Columbia, SC — Recently I nicked the back of my index and middle fingers on a large rotating model airplane propeller at a rural flying field. The index finger was nicked once, the middle finger four times. Because there was bleeding and I take blood-thinning medication and the emergency room was on the way home, I decided to stop by and make sure I had not cut a tendon. I was quickly processed and in the company of a doctor and two nurses for 15 minutes. I received a Band-Aid on the index finger and a finger bandage on the middle finger. The bill was $1,695, of which I paid $165. Medicare and my insurance paid the rest.
I also recently had knee surgery, which involved four doctor’s visits, X-rays, an MRI, crutches, a knee brace, two doctors performing the surgery for an hour, lab work, an anesthetist, as well as an operating room for a considerable time. The total bill was only about $1,300.
I understand people without insurance often seek emergency-room service for treatment of non-emergency care, and the hospital has to treat them. If they are billed the way I was, it would be interesting to publicize who pays for this service and how much it costs taxpayers or other paying patients and contrast that with the cost of so-called “Obamacare” for those patients.
Robert B. Lineberger