The Most Expensive Hospital Bills In The US

By Aaron Love 10 months ago

An Ambulance Ride- $400+

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It's little things like this that can make you wish you lived in countries with better healthcare systems than our own. I'm not saying the employees aren't top quality, they are absolute lifesavers, but other countries have the opportunity of cheaper or even FREE healthcare. Considering how cheap the gas would be to cover an ambulance trip from your place of accident to the hospital it is absolutely crazy that it will cost you a minimum of $400. How is that they come to the conclusion that an ambulance trip can cost you more than $1,000?

Tests In The ER- $100-$500

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The bad news just continues to follow you around doesn't it? Once you've taken your $400 ride to the hospital you'll be met my members of the ER who will be looking after you. Depending on the reason you're visiting the hospital the amount of money you have to spend will vary, although the regulat tests like blood tests and blood pressure tests will actually cost you in the region of $100-$500, and then if you need some medication on top of that you're looking at losing $1,000's without good healthcare insurance.

An Overnight Stay- $5,000 (MINIMUM)

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The worst part about staying overnight in the hospital is that you don't tend to have a choice in the matter, if the doctors and nurses request you stay in the hospital who are you to tell them you think you'll be fine and head home. The problem with overnight stays however (apart from them being boring) are that they'll cost you absolutely boatloads of cash. You're looking at a minimum of $5,000 per night and alongside any of the medication and tests you'll have over that period of time you could be looking at tens of thousands of dollars!

CT Scan- $6,000

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CT scans come under a similar bracket to that of MRI's and X-rays as they can help doctors get a clearer image (very literally) as to what's going on inside their patients bodies. They allow them to see issues with patients' bones, tissues and organs and can also help detect any abnormalities like tumours. You're probably looking at being charged several thousands of dollars to have a CT scan, of which millions are performed each year. Yes, it's a lot of money but it could save your life in the long run if it catches something.

EKG- $4,000+

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EKG's are a very common test that doctors use in order to investigate the electrical activity of their patients' heart, it can help understand the health of the heart in a non-invasive manner. They are also conducted prior to heart surgeries just as a pre-surgery check to avoid help try and avoid complications. Fortunately, most places will only charge you around $400 per EKG but if you're in for a long stay this can build up to cost you multiples of the price. Due to their importance they're done tens of millions of times a year.

Anesthesia- $4,500

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You'll know anaesthesia as the technique doctors and surgeons use in order for their patients to lose conciousness during certain surgeries or painful medical procedure; it can be important in order to avoid panic within a patient. They can even use it to completely numb sections of the body whilst you're awake like in open-heart surgery (which must be terrifying). You're unlikely to see anaesthesia appear on your bills as it's usually attached to the surgery you've had completed on you but its used millions of time each year in the US.

Cancer Treatments- $2,000- $1,000,000+

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Cancer in itself, is one of the worst and one of the most terrifying illnesses anyone may have to face throughout their entire lives and it's much more common than any of us wish it would be. The American Cancer society claim that around 2 million people will be diagnosed each year and 600,000 (approximately) will die in the US every year. Medical costs only add to the stress that the illness is already causing you with the most expensive treatments, coming with the need for bone marrow transplants costing (potentially) more than $900,000.

MRI- Up to $8,000

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MRI's if you didn't already know, are incredibly important tools in helping doctors understand what is going on, internally, within a patients body. They offer them a chance to see soft tissues (unlike x-rays) like the brain, joints and organs. They are often the technique most used to diagnose diseases like cancers so you can imagine that millions of MRI's are completed each year and that will only grow as more MRI machines become available in the US. They can be another technique that adds to your ever-growing hospital bill too with some places charging up to $8,000.

X-Ray- $3,000+

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X-rays offer some similar information to that of MRI's but they mainly focus on bones instead of soft tissue (they can see SOME organs) and have bee used to mainly identify broken bones and some tumours. Although, with good healthcare insurance you'll be looking at spending around $100 on an x-ray there has been some evidence of x-rays costing upwards of $3,000 dollars in certain institutions! And as you might expect, they are some of the most common procedures in hospitals with millions conducted each and every year.

Cholesterol Test- $100+

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Cholesterol tests, fortunately, are something you can actually do from the comfort of your own home, meaning that you don't really have to worry about incurring those heightened and unnecessary ER costs. In fact, you can actually do this test, which is used to determine the chances a patient has of developing heart diseases and other issues like diabetes, at home or a walk-in center. As cardiovascular health is important people between 20-35 are told to routinely check their cholesterol so millions of tests are completed each year costing in and around the $100 mark.

Insulin- $500+

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It's absolutely bonkers to imagine how something that costs so little to make, can cost such a huge amount for the people that really need it so survive. Supposedly, it costs the big pharma companies around $6 to make one set of insulin but it'll cost you around $500-$1,000+ each year just to ensure that you keep yourself healthy throughout the year. Essentially it helps them regulate the insulin within the body, something that is common with millions of prescriptions each year as a result of the diabetes problem in the US.

Inhalers- $50+

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Inhalers seem to be a very simple invention, but they are actually responsible for keeping people alive throughout the year. You're most likely to see them prescribed to sufferers of Asthma or COPD and they help open up the airways for these people who struggle to breathe. Crazily, there is a huge price range that inhalers can cost you, with some costing you just $30 while some more specialised devices can cost up to $300 per inhaler. Imagine how much that'd cost you if you went through them regularly.

Allergy Shots- $2,000 Per Year

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It seems unfair that some of us are born without any major allergy problems, whilst others can experience severe allergies all the way throughout life, but I suppose that's just the way life goes eh? Allergy shots can be quite an uncomfortable experience for the person receiving them as they have to constantly build a tolerance to all the allergens. These have to happen over a number of years and can cost upwards of several grand for every year that the patient has to have their shots.

Giving Birth Naturally- (Sometimes) $40,000+

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Although introducing a new human into the world is a beautiful thing, it isn't quite so beautiful when you realise how much its going to affect your bank account, especially if you haven't got good health insurance. Considering all of the pre-natal care that you'll need as well as assistance actually birthing your child after you've gone in to labour you're looking at upwards of $40,000 just to give birth to your child. I'm sure it'd all be worth it however, when you finally get to hold your new-born in your arms for the first time.

Having A Cesarean- (Sometimes) $50,000+

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And if you're unable to give birth completely naturally, then it might be suggested that you have the caesarean surgery (or a c-section as its commonly called) in order to assist the birth of your child safely. This is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of either, despite most people wanting to be able to naturally give birth to their child. If you didn't already know the surgeons can help an abnormally positioned baby to be birthed and these actually make up for around 30% of all births here in the United States.

Staying In The NICU- $3,000 Per Day

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And to add to all the already rising costs of the miracle of childbirth, if there are ever any issues with the birth of your child it might be recommended that they stay in the NICU. The NICU (or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) is the seperate location of a hospital where new-borns are kept on support for issues like breathing problems or premature births to ensure they stay alive! I'm sure you agree that this is a very necessary area to have, but it can be extrmely expensive costing you upwards of $3,000 each day they stay!

Holding Child After Birth- $40

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It amazes me some of the things that the companies in charge of hospitals are actually allowed to charge their patients for, some of which we'll get on to later. But as you can see, the image above shows that a man and woman who had just introduced their new-born to the world were actually charged $40 in order for them to hold their baby immediately after birth! How is that quantifiable?? Supposedly, this charge is in place as they need an additional person to be in the room to allow this to happen.

Having Tonsils Removed- Up To $12,000

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There's no question that surgeons have some of the most important jobs in the entirety of the medical system, they genuinely save millions of lives each and every year in the US. You've probably heard of tonsilitis before, it can be quite an uncomfortable and painful experience for someone to have to deal with, so often its recommended that they're removed. You're probably looking at tens of thousands of these surgeries each year and they can cost in the range of a couple of thousand dollars to upwards of $12,000.

Removing Your Appendix- Up To $80,000+

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Appendicitis can become quite a sudden and dangerous condition to be suffering from and often people can be rushed in to an urgent emergency surgery to have to remove them. It's important that they're removed before they can rupture as this can lead to some much more dangerous issues life threatening injuries! In some situations, especially those where there are higher complications, these emergency surgeries can cost up to nearly $100,000 when all the costs have been added together. They aren't particularly dangerous however, so you shouldn't worry too much!

Cataract Surgery- Up To $12,000

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Cataract surgery can be just as important as appendix removals as they are essential in ensuring the health of your own eyesight for the forseeable future. Essentially, if you didn't know, your vision can become blurry as a result of these cataracts covering your iris'. The cost of these surgeries can be very dependent on how large the cataract is  although typically they range from around the mid thousands to low tens of thousands of dollars. They are another quite common surgery here in the US too, with millions happening each year.

Heart Surgery- Up To $250,000+

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Heart surgeries, like bypasses or angi0plasties are important in ensuring the health of people's hearts that might be deteriorating as a result of the a number of factors including age and genetics. As a result of how high-risk these surgeries can be and all of the pre and post work that patients will need, you're looking at a minimum of $100,000 dollars although that is definitely low-balling the actual cost! As this is such a broad title, you're looking at around 500,000 surgeries each and every year, although that number will be smaller for each individua surgery type.

Heart Transplants- $700,000+

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Heart transplants can be some of the most expensive surgeries around the world and it's no surprise when you realise how dangerous it is, how much training, time and effort it takes to get them right and how high a risk it is for each patient to go through. Adding to that all of the recovery that has to be observed folloing the transplant (its a minimum of 6 months after the surgery) you're looking at nearly $1,000,000 (or more) for each transplant. These are very rare surgeries as a result of the limited amount of heart donors suitable for each person are available.

Broken Wrist (With Surgery)- $10,000+

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If you've managed to break your wrist, you'll likely be sent to the ER in order for them to give you a once over and determine whether you'll be able to recover with just a cast, or if you're going to require surgery on the bone within your wrist. Typically, unless your wrist is literally in half, you'll probably be able to get away with non-surgical techniques to fix it which will cost less than $1,000, although with surgery it can reach more than $10,000. The surgery usually involves the setting of the bone with pins! Sounds very uncomfortable!

Hip Fracture- $50,000+

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If you manage to fracture your hip, which is usually associated with either a sporting injury, or something that happens to the older generation when they take a tumble, you're looking at a minimum of $16,000 dollars for you to completely fix the problem. Unfortunately, in most circumstances there are a number of complications with these fractures meaning that the overall cost tends to reach even more than $50,000 for each person. These can be quite common over here in the US for a whole number of reasons.

Visiting The Doc- $200

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Over in countries like the UK, although doctors surgeries are quite busy and overrun, this is likely because they aren't worried about having to pay for their consultations. Here in the US, you're looking at spending a minimum of $100 just to speak to the doctor and that's before you have to pay for any medication or tests that they have to complete whilst you're there. And if you decide to pay a visit to doctors that specialise in something specific like certain sections of your body you might be looking at a little extra.

Speech Therapy- $3,000+

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Speech therapy is a common form of therapy used in order to help improve or help people regain their communication skills as a result of language disorders or complications from head and brain injuries like strokes. In some situations it can also be suggested for people who suffer from impediments like lisps and stutters. Now, you're looking at spending around $200 per session although prices can vary depending on where and who you're having your sessions with. As the understanding of speech issues grows, more therapists are appearing around the nation to help.

Wisdom Tooth Removal- $1,500

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Most of you will probably have had to deal with those dreadful wisdom teeth coming through late in to your teens (some people get them later and some earlier than this!). They are extremely painful, especially when they don't come through aligned properly or they don't fit in your mouth. The pain can be overwhelming for some and if not removed can actually damage the rest of your dental health. As nearly everyone has issues with wisdom teeth I'm sure you can imagine there's millions of these surgeries each year.

Tameka Jaqway Campbell- $9,200,000

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Yep, you read that right. Following the death of Florida native Tameka Jaqway Campbell, her family were hit with a bill of $9,200,000 dollars for the care she received whilst at the Tampa General Hospital. Unfortunately, she had an incurable and progressive disease that was affecting her brain during the last years of her life. In fact, the hospital even sued her family for the cash as they hadn't paid the bill within two years, but who has that much money spare? Let's be honest, its ridiculous to charge people who are mourning that much.

Nurse With Covid

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You'd think that nurses would have some sort of additional care and cover given to them (as well as all other workers in the medical industry) as a result of them putting themselves at risk during their daily life in the workplace. This issue appeared to be even more essential during the covid pandemic where a large number of doctors and nurses ended up contracting the infection themselves and requiring help. And what did they get for working? Well this nurse, as seen above, received a medical bill for more than $7,000!

Being Charged For Observation

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After this person's parent had surgery, it was recommended that they remained in the hospital in order for them to keep an eye on him and make sure that there were no complications as a result. Now, they would already be being charged potentially hundreds of thousands of dollar for the surgery, but crazily they received a second seperate bill requesting $15,000 dollars just for them to remain in the hospital. They didn't have any extra work or tests done either! How can they believe that's the right thing to do??