Venting about unfair ER physician charges...

  1. Last year my hubby developed this sudden awful pain in his testicles it was so painful that he could hardly walk anyway I took him to the nearest ER being sooo worried about it. I was scared he has to have surgery for torsion or hernia or something...thinking about worst case scenarios...he had no work at that time and I just started working in a hospital also I was new to this country so we had no insurance i have my own insurance but he wasn't covered under me yet as we could not afford to pay premium as a married a couple at that time this insurance I got from the nursing agency who was my employer anyway, we waited for about 3 hours in this metro hospital facility when the ER doc finally showed up he did a few poking and questions about it did not even ordered any lab tests. the diagnosis was orchiditis he just wrote something for the pain and some home remedies like warm and cold compress and wearing loose undies etc... I was so relieved it wasn't surgical or anything worst than what I thought it would what has annoyed me was the hospital sent us a bill worth $500... wow!:angryfire
    $275 physician's fee! is this normal? I am just fuming because i don't think it's right to charge that much when he did not really do anything physical assessment yes but nothing extensive just stood there asking questions and making us wait for ages... i mean man... come on ... and the facility is metro owned they are always on the news for having financial problems does this mean they take it out on their patients... poor people who couldn't even afford to have health insurance... of course we will pay them but i am just mad because i think the cost with the service we recieved is not justified by the amount that they have charged us...well, i am just glad to get away from that place now i am working and my husband too in another city,state but what an welcome to america....
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    About bearsnurse

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 22
    OR-RN; from US
    Specialty: OR/Surgery


  3. by   Dixielee
    I know it seems like a large amount of money, but you are paying for the doctors education and expertise. You went to a doctor because they specialize in health care and diagnosis. You go to a mechanic when your car makes funny noises and pay hundreds of dollars in labor for a $20 part. But your car runs again and you are happy.

    Part of the $500 goes to have the triage nurse available to evaluate your acquity quickly and having the resourses available if you have a critical problem, there is much more to the bill than acual things done and time spent.

    Now that you know your husband does not have any critical illness, try to be happy about that. Consider the price of piece of mind. Would you have been happier if he had ordered an ultrasound, several lab tests, and IV with some fluids? I think a lot of places would have done just that. Then you have had a $5000 bill and gotten the same diagnosis.

    Be happy your husband is OK, and try to work out payments with the hospital.
  4. by   katienj
    I know they did not do much for your husband, but I think that $500 is really cheap! Most hospital emergency room visits are 10 times that amount. He is very fortunate that the cause of his pain was something that did not require surgery, and that the MD did not order a lot of tests. I also think the $275 charge for physician services is reasonable.
  5. by   Altra
    Seems like a reasonable, minimal charge for an ER visit to me. This was not an office visit - you were paying to have the entire resources of the ER, both personnel & technology, available to you if it was medically necessary.

    Glad your hubby is well.
  6. by   bill4745
    You are also paying for all the other people who don't pay, the doctor's benefits, malpractice insurance, etc.
  7. by   bearsnurse
    thank you for the responses you have enlightened me maybe because i was so used to the system in england that we don't pay for anything (well we do through our national health insurance) but this is best to keep in mind i understand now. that situation we are in at that time was really rough we didn't have money and we barely lived on one income because the nursing agency screwed me over my pay (sorry but they did) they changed my pay rate my work condition just 3 weeks on my orientation didn't have enough support from them on my transition and orientation instead of helping us they added more insult to injury i was paid $12.00/hour they say because i am on orientation i was considered a student( i already passed my NCLEX-RN exams). well i was naive and scared because they sponsored me coming over they might try and cancel my immigrant visa. they were the ones who housed us and had us on contracts with apartments which we couldn't afford to breach as for penalties etc... it was a $700 apartment rent and i was the only one working on a $12.00/hr pay do the maths. anyway it was a learning experience for me... my husband and i did a lot of research writing letters it paid off because in the end the agency released me on my contract that was a big..big.. relief.. now we have moved and starting over again...
  8. by   TazziRN
    It's $200-300 just for the ER doc to come in and say "Hi, how can I help you?"
  9. by   traumaRUs
    $500 is pretty cheap in my rural area. Medical care is very expensive. Glad your husband is doing better though.
  10. by   canoehead
    Testicular pain with a three hour wait...? That's emergent where I come from. (and a bigger bill )