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
FROM A PHYSICIAN:
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).