Baer Hanusz-Rajkowski from New Jersey cut his finger with a claw end of a hammer while doing DIY work at home. He hoped that the cut would heal, but found out that the wound was still open after several days. Baer then went to the Bayonne Medical Center emergency room to have his cut treated.
After the treatment, Baer was surprised as he was slapped with a bill amounting to almost $9,000.
When Baer visited the hospital, the nurse said that stitches and an x-ray were not necessary. He only received a tetanus shot, a bandage, and a swab. For that type of treatment, Baer did not expect the bill to skyrocket to $9,000.
He was sent a bill for $8,200 for his emergency room visit, and additional $182 for the tetanus shot, $8 for the antibacterial wipes that were used, $242 for the sterile supplies and a few hundred dollars more for the nurse who treated his wound.
“I got a Band-Aid and a tetanus shot. How could it be $9,000. This is crazy. If I severed a limb, I’d carry it to the next emergency room in the next city before I go back to this place.”
The Daily Mail reports that President and CEO of Bayonne Medical Center Dr. Mark Spektor said that the large amount was not the hospital’s fault. Instead, Baer’s insurance company, United Healthcare, was responsible. He said that his healthcare provider failed to offer fair reimbursement rates.
A spokeswoman for United Healthcare said that Carepoint is the one responsible as they follow a business model that prevents cutting price deals with insurers.
More than 5 years ago, Carepoint Health purchased Bayonne Medical Center and transformed it into a for-profit treatment center, according to Spektor.
“These sticker price charges only apply to a minority of patients whose insurance companies have refused to negotiate fair contracted prices with us.”
According to the law in New Jersey, insurers should pay emergency room treatments, whether there is an in-network deal for pricing or not.
Reports indicate that Bayonne Medical Center also charges high prices for plenty of common procedures. It is also said that Carepoint has purchased a few other hospitals in Jersey City and Hoboken to turn them into for-profit ventures.
Despite the issue, Baer was able to get a free treatment for his finger as his insurance company agreed to pay $6,640 of his total bill. Western Journalism reports that the remaining amount was eventually covered by the hospital.