Extra Fees and Hidden Costs Facility fees at a hospital emergency department (ED) can range from $533-$3,000 (VOX, Javier Zarraciona). Over the counter medication can cost $60-$238 in a hospital ED. This is the same ibuprofen or eye drops you can buy at the drug store or probably have in your medicine cabinet at home. One Seattle hospital charged $76 for bacitracin (just one of the ingredients in Neosporin) while a hospital in Tennessee charged a patient $1 for the same thing. Many times a hospital may be in network, but the doctor you see can be out of network and you get stuck with a higher than normal bill (FYI – this happened to me at Harborview). Hospital facility fees have grown 89% from 2009 to 2015. That’s twice the rate compared to overall healthcare expenses. Hospitals earn $1.8 million per year from each internal-medicine physician’s admissions and referrals for tests and other services in their own facility. This does not include money earned from referrals to specialists such as cardiologists or orthopedists (WSL, 12/27/2018). What Do We Need To Do? As consumers we need to take responsibility for our role in the rising cost of healthcare. Where and why we choose to seek treatment is important. Please don’t think that I’m encouraging you to stay home and not seek treatment. However, before taking a trip to the Emergency Department try calling the nurse hotline provided by your insurance company.
Call your Physical Therapist. As a former or current patient, you are our priority and we make every effort to see you immediately. We can begin to treat your pain and limitations in a safe and natural way to help you get back to normal without the need for medication or expensive tests or hospital visits. Ask questions and be proactive. YOU are in charge. Your doctor does not get to dictate where you seek treatment. In healthcare, YOU are the boss. YOU get to decide what type of treatment you want and where you want to get that treatment. Let me know what you think. I chose to write this summary based on feedback from several patients asking really good questions about what is going on in healthcare. Got an idea of another topic you want me to cover? Send an email or give me a call and let me know.
Mike lewis@WAPTrehab.com 425-820-2110
**Populationandhealthcarespendingdata isavailable through theUScensusbureau, theCenter forMedicareandMedicaidServices (CMS),and theNational InstituteofHealth.
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