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AN ASTONISHING medical bill arrived at a young family’s home after their daughter went to see a doctor for her cut pinky.
HORRIFIED parents were gobsmacked to be billed $629 for a Band-Aid after their daughter’s finger was accidentally cut.
Malcolm Bird took his one-year-old daughter Colette to see a doctor at the emergency department near their home in Connecticut in the US when his wife accidentally cut the youngster’s pinky while clipping her fingernails, Vox reports.
“She snipped too far on the pinky right at the end and cut the finger and there was an enormously large amount of blood,” Mr Bird told Vox.
“We were brand new parents, we were freaked out. This was the first time that anything bad had happened.”
The doctor explained that Colette was fine and the ends of our fingers were filled with capillaries — which caused us to bleed more than when we cut ourselves anywhere else.
Colette’s finger was placed under a running tap before the doctor stuck a Band-Aid on her pinky, and sent the family home.
However, one week later, a $629 hospital bill for the Band-Aid and its placement on the youngster’s finger landed in the family home.
“My first thought was, how could this possibly cost $629?” Bird told Vox at the time. “So I wrote the hospital a letter, expecting them to say: ‘Yeah, that’s a bit excessive,’ and lower the price.”
Mr Bird’s insurance brought the price of the visit down marginally to $440, but the young father was still unhappy at the cost.
John Murphy, the chief executive of the relevant health network at the time, said the Band-Aid didn’t cost $629; it was actually $7. The other $622 was the cost of seeing the doctor and using the emergency department itself.
“The remainder of the charge was associated with the use of the facility and staff,” he wrote. “We staff the emergency department 24-hours a day, every day of the year, and stand ready to treat whoever walks through our door, be it a gunshot victim or a patient with a stroke.”
The US reporter, Sarah Kliff, who covered the incident at the time said she has been “obsessed” with US hospitals’ ‘facility fees’ ever since — she even found a patient who was billed $25,000 for an MRI scan.
Other US citizens responded to the journalist’s story on Twitter with their own bill nightmares.
Some say they have billed tens of thousands of dollars for treatment. One man said he was charged more than $30,000 for a three-hour visit to hospital — which included three doses of morphine and a CAT scan.
Another American said he had been billed $1500 after sitting in a waiting room for six hours and claimed he was not even seen by a medic.