Thursday, March 13, 2008

This is appalling

I’m amazed.

Remember about a month ago when I came down with a bad case of the flu?


Okay, about a month ago, I came down with a bad case of the flu.

It was about 7 pm on a Saturday night when my temperature suddenly went up to 103.2.

Actually, my temperature was 39.5 C because the only thermometer I could find was one I had from when I lived in Toronto. I knew that 40 C was about as high as one’s temperature should go, so I headed to the emergency room.

Also, I had really bad pains in my lower back which the emergency room staff seemed concerned about.

I just got the bill from my six-hour visit to the emergency room. Guess how much it is.

Nope. You’re not even close.

It was (are you ready for this?)
Five thousand, six hundred eighty-eight dollars!!!

That’s how much my insurance company paid. My co-pay was 75 bucks.

Yes, they ran all sorts of tests. The most expensive was a cat scan because they thought something might be wrong with the abdominal organs or something.
Of course, nothing was wrong.

Apparently, they also ran six lab tests.
I remember they took blood.
I peed in a jug.
A nurse shoved a big Q-tip up my nose.

There was a charge of $750.00 for “emergency room drugs.” The only one I can think of was the I.V. they gave me.

$750.00 for an I.V??? I could have just drunk a gallon of Gatorade.

They gave me a prescription for Tamilflu which I had to have filled at Walgreens and the co-pay for that was thirty bucks.

It’s no wonder the medical establishment is so messed up in this country. Yes, I felt really horrible that night and, yes, I felt better when I left the emergency room after six hours. (Most of the six hours was waiting for the lab results of those six tests they ran).

If I had been back in Toronto, here’s how it would have gone down.

My temperature goes up to 39.5 C, I know it’s the flu, so I take the streetcar to one of the many 24-hour clinics in the city. The doctor sees me within ten minutes of my arrival. (That’s their policy and they actually stick to it).

Dr: “Hi there. What’s the problem, eh?”

Me: “My temperature was 39.5 and I’m pretty sure I have the flu. I had chills and diarrhea most of the day.

Dr: “That sounds like the flu alright. Here’s a prescription for Tamilflu. Please, when you get home, drink four litres of Gatorade and come back if you’re not better in 24 hours.”

Me: “Okay. Thank you very much.”

Dr: “Oh, you’re so very welcome.”

Me: “Thanks, again. Bye”

Dr: “Kindly have a pleasant evening, eh”

(Canadians are extremely polite)

I’m still appalled at this medical bill. . . .

Seven hundred fifty bucks for an I.V.

At that price, they should have pumped me with something a LOT more entertaining than saline.


At 2:40 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

Holy mother of God. I first read the IV tab as $75 and THAT was outrageous.


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