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Hospital Bills Woman $83K To Treat Her Scorpion Sting!

Yeah, sure we’re a hospital… Yes, we can treat you… Okay, there’s your medicine… Now that comes to $83,406, will that be cash or charge?? Um, what?!? First of all, I can’t imagine being stung by something as vicious looking as a scorpion much less getting stung by something far less vicious like a hospital that is supposed to have my best interests at heart, you know doing things like saving my life! What’m are we supposed to be afraid of now, poisonous eight-legged creepy-crawlies or a hospital’s collections department? Next thing you know we’ll be yelling out ‘Medic!’ and they’ll come running over and thrust a credit card machine at us before administering treatment.

Rolando Gil/Cover/Getty Images

Of course we all expect that medical treatment is expensive and that’s why we have insurance so we can avoid extra hurt on top of our boo-boos, but my idea of expensive is $800 or even $8,000 before my ‘what in the world??’ bells start going off… If I ever heard an amount of $80,000 was what I owed post-treatment they’d have to resuscitate me and then probably charge me for that too!

So, basically what this amounts to is around $40k per dose of this special scorpion bite anti-venom of which she needed two doses hence the bill that’s twice most people’s yearly salary. Not sure what goes into manufacturing this serum but sounds like it takes a small army to procure it! But wait… you can get the same medicine in Mexico for just $100 a dose! Not only that but distributors are charging hospitals just under $4k for the drug, so why the $36k mark-up?

Carsten Koall/Getty Images

No matter whether you’re eyebrows are up or down over this (how bout both?) her insurance did cover most of the bill but left about $25k for her to fend for herself on. So, naturally she complained and the hospital is now being quoted as trying to get to the bottom of this apparent little surprise:

“Our patient financial-services team is working directly with Ms. Edmonds to adjust the high out-of-network cost of the Anascorp antivenom she received,” the hospital said in a statement Wednesday. “In addition, we are also currently reviewing our pricing of this expensive specialty medication.”

Dang right you’d better review that. Oh and by the way, she was only in the hospital for a grand total of 3 hours. I’ve been at urgent care for a nagging cough for much longer than that! My first thought after hearing about this is where that leaves us all if and when we get seriously injured. Do we want the thought entering our heads to actually contemplate not going to a hospital on account of being worried about being walloped by an astronomical medical bill afterwards? Not gonna lie, but that’s a very real fear and it’s going to force people to begin searching for other alternatives which will probably be less safe or clean. Gosh I hope not.

[USA Today]

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