A Useful Article from the New York Times on Reducing ER Bills

Demystifying, and Maybe Decreasing, the Emergency Room Bill

DURING a snowstorm last winter, my 6-year-old son fell and cut his chin — not outside on the ice, but inside on the tile bathroom floor. My husband walked our son, Charlie, through the knee-high snow to the local emergency room.

Charlie’s gash was small, less than half an inch long, but deep. The hospital called in a plastic surgeon, who put 14 tiny stitches into his chin.

Charlie called the incident “the worst day of my life” — mostly because he had to spend hours in a hospital instead of throwing snowballs. Weeks later, when the bills arrived, we had our own bad day.

The total charges for his minor spill came to $5,398. The largest single charge was a shocking $4,950 from the plastic surgeon.

Emergency room bills are notoriously high and perplexing; patients often are left feeling like captives who have few alternatives.

[Click the link to read the rest of the story: Patient Money – Demystifying the Emergency Room Bill – NYTimes.com.]

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