Got a statement from the hospital where I saw the Otolaryngologist.
Know what the going rate is for spending less than 60 seconds tweezing a pine needle out of someone's ear?
I called the billing department and asked how this is justified. The woman I talked with agreed that costs were crazy. She also let me know that the physicians are responsible for billing.
"So I can contest this with the physician?"
I then asked whether she could tell me what another charge was for. This one, with no description, was for $706.00.
"That was for reading your MRI."
"Wait. Someone charges seven hundred dollars to interpret an MRI?"
The MRI cost $4,519.00. This was supposedly run by my insurance first, and is still beign processed, but I'm still nervous. As it stands, I'm responsible for over $500 of the charges.
So I'm saving the bill so that I can call The Specialist on the charges during my next visit and ask him to 'splain himself. Oh, yes.
The thing is, there is no way anyone can look at these charges and not believe that they are priced with the assumption that insurance is a factor. Without insurance, a person would be on the hook for over six thousand dollars. How is this reasonable? To those who insist I'm wrong when I propose socialized medicine, I say, how good is the best medical care on earth if you can't afford it? If I'd have had to pay for all of this I would never seek any treatment, because the prices are pure extortion.
$643. To pull out a pine needle.