Chicago Tribune Commentary: A Hospital Bill To Make You Sick
John McCarren teaches and writes on urban affairs in the greater Chicago area. This week, McCarren took to his pending outrageous hospital bill to pen his latest commentary. Recently, he visited his local hospital to have a standard cataracts removal procedure done. When he received his bill for the 20 minute procedure, McCarren was beyond shocked.
That…procedure — removing the clouded-over lens from your eye and replacing it with a clear synthetic one — is one of the most common surgeries. It’s a walk-in, walk-out deal that takes an ophthalmic surgeon about 20 minutes.
So I blanched when I got a bill showing the hospital was charging $13,197.25 for hosting the procedure.
$13,197.25 for what most likely would have been an hour between prep and actual procedure, McCarren was charged at a rate of $219.95 a minute. McCarren goes on to paint a fairly familiar experience for more patients undergoing this procedure.
McCarren goes on to comment on a universal truth about uninsured patients: they are the most vulnerable in our hospital billing epidemic.
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