Watch: ER Charged $1,012 for Almost No Care


“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.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.


This story can be republished for free (details).

You Might Also Like