“CBS Mornings” host Tony Dokoupil interviewed KHN Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Rosenthal about January’s Bill of the Month installment, a collaboration with NPR. The Bhatt family of St. Peters, Missouri, was charged $1,012 for an emergency room visit for son Martand. The toddler had burned his hand on a stove days before, and, after it started blistering, his pediatrician recommended a trip to the emergency room at the nearest children’s hospital.
A nurse practitioner examined the child and recommended a surgeon also see the wound. But the surgeon didn’t show after more than an hour, and the family left without the dressing on the wound even being changed.
Why was the bill $1,012? Facility fees. These fees are “a construct of American medicine,” Rosenthal said, “basically a room usage fee.”
If you have a confusing or outrageous medical bill, write to Bill of the Month and tell us about it.
We encourage organizations to republish our content, free of charge. Here’s what we ask:
You must credit us as the original publisher, with a hyperlink to our khn.org site. If possible, please include the original author(s) and “Kaiser Health News” in the byline. Please preserve the hyperlinks in the story.
It’s important to note, not everything on khn.org is available for republishing. If a story is labeled “All Rights Reserved,” we cannot grant permission to republish that item.
Have questions? Let us know at KHNHelp@kff.org