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Emergency Room Cost Overcharges

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If you were an uninsured patient billed an excessive amount for emergency room treatment at a major hospital, you may be the victim of emergency room overcharges. An emergency room bill for uninsured patients is often much greater than the emergency room cost or ER bill that is submitted to an insurance company for the same ER treatment. If you have an emergency room medical bill dispute—regardless of whether you paid all, a portion, or none of the bill—attorneys who are currently investigating excessive emergency room fees and ER overcharges would like to speak with you.

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Uninsured Emergency Room Cost

scparamedicovertime Most everyone knows that receiving emergency room treatment may be expensive, but sometimes it is unavoidable. People end up in a hospital ER for a number of reasons: they don’t have a regular doctor; their heart is pounding; they have suffered an injury; a dog bite or a severe allergic reaction requires immediate attention.

Whatever the situation, patients who are uninsured and don’t qualify for Medicare, Medical or other state-provided coverage can see emergency costs anywhere from 2-4 times the rate of insured patients for the same exact ER treatment, which can translate to thousands of dollars. This practice is not only grossly unfair, but it often impacts those least able to pay such excessive ER charges. As a result of over-billing, uninsured patients end up leaving the emergency room with bills that are completely out of proportion to those people with medical insurance for the same ER treatment rendered.

More than 46 million Americans do not have health insurance. When these people are unable to pay outrageous emergency room overcharges, they can become harassed by collection agencies, have their credit ruined, or even wind up in bankruptcy court.

ER Charges for Uninsured Patients vs. Insured Patients


Hospitals nationwide charge their so-called grossly inflated “retail prices” to their uninsured patients, whereas insured patients typically are charged rates 50-75 percent less. This means that uninsured patients end up being billed for emergency room care at double or triple the rates charged to the insurer of the patients sitting right next to them in the ER, for the exact same treatment.

For instance, an uninsured patient may be billed $15,000 for a single overnight stay, which includes diagnostics—scans, x-rays, etc.—any treatments, and drugs. But an insurance carrier will typically be charged $3,000-$5,000 for the exact same stay and treatment. The same is true with minor injuries, such as a dog bite. In such a case, an uninsured patient might be charged $800 for a few shots and stitches, whereas the insured patient's carrier is charged $250.

While attorneys advise ER patients to check their hospital admission agreement and inquire as to potential charges before signing on the dotted line, unfortunately, in a true emergency, careful review of the emergency room admission agreement may not be feasible. As such, an uninsured emergency room patient may simply wind up at the mercy of high emergency room costs and only realize his excessive emergency room bill later on when it's too late.

Hospital ER Overcharges Lawsuit

Attorneys have filed successful lawsuits against hospitals, including a major hospital chain in Washington, alleging plaintiffs have been overcharged for ER treatment, especially when compared with insured patients, or patients with Medicare and Medicaid.

Some pending lawsuits are awaiting class certification. Patients who were uninsured and received treatment at a hospital ER and did not receive a special discount on their billing, may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the hospital, regardless of whether they paid all, part or none of their hospital bill.

Emergency Room Overcharging Legal Help

If you or a loved one has suffered similar losses, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a Consumer Fraud lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.

Last updated on May-8-15

EMERGENCY ROOM CHARGES LEGAL ARTICLES AND INTERVIEWS

ER Overcharges Case? Attorney Weighs In
ER Overcharges Case? Attorney Weighs In Charlotte, NC: Harjeet filed an emergency room overcharges complaint after he received the hospital invoice for services that he didn’t understand. “I couldn’t get anywhere with hospital administration - it was very frustrating,” says Harjeet. “But the LawyersandSettlements attorney reviewed my documents I e-mailed him and now it is perfectly clear. [READ MORE]

Hospitals Raise ER Overcharges
Hospitals Raise ER Overcharges Jacksonville, FL: The CEO of a Florida hospital recently admitted that the main source of funding for hospitals, without taxes, comes from overcharging commercially insured patients. And two months ago another hospital’s CEO announced an eight percent increase in emergency room overcharges, which will “largely impact patients with private health insurance, not Medi-Cal or Medicare beneficiaries. [READ MORE]

Emergency Room Overcharges Start with Getting There
Emergency Room Overcharges Start with Getting There Los Angeles, CA: A California federal judge last month heard how former top-level hospital administrators were fired for refusing a kickback scheme that involved ambulance services connected to emergency room overcharges billed to Medicare, Medi-Cal and other government agencies. The original lawsuit claims the executives at Palo Verde Health Care District were retaliated against for reporting hospital overbilling to federal and state authorities [READ MORE]



READER COMMENTS

Posted by
Gus
on
Hospitals charge extreme amount of money and health insurance company avoid paying everything. So medical in USA is deteriorating so fast. If something happen to me and the ambulance takes to ER I will not sign anything and I will not want them to treat me. This is absurd.

Posted by
Washington
on
I struggled really bad for a while because I had to pay so much to Swedish for emergency room charges. Over $10,000 worth. I had no job at the time and they threatened collections if I didn't pay. Not once did they offer a charity program. I was looking through Swedish policy and came across a class action lawsuit on Swedish in 2013. I never received any info on this lawsuit and I am now wondering if I can sue/retrieve the thousands paid out to them at the time. Any information regarding this would be appreciated. Thank you.

Posted by
Florida
on
Tripped and fell in my driveway and broke left cheekbone and other bones on left side. Driven by my sister to emergency room. We were told they don't treat trauma cases and I was sent to another hospital 50 miles away by ambulance, but not before they sent me to to radiology for x-ray and CT scans. I was there about two hours. My bill for being uninsured was over 15K. Almost 10K of which was radiology. I have another approximately 4K in separate charges for ER doctor; $1,500, $880 to read x-rays, $740 for two-hour ambulance ride. There are a couple others amounting to about another $1,000. I was in shock but told them I was uninsured and do not remember signing any papers in the condition I was in.

Posted by
Florida
on
ER room visit for stomach pains resulted in $12,000 in bills. Insurance denied the claim.

Posted by
Colorado
on
I went to the hospital with stomach pains. They gave me an IV of fluids, which I didn't need. They did blood and urine tests and sent me home. The bill is over $4,000, which is ridiculous. The young doctor who said she knew nothing about what might be happening said it wasn't urgent and I should go see my primary care doctor on Monday. They did absolutely nothing to help me yet charged me outrageous fees.

Posted by
Nevada
on
I was only there from 2 p.m. till around 6 p.m. I passed out and fell in the casino and they called the ambulance. My bill is $13,547 and they only did a head scan, a knee scan, checked my heart, and that's it. No medicine or nothing. I did not stay overnight. I had no medical insurance. Please help. Thank you.

Posted by
California
on
This hospital did excessive testing when all I needed was six stitches. I repeatedly told her that I just needed my lip sewn up. The result was a $40,000 bill I can't pay. That seems quite a lot for six stitches. As a result I could not refinance my home so that I might lower the payment. My family and I are struggling money-wise like everyone else.

Posted by
Texas
on
I came in with blisters on my hand, mouth and feet. All they did was a swab of my mouth and blood work. I was not given any medicine (just a prescription for mouthwash) and told I had hand-foot-and-mouth disease. I am very out done at the charges. I was charged for 2-3 hours. And on my bill they never described what I was charged $15,020.00 for. Nothing stating they charged me $3,000 for blood work just a flat bill balance owing $15,020.00. That's a very ridiculous price for what I was seen for.

Posted by
California
on
I was charged all together $1,500.00 for an ER visit when I had Kaiser insurance and had been real close to my deductible. They kept asking me if I was working and if I had insurance. I said yes 10 times. I have worked at Apria Healthcare for 16 years. Now I have a bad mark on my credit and now harassing calls on my cell phone.

Posted by
Oklahoma
on
I went to the hospital for a lower back strain and all they did was touch my feet and back. There was no machine to scan anything and then I got a prescription. Now I’m getting mail from the doctor for around $300 and another one from the hospital for $900; almost $1,000 for 10 minutes and maybe not even that.

Posted by
Anonymous
on
Years ago I was overcharged in a Er bill for the amount of $17,000 for 5 stitches.This is going on all over the medical field.It is taking a toll on peoples credit reports, lives and so much more.Numerous people are being sued for these outrageous bills by a 5 to 8 times overpriced charge master rate.Please examine your bills for these overcharges, especially if you all not insured or underinsured.Don't let these hospitals get away with it.They offer very low reduced to the insured while they overcharge some to make up the differences for their losses with not insured.This is done hoping that either the person pays the bill, files bankruptcy, gives up property etc and they hope they do not get caught and it slides by.For instance if your not insured and you bill is say $1,000 for er bill and you pay out of pocket, but the insured persons bill is a $150.00 etc.Do fall victim to this.It is what I call a scam that is trying to be made legal.Please pass it on to a professional attorney if you think you have been a victim of this recently or in the pass.Remember each state has a stature of limitation to how long you have to file a cross suit against the violating party.Stand for your rights as a human being.Also this not only happens here but in many other situations as cable, phone etc.Supreme court has allowed a lot of these companies to legally do this.Read your contracts carefully before signing, you are giving up class action rights and other rights when signing all kinds of agreements.

Posted by
Texas
on
My husband had a sore on his arm. It was the weekend so he chose the emergency room. They did no blood test. Just examined the sore then prescribed oral anitbiotics and topical cream. They charged our insurance $1,599.53!! We now have a bill that we are responsible for - $749.00.

Posted by
Arizona
on
The hospital billed me for $12,745.44. I owe $9,559.08 for a kidney stone. I think that is a bit much.

Posted by
Colorado
on
I was in an accident in which I cut the back of my head, and went to the er for stitches. Because of the speed involved, they claimed I could have head trauma. I repeatedly stated I had not hit my head, had not lost consciousness and had no concussion after a half hour. I received seven staples and was released. There was no care whatsoever for head trauma beyond staples. Now they are billing me $7,000 for head trauma.

Posted by
Colorado
on
One Emergency room visit with an MRI ordered by my primary care physician cost $24,485.00. My insurance paid 80% and they want to collect over 3,600 for a co-pay. I am trying to research this ridiculous fee and I asked for itemized. I need help with this bill and how to fight this. Can a hospital charge whatever they want? Is there not average rates of these fees? I have never seen anything like this in my life. What are my rights as a patient?

Posted by
Oregon
on
Grossly overcharged on ER medical bills. One of our three bills was around $1200, all that was done was a blood and urine test. The staff was unfriendly, rude, unprofessional, and did not respect my wife's boundaries regarding past traumatic issues. We got a cat scan on the third visit, was told that the cost would be $700 but our bill states over $2000. I know that they overcharge, and I don't find it fair. Not only are they overcharging, but they are providing inadequate service. We've been there a total of 3 times and they haven't done anything to diagnose or improve my wife's condition.

Posted by
Oregon
on
A three hour emergency room visit that resulted in approx. $10,000 in bills. Asked for an itemized deduction, showed CT scan for $5800 was the biggest piece, single dose medicine for $560, $250, and $142, $112, and $28, along with the $1500 emergency room fee. Not sure what the going rates are for CT scans, but the pharmacy charges are outrageous. I get the same pills by prescription for $5. These were all facility charges, the doctor's bill was separate, $850, and labs, $170.

Posted by
California
on
I was charged nearly $10,000 by the hospital for a 4 hour trip to the ER during which I received only a brief exam and was given a CT Scan which confirmed I had a fractured orbital floor. After the "in-network" discount and Blue Shield's portion of the payment, I was left with a $4500 bill. The hospital conducted an "internal audit" of my bill after a lot of complaining. The "audit" resulted in a one paragraph response letter 8 months later stating simply that the charges are valid and there is nothing they can do. I have looked at medical blue book estimates for the services I received which appear to typically only cost a few hundred dollars.

Posted by
Washington
on
My insurance provider covered 90% of the surgeon's charge of $850, but can only cover 50% of the hospital Auburn Regional Medical Center WA charge of $1675 for Emergency room usage. I have to pay out of pocket $800 to remove a wasp sting!

Posted by
Pennsylvania
on
My insurance covered some of it but the hospital is harrassing me for the balance. I've asked for a detailed break down of the charges but have yet to receive it.

Posted by
Oregon
on
I went to the emergency room after I passed out and urinated while passed out. I threw up on the way there. I got great care, but it was a simple IV of saline solution. A week later got a bill for $1,141. I make 16,000 a year and cannot afford this.

Posted by
Idaho
on
I had to go to ER For an abcessed tooth. I was prescribed an anti biotic and sent home. I was charged $1000.00 for this visit even though my insurance is $50.00 copay for ER visits. For six ER visits in the last year we were charged over $1000.00 for each even though insurance is $50.00 copay for ER visits.

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