| Category: General
> When the surgeon didn’t appear after more than an hour, Mansi Bhatt took her son home. The hospital told her to make a follow-up appointment with a doctor, which turned out to be unnecessary because the burn healed quickly.
Then the bill came.
> **The patient:** Martand Bhatt, a toddler covered by a UnitedHealthcare insurance plan provided by the employer of his father, Dhaval Bhatt.
> **Medical service:** An emergency room visit for a burn sustained when Martand touched an electric stove.
> **Total bill:** $1,012. UnitedHealthcare’s negotiated rate was $858.92, all of which the Bhatts were responsible for because their plan had a $3,000 deductible.
> **Service provider:** SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, one of 23 hospitals owned by SSM Health, a Catholic nonprofit health system with more than $8 billion in annual revenue.
> **What gives:** *Many patients don’t understand that they can rack up huge bills almost as soon as they walk through the doors of an ER.*
> **Unlike a restaurant or a mechanic that won’t charge if someone gets tired of waiting for a table or an inspection of a rattling engine, hospital emergency rooms almost invariably charge patients as soon as they check in.**
> And once they register, patients will be billed — often a lot — whether treatment was rendered or not.
> Martand received almost no medical service. A nurse practitioner looked over the toddler, listened to his heart and stomach, and looked in his nose, mouth and ears, according to provider notes prepared by the hospital and shared with KHN by Bhatt.
> The nurse didn’t change the dressing on the wound or order any testing.
Happened to my father. He was in the hospital for about week and he nurses kept saying they have a specialist coming. He never did. Got billed for it. He went to his dermatologist and the nurse saw him walk in and diagnosed him just by the way he was walking. The hospital took days and days and still didn’t have a certainty.
Welcome to America
We should pay for healthcare by flying those responsible for this absurd pricing and selling their pelts at auction. Starting with lobbyists and CEO’s
Don’t go to the emergency room with a non-life threatening issue and expect that you’ll be seen by a specialist within an hour. The doctor that is going to see you in the ED is also seeing many other patients that day, and it sounds like their kid was clearly stable. Also, it was a surgeon, so the doctor could have literally been in a surgery. This isn’t like waiting for an hour for a scheduled appointment.