serious problem with, has any bearing on the pre-ACA system?"

Please tell us how this has anything to do with ACA Stupid.

#16 | Posted by danni at 2017-11-30 09:36 AM

The excuse that they don't even realize they are overcharging defies common sense at this point.

I would not have blamed the mother for claiming she never authorized this in the first place. The doctor and the hospital are not playing straight so why should she?

#17 | Posted by Sully at 2017-11-30 09:49 AM


Please tell us how this has anything to do with ACA Stupid.

#16 | Posted by Danni at 2017-11-30 09:36 AM

I assume you are aware that the ACA is in effect currently.
I assume you are aware that the ACA was in effect when this piercing took place.
I assume you made up something in your head where I claimed that this had anything to do with the ACA.
I assume you read the post that you quoted where I quoted e1g1's statement that this somehow reflected on the pre-ACA system.
I assume you would also question how this has anything to do with pre-ACA, as I did.
Stupid.

#18 | Posted by Avigdore at 2017-11-30 10:03 AM

#18 - Avigdare

"I assume".... and there in lies the issue. :) It's Danni for Pete's sake. You should know better by now. Her 'passion' gets the best of her at times.

#19 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-11-30 10:25 AM

The link to this article has changed. Try this one. Be sure to read it to the end!

www.propublica.org

#20 | Posted by SomebodyElse at 2017-11-30 10:30 AM

Another for profit health care success story. Why pay $20 at the mall when you can have the hospital bill you for $1900.

#winning.

#21 | Posted by 726 at 2017-11-30 01:26 PM

FFS, don't go to the mall. Go to a sanitary, reputable tattoo parlor for your bod mods, not a mall kiosk.

#22 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-12-01 07:53 AM

Is this Bogey1335's hospital perchance?

#6 | Posted by snoofy

Nope. We seldom do cosmetic procedures. But I have seen some similar things happen. Basically, the person dealing with the patient(Dr., Nurse, etc.) has no idea what is covered under the DRG used for admission when they are discussing it. Hell, nobody really does because 1. there are too many DRG's for any one person to know the details of, 2. the DRG's are always changing, 3. DRG's can and are modified according to pt. need all the time.

#23 | Posted by bogey1355 at 2017-12-01 04:47 PM

#23 all true, buy the hospital should still eat this bill.

#24 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-12-01 04:55 PM

Well not quite all true. Theres only a few dozen DRGs I used to have most of them memorized.

I'm not sure what "diagnosis" covers un-pierced ears, clearly that's unrelated to the actual medical condition which warranted the hospital trip, which is why I'm loosely calling this fraud. At the very best it's deceptive trade practice.

#25 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-12-01 05:02 PM

Avigdore: speaking of stupid, none of your snark had anything to do with either my comment nor Danni's. But please, embarrass yourself further.
The American healthcare system is in a mess. Massive overcharging has existed for years. The ACA didn't fix it. Repealing the ACA won't fix it.

#26 | Posted by e1g1 at 2017-12-01 05:26 PM

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