Vicious Kitty Cat Attack Costs $17,370

By Bill Hennessey, M.D. on Linkedin

I Tot I Taw a Kitty Cat – I did – I did!! And the Methodist Hospital TX ER bill was $17,370. Yes, for a cat bite.

Patient went home yet the ER bill said his life was threatened by charging the highest level ER visit possible. Yes, it’s fraud. $690 charged per metabolic panel. BUCA pays about $80 to hospitals. This time, over $200. United here stands for united with the hospital. Carriers should leverage membership for lower pricing and be on member side – not hospital side. Medicare pays $12. Methodist ordered two metabolic panels. No medical need to do so. How do I know? Because I am a doctor with common sense. Billing equaled $1,380 reasons to do so. And did anyone who is or is not a doctor really think that a CT scan of the upper limb was needed? Could a cat really bit and break a human bone? This was a kitty cat – not a mountain lion. Billing equaled $3,025 reasons to do so.

So who is on your side to fight predatory ER billing? Answer: CareGuide Advocates. We are kicking hospital asses on ER bills every day, and we do so much more. Solutions for affordable care, before and after the care


We don’t have any clinical history here.  Cat bites are notorious for getting infected.  If it were to occur over an extensor tendon as the hand/fingers were flexed, it’s possible the bacteria can go back into the SQ tissue as the hand/fingers are extended.  It results in a bad cellulitis, and sometimes requires a surgical procedure to clean it all up.  That doesn’t seem to be the case here or they would have admitted this person, at least for IV antibiotics.

These charges are a shame.  They appear to be fraudulent in my mind, but I’d have to reserve final judgment until I reviewed the medical record (thanks, but I don’t want to do that).