Daily Israel Report

American Hospital Charges $9,000 for Cut Finger

US healthcare under fire again - this time over an outrageous bill at a for-profit medical center.
By Shimon Cohen
First Publish: 8/15/2014, 11:19 AM

פצע פצעים פציעה אצבע אצבעות יד תחבושת חבישה
פצע פצעים פציעה אצבע אצבעות יד תחבושת חבישה
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Healthcare in the US is taking flak once more, NBC News reported earlier this week, after a New Jersey teacher was charged nearly $9,000 for a tetanus shot and a bandage on a cut finger. 

Baer Hanusz-Rajkowski went to Bayonne Medical Center last summer after he cut his finger with a hammer and thought he needed stitches.

After the cut turned out to be more benign, a nurse practitioner merely sterilized the cut, applied antibacterial ointment and a bandage on it, and gave Hanusz-Rajkowski a tetanus shot before sending him home.

The cost? $8,200 for the emergency room visit, $180 for the shot, $242 for the bandage and $8 for the ointment, plus hundreds of dollars for the nurse practitioner.

"I got a Band-Aid and a tetanus shot,"  Hanusz-Rajkowski exclaimed. "How could it be $9,000? This is crazy."

Bayonne's CEO Mark Spektor blamed the high costs on his insurance carrier United Healthcare, which he claimed refuses to offer fair reimbursement rates.

“These sticker price charges only apply to...a minority of patients whose insurance companies have refused to negotiate fair contracted prices with us,” Spektor said.

But United Healthcare refuted the accusation, firing back that the hospital was just trying to gouge its members.

According to Linda Schwimmer of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, the right price for getting a finger bandaged should be $400 to $1,000. 

NBC News noted that gap could be attributed to Bayonne's switch to a for-profit hospital in 2007, although Spektor declined to reveal how much was being made off the ER bill. 

The story is the latest in a slew of outrageous healthcare-related claims, including both evidence that Obamacare's health plans are causing premiums to rise - not fall - and a recent expose by NPR stating that doctors have begun turning Obamacare patients away due to their low reimbursement rates.