Great moments in socialized medicine brings you 73-year old Keo Capestany.
It started last August, when Capestany, a Seattle 73-year-old, was at a picnic and plopped a slice of steak in his mouth.
A yellow jacket was clinging to the bottom side. It stung or bit him right on the tongue.
Ouch! I hate eating outside!
Over the next day, Keo’s tongue swelled up so he thought it would be a good idea to have someone (at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center) take a look.
He was there for the rest of that day and night. He ate lunch, dinner and breakfast. He continued to get antihistamine through the IV.
“I felt I got good medical care,” Capestany recalls. “The doctors wanted to make sure I was OK. By the morning it was clear I was, so they sent me home.”
Two weeks later, though, he got stung again: The bill was $8,200. The IV costs alone were $2,469. The emergency room fee: $2,822. The pharmacy tab ran to $964.
He also had room charges for two days, Aug. 4 and 5, totaling $1,488. Even though he was there only one night.
Capestany found out that though he spent about 22 hours there in a room, his treatment is considered “outpatient.”
His insurance (Medicare Part A and his wife’s policy) only give broad coverage for inpatient hospitalizations, not outpatient visits.
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At $8,200 for a bee sting, health care could become all that’s left of the economy