A provocative, troubling story on Vox.com highlighted a shocking finding from their ongoing survey of patients' emergency room bills: people charged significant amounts of money, despite having refused care entirely in the ER.
Featuring a patient who received a bill of over $5,000 for an icepack, and another who was billed over $1,000 for the cost of taking her child's temperature, the story outlined items like "facilities fees" that can jack up prices even when no care, or minimal care, is received. If a patient is fortunate enough to have insurance, insurers may only pay a portion of the bill and leave hospitals to chase the patients for the rest.
This is, as the old joke goes, a heck of a way to run a health care system. Vox is continuing to seek input from patients willing to share their emergency room bills and their experiences; contact them here if you're interested in participating.