Many people in America are one illness away from financial ruin. It is obviously well known how expensive medical care is, but when you realize what many hospitals charge for the smallest items it is truly shocking.
One patient, Bob Weinkauf, from a Dallas suburb received a bill totaling $474,000 for treatment received while recovering from a horrific lung disease. On his bill, and on many others, were various charges of $200 for a warm blanket to $200 for a teddy bear used to help ease coughing after surgery and a $39 charge each time a nurse pricked his finger for blood work. There were even charges of $12 for those little paper cups nurses give you when they administer pills.
A company called Medical Billing Advocates, which is in the business of disputing outrageous hospital bills, has reportedly saved patients “millions of dollars” over the past 15 years.
One has to wonder why the government lets the insurance companies and the hospitals get away with this. Hospitals are a monopoly and people experiencing a health emergency don’t have much of a choice about turning to them. And for the average citizen to hire an advocate and/or a lawyer is often simply too expensive and too challenging, especially while in the midst of a medical crisis.