The ER, Or The Most Expensive Health Care On The Planet
“They bought it.”
– Ferris Bueller, 1986
In my last post I reviewed several reasons commonly used to explain the high costs of health care, and how they are all untrue.
As I’ve said before, it’s not about the costs; it’s about the charges. Or to be more specific, it’s about the markup, which is really what sends those charges into the ridiculosphere.
Take the case of a woman who went to a Dallas ER last January for bronchitis and was given a breathing treatment. She was treated for less than an hour and sent home, but her total bill had eleven different charges on it and totaled $2,455.20.
Now, my favorite charge on the above list isn’t the $1,055.15 facility fee, just for walking in the door.
Nor is it the $64.40 she was charged for a dose of asthma medicine that only costs 13 cents (you can get 25 of these on the $4 list at certain pharmacies).
No my favorite charge is the $580.00 price for the air that she breathed to be pumped through a nebulizer machine.
It’s not the COSTS of health care that are outrageous…it’s the CHARGES.