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Daughter had bandage applied to her finger
Old 03-19-2010, 09:01 AM   #1
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Daughter had bandage applied to her finger

My second grade daughter was in school about a month ago helping another student with cutting a string. While she was holding the string the other girl accidentally cut her pointer finger which resulted in a 3/8 inch V shaped flap on the top of her finger.

My wife took here to our pediatricians office where she was looked at by an urgent care physician. It was about 2:00pm. She said that she spent about 30 minutes total with a nurse and doctor who cleaned the wound and applied a bandage.

So I recently got the bill and then requested a detailed breakdown of the bill. Allina Hospitals and Clinics in Minnesota charged us $560 dollars for the 30 minute visit.

The detailed breakdown was as follows (the detailed breakdown sucked since it failed to provide much detail):

Procedure / Charge / Insurance Adjustment / Final Cost
Office/Outpt / $146.00 / $19.86 / $126.14
Apply Finger / $104.00 / $58.73 / $45.27
Repair Superf / $310.00 / $39.91 / $270.09

Which results in an out of pocket expense of $441.50 for me to pay.

I find these charges utterly appalling. $441.50 to rinse a finger and apply a bandage.

Do I have any recourse?

Thanks, Tom
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:17 AM   #2
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Do I have any recourse?
Probably not. It looks like those are the prices your insurance company negotiated. You can try to dispute them. I have successfully disputed claims for covered procedures that my insurance company refused to pay, but your case is different. I've never actually tried to dispute the price. Seems like a harder battle to fight and win.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:04 AM   #3
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Of the 440 bucks, probably 50+ % is the combined cost of uncollectables from those who can't or refuse to pay and the cost of malpractice insurance. Rich in Tampa could probably give you a better idea, this is just my guess. The rest goes to the cost of the docs, nurses, facilities, meds, and a little profit. Just because the price of medical services is high does not mean your doctor is getting "Rich, in Tampa"...

(sorry Rich...just a little pun).

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Old 03-19-2010, 10:09 AM   #4
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Did the teacher send your daughter to the school nurse?

I think I would send your part of the bill to the school and see if they would pay it.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:23 AM   #5
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Without seeing the cut, I don't really know, but this sounds like the kind of thing I would take care of at home after a quick googling and/or call to our insurance company's 24 hr nurse line. Assuming it didn't look infected after a day or so and wouldn't need stitches.

The charges seem a little high for just an office visit and clean wound, apply bandage. But if it was charged as an urgent care visit, I could almost see the charges. The "Repair Superf" charge must mean they did something else besides clean wound, apply bandage. Stitches or skin glue maybe? I'm also a little surprised that the insurance company didn't adjust the Repair Superf charge down any lower than they did.

Agree on the high cost due to others not paying and malpractice. Remember you just bought yourself and insurance policy too. Say her finger gets infected, swells up and falls off. You can go get your million bucks from the Dr. and hospital for malpractice!
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:36 AM   #6
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I agree with Bestwifeever. The injuries occured on the school's property while under the supervision of their employees. They have liability insurance to cover these things. I would send the bill to the school and ask them to cover your expenses for the injury.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:37 AM   #7
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When I took my son in for a dog bite... it cost well north of $1500... all they did was 'clean' the wound and bandage... with an X ray to make sure it did not do anything to the bone..

Emergency rooms cost a LOT...
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:04 AM   #8
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Just to take the devil's advocate position, part of what you were paying for was the doctor's expert opinion that all it needed was a band aid.

A woman saw Picasso at a restaurant, and asked him to draw someone for her on a napkin. He did and said "Zat vill be $10,000."

"What, $10,000 that only took you 20 seconds!"

"No Madame," replied Picasso, "Zat took me 30 years."
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:30 AM   #9
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When I took my son in for a dog bite... it cost well north of $1500... all they did was 'clean' the wound and bandage... with an X ray to make sure it did not do anything to the bone..

Emergency rooms cost a LOT...
Yup. If you had taken her to an ER the bill would have been about double. Remember you are subsidizing all the unpaid care that is being delivered in a very expensive venue.

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Old 03-19-2010, 11:33 AM   #10
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The The "Repair Superf" might be the CPT code for suturing a laceration. If so, it was a coding error. I'd call about that, at least.

FYI, flaps from a finger laceration that point toward the nail usually heal well. Flaps that point toward the wrist often resullt in more tissue loss. Not sure if this was a factor in her evaluation.

Hope she is good as new.
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:23 PM   #11
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Malpractice insurance in Minnesota is inexpensive, comparatively. In fact, a days work at those rates could almost pay off the malpractice for a year.

Quote:
OC&PA: So why are we paying more?
GA: The simplest answer is that we just pay more for comparable services. I wouldn’t mind paying more if I got better service, but we don’t.
“It’s the Prices Stupid”--Why Americans Pay More for Health Care
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:29 PM   #12
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Did the teacher send your daughter to the school nurse?

I think I would send your part of the bill to the school and see if they would pay it.
Yes, my wife had to go to school to pick her up and take her to the doctor.

My wife just called the nurse at the school who called the administrator who claimed that they were not responsible for reimbursing us.

This is the first time that she had ever needed medical care for an accident and really annoyed me since I had an expectation that the school would be a safe environment.
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:51 PM   #13
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I agree with Bestwifeever. The injuries occured on the school's property while under the supervision of their employees. They have liability insurance to cover these things. I would send the bill to the school and ask them to cover your expenses for the injury.

Yep, it's the schools responsibility to protect kids from every conceivable incident every second of the school day. Obviously the kids had been fully trained and certified in the use of scissors by their parents at home, but were somehow issued dangerous and defective cutting implements and placed in a hazardous situation without adequate supervision by an irresponsible teacher. This wasn't just a simple minor childhood accident, it is gross negligence on the part of the teacher, the school district and the state board of education. Turn over the phone book and dial for dollars!

No such thing as an accident anymore. Someone else needs to pay!


rant over....
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:10 PM   #14
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No such thing as an accident anymore. Someone else needs to pay!
I figured I just take it out of my daughter's allowance over the next decade or so. She'll learn to be more careful!
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:21 PM   #15
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What does your insurance statement say that you owe?

My 18 yr old had his ACL replaced and his appendix out in the same year and I didn't pay that much for both procedures together.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:57 PM   #16
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What does your insurance statement say that you owe?
$441.50

Not working for Megacorp any longer has resulted in less desirable insurance.
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:26 AM   #17
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I second the webmd and wait a day or two before taking them in for next time.
I used to fall and hurt myself all the time as a kid while playing....my parents would have been bankrupt if prices were like that during my childhood!
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:55 AM   #18
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Stitches, when needed, are best done within 8 hours of the wound. If you wait much longer the risk of wound infection rises and by 24 hours you probably wouldn't put them in even if they would have made a better wound closure. At least that's what I recall from back in my cutting days.

So lacerations are not a good "check WebMD and wait a day" example.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:21 AM   #19
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Rich...I definitely understand if the wound is deep and gushing blood that it needs medical attention asap; however, $441.50 for a pediatrician to examine, clean, and put a bandaid on is absolutely atrocious!
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:02 AM   #20
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Rich...I definitely understand if the wound is deep and gushing blood that it needs medical attention asap; however, $441.50 for a pediatrician to examine, clean, and put a bandaid on is absolutely atrocious!
I agree.

Just didn't want anyone to browse-and-stall for a day or two while the tip of their finger became necrotic. There is a time and place for watching and waiting, and other situations where that is not so much the case, cost issues aside.
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