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Cost of ER visit

May 6th, 2007 at 06:24 pm

Just got the bill from my ER visit. I was very curious how high it would be since I had both a cat scan and an ultrasound. Here's the breakdown:

CT scan: 4,199
urgent care: 780 (I'm guessing this is the ER doctor's fee)
imaging services: 1,302 (ultrasound)
laboratory: 580 (bloodwork)
pharmacy: 0.26
supplies/devices: 85
treatment/observation room: 60
Total: 6,934.26
Insurance payments: -3,368.89
Copay: $10
Patient responsiblity: $690.91

My health plan says I have to pay 10% of any emergency room visit or hospitalization -- very interesting to find out that this is 10% of the bill the hospital issues rather than 10% of the amount the insurance company has negotiated with the hospital. Looks like the insurance company has negotiated about a 50% discount.

Thank goodness I have insurance -- without it this would be a very major blow. Or what if I had a high-deductible plan with an HSA? This one visit could easily wipe out any savings I had built up. I'm trying to picture myself saying to the ER doctor, "A CT scan is really expensive, do we really have to check for appendicitis? Let's just do an ultrasound first to see if something else is causing the pain."

5 Responses to “Cost of ER visit”

  1. veronak Says:

    yes count your blessings in regards to the health insurance. But I am surprise the meds were only $.26 that seems to be extremly low. How are you feeling?

  2. Ima saver Says:

    I don't have health insurance, so I usually pay a lot less than if I had it.

  3. zetta Says:

    I'm feeling much better, thanks. It turned out to be an ovarian cyst that resolved itself without treatment. I can't figure out what the $0.26 pharmacy charge was, either. The only medication I received was some sort of contrast dye that was injected for the CT, but surely that would've cost much more than a quarter!

    Ima, I'm curious now -- would you have paid less for the same situation by refusing the tests, or would you have been able to negotiate a lower rate with the hospital?

  4. fairy74 Says:

    Be careful about assuming that the urgent care bill covers the doctor, you may well get a seperate bill from a physicians' billing service...hopefully not, but you might want to call the hospital and check it out...

  5. disneysteve Says:

    zetta - Hopefully you haven't paid the bill yet. Request an itemized bill and check it item by item to be sure it is correct. If there are any charges you don't understand, make them explain them to you.

    Then, ask them if they'll give you a discount for paying your portion in full.

    When my wife had surgery last year, our portion of the bill was over $4,000. I got the itemized bill and found an error of over $1,000. Then they agreed to give me a 35% discount for paying in full. So from over $4,000, my final payment was about $2,100.

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