Fellow Health Care Disruptor Shares Personal Experience

A friend,  fellow health care disruptor and collaborator shared his personal experience navigating the American Health Care System in an email sent us this afternoon.

Below is his email verbatim:


I’ve attached  some hospital bills from a couple of years ago. My son was a passenger in a car accident so they took him to Medical City Alliance – stabilized him and said the scans showed nothing but that they needed to transfer him to Medical City Denton for further observation. When they got him there the ambulance took him to the emergency room and they watched him until he awakened from the sedative and then released him.  The first bill I received was from MC Alliance and it looks like the insurance company paid nearly $22k leaving me with $206.38.

Then I received the bill from MC Denton totaling $21,201.43 for which they said I owed $5,849.89. I asked for an itemized bill and received the attached bill. Notice some of the amounts listed on the bill alongside what I found them for on the Internet:

Diprivan – $35 for 200 ml; Charge from Medical City – $1067.98

Bactroban ointment – Tom Thumb – $8.71; Medical City charge – $626.80

Culture Sputum – National average cost – $57; Medical City charge – $862.00

The ambulance ride from MedStar for 28.3 miles was $2001.37 or $70.72 per mile for someone who was not in distress; City of Irving charges $15 per mile for the same type of ride or $424.50.

You may be able to find other examples in the itemized bill of overcharging.

I negotiated the ambulance ride and paid $428.00. I paid the first bill of $206.38 in full. I told the people at Medical City Denton to take a hike and didn’t pay any of it because it was an unnecessary trip. Two years later and I haven’t heard from them since although I might someday.

I paid $634.38 for the entire episode. The insurance company paid $21,875.70 on the MC Alliance bill and $15,351.54 on the second bill (after discounts!) for a total of $37,227.24 for one person with no injuries who was released on the same day. This is why insurance costs are so high!

Feel free to use this as an example of hospital provider overcharging and of providing unnecessary services for the sake of charging. Please don’t identify the patient or me.

These people are why we are in business…