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Thousand Dollar Ointment (No, it’s not from Sephora)

By David Rosenfeld
Executive Director

Lately, it has seemed like everyone I know has a story about an irrational hospital bill. Here’s one from my friend, Dave.

Dave’s wife cut her finger. It was a deep cut. They thought it might need stitches. They went to their local hospital, Providence. She didn’t need stitches, but she did need a little bit more than a band-aid. The hospital put a couple of dabs of a skin glue called Indermil. She also got a tetanus shot. 

Later, Dave asked the hospital for an explanation of charges, pasted below. The tube of skin glue is listed for: $1,084.43.

I went online to see how much I could buy it for. Turns out I can buy a 12-pack of this stuff for $480.48, or $40.04 per tube. That’s a 2,600% markup. Link is here, screen shot below. 

If I didn’t know better, I’d have dismissed this as simply a mistake. But examples like these abound. Suffice it to say, my friend is contesting the charges. 

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Dave's wife's hospital bill

Screen shot of skin glue price online

Comments

This is really outrageous. How do companies get away with this kind of stuff? The out of control costs are the reason me and my wife went overseas to have treatment for my kidney disease i dont understand why the greatest nation in the history of man cannot get the medical sector in line. Health care is a RIGHT not an option.

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