18 Ridiculous Statistics About Medical Bills, Medical Debt And The Health Care Industry That Will Make You So Mad You Will Want To Tear Your Hair Out

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Do not read this article if you do not want to get angry.  The health care industry in the United States has become one gigantic money making scam, and tens of millions of American families now live in great fear of illness and disease.  Why are they so afraid?  It is not because they fear the illnesses and diseases.  Rather, the prospect of racking up tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of dollars in medical debt is enough to deeply frighten just about anyone.  Today, virtually every single American is one really bad day from financial ruin.  Did you know that medical bills are the number one reason for bankruptcy in the United States?  Did you know that the vast majority of people that go bankrupt due to medical bills actually have health insurance?  Meanwhile, there are a significant number of people that are becoming fabulously wealthy off of this system.  Our “health care industry” has turned large numbers of doctors, lawyers, health insurance company executives and pharmaceutical company executives into multi-millionaires.  The health care industry in the United States has been so corrupt and so greedy for so long that we don’t even remember what a legitimate medical system even looks like anymore.


Democrats hailed “Obamacare” as the solution to many of our health care problems, but the truth is that it does not solve any of them.  In fact, it is almost certain to increase health care costs.  Health insurance companies all over the United States have already announced plans to raise premiums substantially because of this new law.

Not that the Republicans are proposing anything better.  They want to repeal Obamacare, which is a great idea, but beyond that they don’t have any real solutions for the health care nightmares that we are facing.

The system simply does not work and it is causing millions of Americans to go bankrupt.  So yes, let us repeal Obamacare.  It is one of the worst pieces of legislation that the Congress has ever passed in all of U.S. history.

However, just repealing Obamacare will not fix our health care problems.  It will not do anything to address the nightmarish statistics that you are about to read.

The truth is that even if you do have health insurance, you are just one really bad accident or one really bad illness away from bankruptcy unless you are fabulously wealthy.

The health care system is designed to rapidly drain money out of us when we are at our most vulnerable.  If you have to call for an ambulance to take you to the hospital are you thinking about how much your care will cost at that point?

Of course not.  You are just hoping that you will survive.

Well, in today’s world it is really easy to rack up $10,000, $20,000 or even $30,000 in medical debt in the blink of an eye and many hospitals are becoming extremely aggressive about collecting on those medical debts.

I guarantee that many of you that are reading this article know exactly what I am talking about.

One trip to the hospital can wipe out years of financial savings.  But why should it cost so much?  Often a doctor only spends a few minutes with you.

Well, you find out the truth when you follow the money.  There are a lot of people that this system really benefits, and unfortunately that does not include middle class Americans.

The following are 18 ridiculous statistics about medical bills, medical debt and the health care industry that will make you so mad you will want to tear your hair out….

#1 According to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine, medical bills cause more than 60 percent of the personal bankruptcies in the United States.

#2 According to that same study, approximately three-fourths of those that do go bankrupt because of medical bills actually do have health insurance.

#3 If you have an illness that requires intensive care for an extended period of time, it is really easy to rack up medical bills that total over 1 million dollars.

#4 It is estimated that hospitals overcharge Americans by about 10 billion dollars every single year.

#5 One trained medical billing advocate says that over 90 percent of the medical bills that she has audited contain “gross overcharges“.

#6 It is not uncommon for insurance companies to get hospitals to knock their bills down by up to 95 percent, but if you are uninsured or you don’t know how the system works then you are out of luck.

#7 One study found that approximately 41 percent of working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt.

#8 Health insurance premiums for small employers in the United States increased 180% between 1999 and 2009.

#9 Even as the rest of the country struggled with a deep recession, U.S. health insurance companies increased their profits by 56 percent during 2009 alone.

#10 Between 2000 and 2006, wages in the United States increased by 3.8%, but health care premiums increased by 87%.

#11 According to a report by Health Care for America Now, America’s five biggest for-profit health insurance companies ended 2009 with a combined profit of $12.2 billion.

#12 The top executives at the five largest for-profit health insurance companies in the United States received nearly $200 million in total compensation in 2009.

#13 Health insurance premiums are once again soaring in 2011.  Blue Shield of California recently announced plans to raise health insurance rates by an average of 30% to 35% this year, and some individual policy holders could actually see their health insurance premiums rise by a whopping 59 percent.

#14 There were more than two dozen pharmaceutical companies that made over a billion dollars in profits in 2008.

#15 According to one doctor interviewed by Fox News, “a gunshot wound to the head, chest or abdomen” will cost $13,000 at his hospital the moment the victim comes in the door, and then there will be significant additional charges depending on how bad the wound is.

#16 Lawyers are certainly doing their part to contribute to soaring health care costs.  According to one recent study, the medical liability system in the United States added approximately $55.6 billion to the cost of health care in 2008.

#17 According to a recent report, Americans spend about twice as much as residents of other developed countries on health care, but they receive much lower quality and far less efficiency in return.

#18 Approximately 46 million Americans do not currently have any health insurance at all.  That means that 46 million Americans are just one really bad day away from financial ruin without any protection whatsoever.

So do you have any stories of ridiculous medical bills or outrageous medical debt that you would like to share with all of us?  Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below….

  • Duke

    These articles always say that American health care is less efficient than others, yet it doesnt take into account the widespread obesity compared to other countries. Maybe in order to cut costs, people with self inflicted health problems from obesity, smoking, drug abuse should not be treated. Maybe medicine should just go back to the stone age and have doctors holding patients hands and a kind word, but say sorry we dont have a treatment for most diseases. Basically your implying that medicine should be cheap and everyone should have it. Maybe we should have the street bum open a clinic and treat patients for some fortified wine.

    • extorted health care patient

      Thats outrageous but it is ok for these doctors to rack up bills for a patient doing test and procedures that do not address the current patient problem. It is ok to withold information from tests so the patient can not in a vulnerable state make an informed decision on their bills and health care. So what you are saying is all those problems are the persons fault becuae they were vulnerable. Maybe you are this perfect individual but one day you will be eating those words. These doctors are crooked doing procedures and withholding information just to get the patient to agree to certain procedures in my book is FRAUD

  • Rod

    The USA needs more doctors like Patch Adams…

  • Johnny

    Eliminate the information asymetries and start a race-to-the-bottom price war.


  • Gary

    Single payer medicare for all like EVERY other developed country. Capitalism/profit making is not compatible with health care. We already have death panels they are called insurance companies.

    I can’t believe any intelligent person can disagree. The simple minded conservative fools need to be marginalized even more than they already are.

  • mondobeyondo

    Follow. The. Money.

    We all know who loses in this deal. But who wins? Let’s send our trusty bloodhound to sniff out where those hundred dollar bills and medical bills are going.

    Item #17: Americans aren’t getting their money’s worth when it comes to health care, plain and simple. It should not cost $15,000 to fix a broken arm. The American people are being taken advantage of. By whom??

    Is the doc pocketing the cash? Most likely not. Doctors earn high salaries, but not enough to justify this type of highway robbery.

    Follow the money trail a bit further, and you’ll come across Item #10. Then you’ll come to Items #4 and #14 which the author of this article cites. Hey, I think we found it!

    The health care companies (Aetna, Blue Cross, HMO’s, etc.), and pharmaceutical companies that make and sell everything from cold medicine to diet pills, are getting a great deal of it. They are very wealthy. (Ya think? Where do you think they got the money?!? From your medical bill. Ka-chingg!) Congress has a health care lobby. Health insurance and pharmaceutical companies are highly influential in this lobby. (wink, wink…pass Obamacare, and we’ll support your re-election campaign, and those of the senators who approved it, too!!) I mean, they are VERY influential. They even pay for ad time during network newscasts. Don’t believe it? Count the number of commercials for sleeping pills, energy pills, vitamins, get happy pills, etc. during the nightly news.

    Now I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but I’ve been known to solve a jigsaw puzzle or two. Time to put together the pieces:

    Health care, much like higher education, is an organized crime racket which would make Al Capone and John Gotti proud. It’s little about public health, and a lot about lining the pockets of the big boys. Obamacare only makes it worse. It’s about corporate profit. Mind over matter. They don’t mind, and you don’t matter.

    Does the Canadian or U.K. health care system work this way? Really?!

  • mondobeyondo

    Yes, Duke, many Americans are fat. Even our young children are getting fat.

    So just why is that? People in Europe smoke, drink, and eat Big Macs at cafes in Paris, London and Berlin. So it can’t be that. Just why are Americans so obese?

    One theory (and it’s the one I tend to go with) is lack of exercise. In many European cities, people walk or bicycle from place to place. In many large American cities, people drive a mile from their home to the fitness gym, where they do an hour’s workout, get back in the car and make the 5 minute drive home. Why not just walk!

  • Aurelius 7

    Gary the clown strikes again… The same Gary that wished death upon all Republicans/conservatives.

  • Nexus

    Duke – your assumptions are all incorrect – obesity is a problem in most Western Countries. The main issue for the US re health is that is hard to deliver community based health care which is preventative – insurance companies make money on treatments and not prevention, the health system is multi payer and therefore very costly to administer – you ONLY NEED ONE INSTITUTION (costs are double other Western countries). Also fraud that seems to be endemic to the US health system based on the stats given above. So stop blaming individuals as it is tiresome and selfish. The system is busted, a poor model and if you can’t as a nation sort it out it will collapse.

  • Susan

    I have bank troubles already. i walked in today, and
    they kept asking why I need to take out 5k…what a Joke.

    I am getting nervous that this collapse is going to come quickly.

    Here is an interesting economic report for 2011. I have been following these guys for a while and they are good.

    Check out their latest report here ==> http://bit.ly/hjE236

    • extorted health care patient


      i have known this all along the only safest place for all your HARD earned cash is not in someone elses hands but your own. Invest in a fireproof safe. When banks mis-manage again you will see people standing in line TRYING to get their money, one thing for sure you will not see me in that line

  • john

    I agree, we should all take personal responsibility for our own health and not rely so much on doctors, especially since we all have access to the internet. I buy my meds from Canada. A pill that use to cost me $14.00 each purchased in the US, now costs me $2.40 each!! Now I gladly take my medication, knowing I’m not making the criminal pharmaceutical companies rich. Last year, big pharma made more profit than the oil companies.

    • extorted health care patient

      It is unfortunate that the doctors make you dependant on them and since patients can’t order their own test that THEY pay for you are at the mercy of the physcian who fails to tell you that you have this herniated disc on your MRI touching your spinal cord and nerves and he conveniently overlooks it and not tells you so he could rack up 9k worth of procedures and tests for the practice he is a part of for services which are unrelated to that dangerous situation The practices are either now owned buy the hospitals or you got practices now have their own labs and surgery centers so they can milk you and your insurance for exactly what they want. If half these doctors would get off their high gold horse and start doing a job like everyone else and i mean a quality job we would not be in some of the situations we have now. These doctors are only concerned about one thing and that is money, why do you think there are very little private practices left?

  • You’re not telling the truth

    This article is littered with half truths and so much populist propaganda it is difficult to know where to begin.

    #4 and #5 are from the same story. #4 fails to draw your attention to the fact that the same story says that overcharges are “about” 5% of total medical bills. Many in medical billing are paid crap money, because they do a crap job, and simply don’t care, nor are smart enough, to look hard enough at what they are supposed to be doing to get the bill right. #5 is a statement of opinion, plain and simple. There is NO journalistic integrity here.

    #6 is a function of #’s 4 and 5, think about it. Further than that, the statistic is NOWHERE close to being true. It is an absolutely misguided attempt at “making you mad” and is sourced from some random post out there in the blogosphere. For those of you ready to harp on “how do you know it’s not true?”, how about you use some of that creative questioning in reference to the article we’re all talking about first, k?

    #9 is just plain fraudulent, and ABC (source) should file a retraction. It noted that Cigna’s profits increased by 346% from 2008 to 2009, which is an absolute lie. Here is their financial statement with comparisons over 2007, 2008, and 2009: http://biz.yahoo.com/e/100225/ci10-k.html

    Note that income from healthcare operations increased by 1.95%, yes, that’s ONE POINT NINE FIVE PERCENT. And the company overall, increased operating income by 15.96%, MOSTLY due to the fact that they had fewer LOSSES from re-insurance run off. Do any of you even know what reinsurance is?? And these increases are on a market which has a typical margin of 3%.

    #11 is another populist crap bag. While you can verify the actual amount yourself, what this amounts to, in a country of 308 million people, is a whopping $40 per person for a year. And, still less than $50 even when you take away the uninsured in the denominator.


    #14 – I’m already getting tired of wasting my time on this, so, go do the research yourself, and compare year over year results, but pay close attention to expenses, not just revenues/profit. There are TWO sides to every transaction….

    #16 I actually agree with, and shows how jerk off individuals and lawyers can get together to create class action suits that cost medical professionals and pharma BIG bucks in THEIR insurance bills every year.

    #17 does not note the fact that the aggregated # does include all spending by pharma companies on R&D, which is not done in other countries. So, the cost is incurred here, but the benefit is spread all over the world.

    #18, finally. This has been proven to be an out and out lie from the very beginning. Let’s see, if memory serves, about 18 million of this fudged number are illegal immigrants, 10 million are turnover, 12 million, or thereabouts, are those that DO NOT WANT insurance, and the remainder are the chronically uninsured.

    Further, the bill, which has been found unconstitutional, by the way, was only scored by the CBO with 10 years of tax and penatly inflow, but only 5 years of cost. Surprise, surprise, the Obamanoids continue to tell you it will reduce the deficit. BULLSH!T.

  • You’re not telling the truth

    John, so it’s better for the Canadian companies who did NOT put any money into the R&D to instead steal the tech from their competitors? Gee, that sounds honest. And, the oil company thing, you are full of SH!T.

  • tribeseeker

    What makes me want to tear my hair out is the perpetuation of the myth that there IS “health care” and “health care insurance” AT ALL! This ignorant piece of journalism implies just that. There IS NO health care or health insurance. It is all DISEASE CARE and DISEASE INSURANCE! Western medicine is designed to ONLY treat disease – NOT HEALTH. The very definition of health, in western medicine, is the absence of disease. That definition insures there MUST be disease in order for there to be health. Imagine that. A paradigm that actually fully supports, and is dependent upon the presence of disease.

    And “health insurance” doesn’t insure your health! It insures disease! Think about it. When you buy car insurance, you are paying premiums for collusion, theft, bodily damage. When does this insurance kick in? Well, when there is a collusion, or theft, etc. Same with home owners insurance. It pays out when you have a fire, flood, etc. But not health insurance. It only pays out when you have “disease”. Real health insurance would insure that you were healthy. Fat chance of THAT happening! Imagine having your gym membership paid out by your “health insurance”, along with you yoga classes, acupuncture visits, and nutritional consultations. Dream on, huh? And because that will never be a reality, people will continue to support, and insist upon maintaining the very paradigm that keeps them imprisoned in disease.

  • The III (3rd)


    I just got out of the Hospital 4 weeks ago. I was in there for 5 days. I had a stint put in an artery in my heart. Got the bill yesterday and the total was over $89,000 but my insurance got them to settle for just over $7,000. It was very obvious to me and Blue Cross / Blue Shield that there was a laundry list of over charges on my bill. Believe it or not, the health care industry in the United States is one gigantic money making scam and it is impoverishing the middle class. Once you spend a few days in the Hospital and receive your bill you will be able to understand what this article is really talking about.

    The III

    • extorted health care patient

      Hospitals are indiots not giving medicine to diabetics for a whole 24 hours, getting other people to sign consent forms when you are very able to do that yourself. The whole medical profession thinks they are gods and they get to choose what they do not the patients. Look I do not think lawsuits are worth anything to anyone but you know what what choices do they have against those do what they want kind of people THE MEDICAL PROFESSION!!!

  • Gary

    Aurelius 7—Typical republican when you can’t argue facts you resort to name calling. This makes me happy as I am obviously correct in my assertion that single payer is the only way to go.

  • mondobeyondo

    No need to go to the E.R. if you can go to WebMD dot com, and find a cure yourself. Works fine for the common cold, bee stings, allergies, etc. That’s pretty easy. If you can get that far, you’re a very good home physician. It gets harder when you think about really serious illnesses.

    It is extremely hard for the average person to perform heart surgery, a kidney transplant or a root canal by going online, though. And that’s where the big medical corporations are going to get ya.

    A professional doctor has the equipment, training and knowledge to perform such tasks. You don’t. So you pay the doc to perform the operation that will heal or cure you. That’s how it’s SUPPOSED to work!! You are paying the doc for his services. Just like you would pay an auto mechanic for his services.

    You don’t have to subject yourself to this, of course. Learn to take apart an engine or a transmission and put it back together again, and you won’t have to ever pay a mechanic. It’s harder these days though – in the 1970’s you’d just pull out a piece here and there, tighten a screw, replace it and it was done. In 2011, you’ll pull out a piece here, replace a chip there, fix the GPS system, and see if the operating system functions when you crank the starter. Oh, and make sure the tires are inflated.

    Meanwhile, ride a bicycle while you’re going to college for your auto mechanic courses.

    Many of us can’t do that, though. I know the difference between a carburetor, clutch and catalytic converter, but I can’t fix them. I don’t know how. So I pay someone who knows how, to do it for me. (I took chemistry instead of auto shop in high school. Should have known better. Ugh!!) Same thing goes for the doc and the person with their health problem(s).

  • A Dodgy Bloke

    Wasn’t Barry suppose to have already fixed this?

  • Our current health care system is just a mirror image of our corrupt and incompetent government. If you want any improvement, don’t vote for any more democrats or republicans. With real leadership in Washington, the following changes could be implemented.

    (1) A new health care system based on disease prevention (diet and exercise) rather than disease maintenance (drugs and surgery).

    (2) Non profit insurance companies owned by policy holders.

    (3) More medical schools and American doctors.

    (4) Legal reform.

  • We don’t have a “health care industry”. We have a “sick care industry” that makes it more financially rewarding to medicate and treat people for illnesses, than to help them prevent problems in the first place.

    People need to take responsibility for their own health to prevent health issues. Losing excess weight can reduce the chance of having heart problems, adult-onset diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.

    AdvoCare Weight Loss

  • mondobeyondo

    Health insurance is supposed to protect yourself against extravagant payments that doctors may charge for cures and medicine, in the event you contract or catch a disease, or some other urgent health event..

    That turned out really well, huh?
    Yes, it did. Just ask Aetna, Blue Cross, Metlife, etc…

  • Al

    What we have is a disease care paradigm that puts corporate profit above disease prevention: We have to revoke the rights of person of ALL corporations to pull the plug on this exploitation. There are many alternative modalities that are cheap, non-invasive, and based on sound science. But the medical monopolies, the cancer care industries, big pharma and big agra (to name a few) with their corporate lapdogs in the FDA will suppress any innovations in disease prevention and better health care. They only make a buck if you are sick.

  • All political theater for the proponents of this steaming pile of guano. They’ve already scored with their fade away jumper at the buzzer – by creating such disruption and uncertainty that they likely believe that their goal, as a fait accompli, has been realized – to create the false option that the only possible solution is their progressive utopian dream, single payer health care. I’m actually quite surprised that they’ve held off announcing their plans to federalize the entire health care system, along the lines of a military service. Likely that they’re too unimaginative or just too plain dumb to be able to pull off the concept, much less tap dance the sales pitch for such a perversion.

    We help Americans find jobs and prosperity in Asia. For details, visit http://www.pathtoasia.com/jobs/

  • mondobeyondo

    Is it any wonder why newborn babies start crying the minute they leave their mother’s womb? Look at the Mess we’ve left them with!

    Our fiscal situation alone is enough to make a grown man cry.

    Apologies to the newborn babes out there. Sorry guys and gals, you’ll have to foot the bill for your previous generations’ extravagance. Sorry…

  • El Pollo de Oro

    What is the difference between Islamo-terrorists and health insurance companies?

    Health insurance companies kill a lot more Americans.

  • sharonsj

    You know, us liberals hate the health reform bill too, but for different reasons. What the country needs is single payer, but that won’t happen, not as long as the insurance companies, the medical industry, big pharma (and all their Congressional “friends”) can get so rich.

    On the other hand, what’s the point of repealing it if the Repubs have nothing to replace it? Then we’re back to pay or die. Just ask the Republican governor of Arizona.

  • Thank you for this very informative article. I agree that government is not the answer to fixing our healthcare problems. I just finished a very enlightening book on this called,Uproot U.S. Healthcare: To Reform Healthcare by Deane Waldman, MD MBA. Your statistics are right on. Dr. Waldman has seen changes in healthcare and the system over the last 35 years and offers hard facts to take a look at. I felt empowered when I read his book to be able to be part of the solution.

  • A helicopter tour taking the same time and distance costs $25 a ride, if its a medical transport it costs $35,000

  • AWM

    Dec. 20 2008 my wife went in the hospital with COPD. She was there 45 days, then she passed away. When I got the hospital bill, it was three hundred eighty seven thousand dollars. She was in intensive care 9 days, then a room 17 days, then intensive care 19 days. She was on a ventilator the first nine days, then was off the ventilator in a room seventeen days. The only thing that kept her in the hospital at that point was that they didn’t keep her butt clean (had diarrhea) and she developed sores. They had trouble getting the sores healed, then she came down with a respiratory disease (in the hospital) and had to go back on the respirator. Then another nineteen days in intensive care.
    You can get a much better room at a motel for under $100.00 per day, but let’s say $4,500.00 for the room. The doctor was in the room about 5 or 10 minutes per day (he also sees other patience in that same hour), but at even a $100.00 a day, another $4,500.00. The nurse was in the room about 5 or10 minutes per hour, ok let’s say $25.00 per hour, another $27,000.00. Total $36,000.00. That leaves $351,000.00 for IV’s, xrays, meds, laundry, oxygen and 17 days meals. The $387,000.00 doesn’t include the ER doctors (separate bill) xray techs etc.
    On the last day, with my wife’s consent, they attempted to wean her off the ventilator. You can’t send anyone home on a ventilator. And we had no insurance. So they left the Diprivan on and turned the ventilator off. My family and I didn’t know at the time that you can’t do that. I have not sued for two reasons. One, it wouldn’t bring her back. And two, she had no future on a ventilator. In that respect, I don’t blame the Doctor. But I don’t appreciate the excessive bill (which I haven’t paid off yet).
    But Obambycare is not the answer either. It wouldn’t have saved her, and if you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until the Gov adds their bill to it. Socialist anything, is not the answer for anything, except loss of freedom.
    Today has been a bad day, since it was the anniversary of her death. But I know she is in heaven, and I will see her again soon at the rapture of the church.

  • kevin

    What about the 60 billion a year medicare fraud problem??? http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/23/60minutes/main5414390.shtml

  • The major fallacy in this review is #17 the notion that we Americans pay more than those in socialized nations and get less for it. That is simply not true. Britains pay about $5000/ year (given current exchange rate) and for that stand in line for a year or more for procedures we get right away. Private-not employer based insurance– for my family of 4 up to age 62 is 10,000 a year and I do not stand in line. Cancer survival is 15% better across the board in US vs any socialized nation. The libs use Life Expectancy and perinatal morataliy but these are not fair comparisons–most countries do not count premies as live births and the biggest determinant of life expectancy is genetics and lifestyle. But the cancer stats answer the real question. When health care counts, where you gonna go? Two premiers of Canada and other world leaders come here. They do not go to the Sudan, albeit the WHO rates them higher on the scale than the US. Really? What we need is government monopoly to get out of the way and deregulate so prices will fall as they have in those areas of medicine untouched by government–Plastic Surgery and Lasik and free standing cash practices and radiology cash scanners. For other articles see my blog at PrognosisPoor.blogspot.com.

    • London Bridge

      I love this..being from England I had no idea I was paying that much and the medical care must be so bad that my memory of standing in line for a year has been destroyed. I am so tired of Americans thinking not only our healthcare system but others around the world are complete stalled disasters when in reality the wreckage is in their own back yard. I pay less than $800 US per year and I have never waited more than hours for procedures that you wait for weeks to get. Please..distort your own system but don’t drag our healthcare into your mess which we wouldn’t wish upon anyone. Truly unbelievable this rubbish of a comment.

    • Shane

      *************! That argument is complete untruth! Our system is inferior to EVERY modern industrialized country. Period. Go live overseas, or in Canada, and you will know this.

  • Dot

    Yes, Obamacare and it’s regulations are driving up Insurance costs and we’re paying for it. But, you think you’re hospital is your friend. Think again, my friend!!!!!! They can be your worst enemy. They will lie, cheat and scam you. Nurses say that meds were given, and you know darn well they Were NOT!! It’s easy for the hospital to come back and say, yes…..it was given, it’s documented on the MAR. All the nurse has to do is go back, correct her mistake, and document the drug was given. She’ll waste the drug in the toilet once it’s out of the Pixus. Nuses know how to cover themselves. You also have a Patient Advocate…… she’s not a Patient Advocate, she’s a Hospital Advocate, looking to scam you, the patient and make bucks for the hospital because hospitals are too top heavy. Building new wings, having too many nurses with MSN and no floor experience, getting the hospital to look like Trump Tower, and acquiring more property to enlarge the facility or to house the interns. Half of what’s wrong with HOSPITALS is Hospital GREED. They are always trying to outdo the other hospitals at a huge expense, and that expense is coming from you – The Patient! I don’t want to stay in The Taj Mahal….. I just want a clean hospital room. I’m fighting a mean outlandish hospital because they say I owe for meds that were never given. Hog Wash! Always look at your bill and scrutinize it. Go for the juglar and win! Never give up on these Scammers!

  • Fantastic article! Truly draw dropping statistics that show the anarchy that is the U.S. healthcare system. My question is how do we fix the system? Obviously there is no quick fix but there are a ton of ideas and suggestions that are simply unlikely and to theoretical to ever take place. I personally believe that we need to move to a single payer system like most of the other civilized countries in the world. This seems unlikely to ever fully take place. Sadly I think the next option is to try and work within the confines of the system to try and make changes. There are a ton of start up private companies with the intention to use the private sector to change the system. I tried using a company called LifeQB last month to help me understand and deal with my fathers medical bills. They fought the insurance companies when I didn’t have the time and ended up saving me about 2k. It may not be a perfect solution to the system but in the short term in has helped me out. Check it out and let me know what you guys think. LifeQB.com

  • If you think that malpractice reform will decrease health care costs think again. If a hospital or doctors group did not have to pay one dime in malpractice insurance they would pocket the difference NOT lower costs. And malpractice insurance is but a small percentage of a health care provider’s income,while health insurance can cost us as much as a morgage payment. These costs are not for “cadillac” plans either that cover hair transplants and cosmetic work. Theres no such thing unless of course your a congressman on my tax dollar. They also need to eliminate the middle man in health care,too. For instance, my self insured insurance pays someone to manage their insurance (TPA) and they pay someone else to do their work. Also,what I cant figure is why hospitals treat you and then want to make you sick all over again by sending you medical bills every month when you have incurance. I can see it for the deductable and copays,but the insurance portion as well. They claim that they dont know what insurance is paying. Bull. They know. They get the same EOB we do. They just want to get paid twice. Then the calls start to come when insurance takes too long to pay.Then the bullying starts with more bills with demands and threats. They remind you of what you signed. The hospital and doctors office tell you that you are signing to allow them to bill the insurance company. READ THIS and you will learn this is not just for that. What you are signing is financial responsability. It will read that they are billing insurance as a coutesy.Kiss my you know what coutesy. Does anybody know if you dont sign anything will they still bill insurance? Will they still treat you? I am not saying that people should not be responsible for their health care bills if they do not have insurance.They should be. But insurance should be affordable so people can afford it. I once had a lawyer who said she dindt have insurance cause she couldnt afford it. Bull#*%#$ Now if she got sick she should damn well pay out of pocket cause she was just too damn cheap to buy insurance .This is what ruins it for the rest of us Everything is probably is her practice’s name so the hospital would have to EAT her bill. Get rid of the lobbiest so congress cant be bribed by hospitals ,doctors, and insurance companys. One can only hope that one day all these godless coniving greedy people get whats coming to them if not in this life then the next and when they are standing before the “Golden Gates” they are denied admitance because they dont have a “refferal” and are told to GO TO HELL like they tell us. Have a nice day .

  • Andrew

    I am a dual citizen (US and Australia). Just before we left the US (with my American wife and our kids) in 2009 I went to my only ‘in network’ hospital in Memphis called St Francis (I was traveling to Memphis for business at the time). I waited 15 hours (yes, 15 hours) to see a doctor for a fever of 104F and body pains so bad that I felt like killing myself. After a misdiagnosis and the long wait times they tried to charge me for an out of network doctor in an in network hospital! They tried to get the money from us for 2 years then they finally gave up, as they probably realized that they were on the wrong side of logic. They were super aggressive trying to get the money, just short of threatening death, but we were in Australia and simply ignored them. We are now living in Australia where health care is excellent. Our girls both had broken arms and were fixed quickly, efficiently and for free! Our health care simply costs 1.5% of our salary and NO-ONE comes after you for any bill. We supplement our government Medicare with a private insurance for dental for around $450 per year and even that private plan is government subsidized. We would like to return to the US for family reasons but we never will. The system in the US is brutal and we have found something wonderful here. The salaries are 1.5 times that of the US and the taxes are lower. We return often but only as visitors and use our same insurance company to get travel insurance when in the US. Most Americans unfortunately are fed crap by the people with money and power. The best way to control the population is to keep them poor and keep them in fear. Good luck and God Bless.

    • homebuilding

      “”””””””” Most Americans unfortunately are fed crap by the people with money and power.”””””””‘

      Pathetically and most sadly true, Andrew.

      But they choose to eat it. They choose not to educate themselves. They choose nonsense about hatred of the poors over anything else.

      Then they choose a Unlearned Bully Charlatan Showman as their leader (albeit short by 3 million votes).

      Hopeless !

      Thank you and G’day, mate

  • I was diagnosed with Leukemia (ALL) in 2005. I was insured and had a business I owned that was profitable. I beat the odds 90-10 that I would die. I racked up 1M+ in bills some paid by Insurance and some not. Most that were not were errors. I paid them too. I paid every medical bill i had from cancer. They still stayed on my credit report. I was put to collections by Dr.’s that were treating me while I was incapacitated!

    I have since recovered physically but financially I am ruined. My credit score went from 720 to 500 in one year. My auto insurance (REQUIRED IN FL) went from 600- 1500$ per 6 months just because of credit (I HAVE NO CONSUMER DEBTS I PAY EVERYTHING). SO in my opinion because I HAD CANCER I am being extorted by the “SYSTEM” under the watch of the politicians that have entitlements to FREE HEALTH CARE.

    I fought to live only to live in a life of debt and terror. For years of my recovery (2006-2011) I had medical collections calling me day and night. I contemplated suicide and still do.


    I feel betrayed and I HATE THE WHOLE WORLD FOR THIS GIFT. Thank you to everyone who saved my life so you could put me into servitude. I would rather be dead. My health and my freedom from debt were stolen by a cancer I was not even Genetically predisposed to. The world made me sick and then took my wealth, stability, and peace of mind.

    Physically I am healed but the medical system keeps me in CANCER every day. F U Y C K the system. It is time for revolution. the world is set up against the many by the few. We must rid the world of this evil; the medical system.

  • I was on holiday and the police put me on a 51/50 for a noise disturbance four days racked up to 38 grand wtf where do they think people are going to get this kind of money from ???

  • nifty

    what is stupid here is that in the state of Iowa they sued the tobacco companies in teh billions of dollars. Mr. Miller attorney general for iowa puts in his court document and files the following” this is for the citizens who have been harmed by the tobacco companies” In turn the attorney generall miller allows bluecross and blueshield to BUY there way into the lawsuit a private company yet got to give the Atttorny general over 50 thousand dollars in order for the BLUECROSS OF IOWA AND MINNESOTA to get millions of dollars from the lawsuit. however the citizens who are dying from teh tobacco in which the state of iowa and bluecross and blueshield are profiting off the demise of the people, never gave anhting to the smokers, actually in fact, the state of iowa REFUSED to give anyhting or allow any ictizen to claim damages and gave money to the Universiyt regents who determine if your tuition will go up or not, yeah those rich bastards really had to pay bills for smokers, and not only that they allowed MERCY MEDICAL ASSOCIATES to BUY There way into the lawsuit too, in whihc Mercy MEDIAL ASSOCIATES got millions of dollars off of the stellment for iowa. The bad thing here is this. Any citizen who uses mercy medical and bluecross bluesheild, do not get free care if they have smoking related illnesses. In fact they get charged more! Mercy medical associates are medcial insraucne scammers against the citizens in iowa, they give bluecrossbs a shit load of credits deductables leaving me with a bill to pay everytime. If they would not allow bluecrossbs these deductions i would not have anything to pay and my insurance premiums would be enought ,OH NO its all abot assureing mercy associates and bluecross who they are agents to to get disocunts and cutbacks. I ask who is paying the premium each year I pay over 2500.00 out of my pocket for this insurance company to pay my bills, not be in cahoots with the hospital to get discounts leaving me bills to pay, if anyone gets any kind of deduction it should be me the person who is footin gall these bills, not the compnay I am pyaing to pay my bills. INSURANCE SCAMMERS ARE BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD OF IOWA AND MINNESOTA AND MERCY MEDICAL ASSOCIATES. they send bills to collections agencies, then if you apy that bill, they make you pay the collection agency and then rebill you AGAIN..this is what we get for ahving insurance and now the govt want’s us to be forced to endure this tyep of scammers..thanks incorporated USA again

  • Ali

    Well, DAY surgery – amount hospital says it “costs” for a laproscopic supra-cervical hysterectomy (this is not including the anesthesiologist, doctor and assistant, labwork before and other pre-op) was $78,000 – insurance cut it down to $23,000 which is still outrageous. Requested itemized bill – 7 liters of IV solution in 9 hours? This would cause real problems for a patient unless they were in shock from bloodloss which I wasn’t. Some things listed – ah – DISPOSABLE laproscopic scissor – one for over $700 and one for almost $500? Other things just as ridiculous! And getting the further information I’m requesting is a painstaking process but MY “portion” turned out to be $3300 when I was told at pre-op “your portion will be $2000”. No explanation – just “well it’s expensive” and “well, that’s what it costs” – we all know it does NOT cost that. If you went to the grocery store and picked up a pound of hamburger and when you checked out they said $500 and you asked and they said “well, that’s what it costs” – would you PAY it? I think people need to start questioning these things more and also insurance companies need to scrutinize. What gets me is once the insurance required ALL my records for one routine blood test that was standard with an ovarian cyst that ended up with their payment being $22 – and I had to fight with them for a YEAR to get it paid for some reason! Yet they allow these outrageous amounts and don’t even question that many IV’s.

    • homebuilding

      Sounds like a hospital run by the Governor of Florida…..Scott is the name.

  • Come on people. The US heathcare system is a joke. If you don’t think so then you are a complete fool. Bottom Line…. We are all too small to make a difference….. Solution? Refuse to pay your bill….. What they gonna do…. Take away your desert? Screw um!!!!!!

  • VoxVerum

    My wife went to a walk-in clinic because of some pain she was having in her neck. The nurse at the clinic checked her blood pressure while admitting her. Don’t recall the exact numbers, but it was high enough for them to tell her to go straight to the emergency room. She drove straight to the local hospital and checked in. They gave her meds to bring her bp down and assigned her to a bed for a couple of hours while they monitored her bp, then released her with a prescription for ongoing medication. Bill total: ~$8,000. That’s not a typo, and we have insurance through my employer. God bless America.

    • pissedoffwidow

      Our local hospital sent my husband to a Las Vegas hospital because his cancer had come back even worse. The 89 mile flight cost a total of $39,307.83. His insurance paid $7,559.06. The Careflight company is now billing me for the insurance (medicare) write off of $31,498.77, PLUS another $250.00 for god knows what. How many charter helicopter rides could I have hired for that much money?

      • homebuilding

        ‘Medical flights’ are an absolute ripoff.

        The very sad thing is that most people are intimidated by aircraft.

        Call any airport of size and ask for a single engine charter to _______.

        When you get a name an a booking person, tell them that it’s for a medically stable person that can walk to the plane, get in, and doesn’t need a nurse.

        Expect that you’ll be able to arrange this in a couple of hours or a couple of days, depending on your needs.

        Of course, you can have a taxi or ground ambulance at the other end….to transfer you to facilities.

        I got started doing this over 20 years ago…..the pilot and aircraft I used several times–went into air ambulance work. (the money was too good to deal with ‘low budget’ me)

  • Gabriel

    If you could cite your sources, that’d be great. Thanks.

    • YouMustHaveMissedIt

      She does. Mouse over the hyperlinks

  • RedAngle07

    I have to agree with the need to cite your article and where you get your stats. I would get an F on my paper for citing your article due to your lack of citations for your statistics. It will also help to authenticate your thoughts and add to the truth to what you are posting. You want people to start thinking but you also want them to take you seriously. They will when they realize you have done the work and the research by simply citing where you got your information. Thanks, because I would have loved to use what you posted.

    • YouMissedSomethingObvious

      She does. Mouse over the hyperlinks, duh.

  • Ben Hurt

    I had prostate cancer. I spent less than one day in a hospital, but the bill came to $18,000. Insurance covered about $3,000. An advocate read my insurance policy and said she couldn’t begin to figure out what it was supposed to cover. We are screwed. Our system will have to be totally overhauled or we will just slap bandaids on top of bandaids. Eventually the typical arrogance America has toward Europe has to give way so that we can see what does work. Don’t hold your breath.

  • Went to hospital a few years back. 10 days in intensive care. Total bill= $150,000. WTF. Insurance company settled for $74,000 apparently, cost me about 3 to 4k. Luckily I had got a new job with medical insurance not long before. I can’t imagine the system getting worse than it already is.

  • Rodgman

    Just underwent a hip resurfacing procedure 4 months ago. No complications and only one night in the hospital. The hospital billed my insurance company over $83,000, which didn’t include the surgeon’s or anesthesiologist’s charges. My insurance company agreed to pay $27,000. The procedure ended up costing me around $8,000 out of pocket. Never mind that the monthly premiums for my family’s health insurance plan at the time were around $1,400/month, which is more than the mortgage payment for my home. Meanwhile, the monthly premium for my family’s health insurance just increased to over $1,800/month. I’m 55 years old, a long way from becoming eligible for Medicare. I make good living, but I’m not made of money. No normal family budget can handle this kind of health insurance expense and these kind of annual premium increases. Yes, I would say the middle class in America is in serious trouble. The wealthy can afford health care and the poor get it essentially for nothing courtesy of the US taxpayer. The middle class take it up the rear.

  • homebuilding

    –get a detailed bill
    –write a long, detailed letter challenging ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING THAT LOOKS LIKE AN OVERCHARGE to you.
    –specifically mention the items you want deleted and the amount of discount to the grossly overcharged ones
    –tell them that you expect an adjusted bill within thirty days.
    –mention in the letter that you have retained legal counsel (say this, even if you are only considering it.
    –if they send you any bills before you receive an adjusted bill, return a copy to them with another letter, reminding them that you cannot respond to any bill that does not incorporate your requests for modification
    –drag things out
    –do not send money
    –warn them that they are not to send collection notices when any items remain under dispute
    –HIDE ANY CASH OR LIQUID ASSETS (transfer to a trusted relative in cash or cashier’s check NOT made out to any person) Have them keep it in a separate interest bearing account–they’ll need to pay the small amount of income tax on it…you don’t want anyone to know it’s your money.
    –Make certain that under medical bankruptcy laws, your HOME is protected (this is not true, by the way, with student loans)
    –it’s going to be like buying a car.
    –don’t offer anything until they give you a settlement figure
    –sit on it for 25 days
    –offer them 25% of that–don’t tell them what form that will take
    –drag this out
    –when there is a final figure, tell them that you’ll start making payments.
    –make them small.
    –real small
    –try, mostly to keep up
    –a small nuisance payment may keep them happy, as ANY cash flow is better than none for them
    –if all else fails, do remember that you might have life insurance–don’t give them any specifics……but tell them that you might give them, say, $25,000 as a beneficiary.
    Good luck.
    Throw in some other steps relating to bankruptcy
    Pay off other debts as you see fit.