Mercy Hospital Folsom

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$13,111.00 ER Visit for Nothing.
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
FOLSOM, CALIFORNIA -- My 85 year old dad went to the ER at Mercy Hospital of Folsom for three hours only to come home with a $13,111.00 bill for some imaging diagnostics for a bump on the head. No, he didn’t have a heart attack, no, there was no emergency surgery involved. He fell and bumped his head. That was it.

The doctors there have told me that old folks can get confused and fall when they have an infection. And sure enough four weeks later Dad had to be admitted for a terrible infection. And guess what? When we went in for the bump on the head they didn't even take a blood or urine test to see if he had an infection! The only detailed items on the bill were radiology exams.

To rub salt in the wound, my husband spoke with an outpatient radiology service. To perform the exact same radiology scans at their place would have cost in total under $1,000. This was in the ER but does that justify charging over 1,300% increase?

No one at Mercy Folsom will even discuss this with me. I've called repeatedly. Now they have sent the bill to a collection agency. I’m concerned that they are gouging the public and don’t want to admit it. They aren't even willing to negotiate this bill. Is the legalized robbery?
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User Replies:
clutzycook on 12/29/2012:
Did your dad not have Medicare or another form of insurance. And I hate to say it, but in and out of the ER in 3 hours is pretty darn good.
Bill on 12/30/2012:
Your bill reflects the cost of treating all the people who don't/cannot pay like people without insurance including illegal aliens.
Anonymous on 12/30/2012:
For 13 grand you can prob buy one of those imaging machine. What some of these ER's charge is highway robbery.

You will def go broke if your not insured. Good thing my mother is insured because when she had to go to the ER the ride itself over there was $800 plus all the other charges they hit you with once you're there.

Tezrien on 12/30/2012:
This is a perfect example of why socialized healthcare is so badly needed in the US. I hope your father is well now.
Karnamay on 12/30/2012:
So happy I am Canadian and have universal health care. So sorry.
At Your Service on 12/30/2012:
Your father's health is the most important aspect to this whole story. Hopefully he is continuing to do well.

Have we had a terrible problem within the US with health care? No doubt. This story exemplifies it. It's unfortunate that your father doesn't seem to have had any form of insurance. Now his only path is to take bankruptcy and hope he doesn't lose everything he owns.

Best of luck.
wjk898 on 12/30/2012:
The hospital cost was way more than the outpatient service for several reasons but a big one that most people don't get is this: walk around that hospital sometime during regular business hours on a weekday. Go to the cafeteria at lunchtime. Notice how many suits and pantsuits are around. Its astounding. Do you know how much hopital administrators make? I got news for ya...most make as least as much as a general practice doctor! And you can bet there are a dozen pulling 400K or more. That's right! And why? Because they and the regulatory agencies (Government) have created a paperchase so big you could stack it up and get to the moon. To cut to the has now become as big as Wall Street for business administrators. And THAT is what you are paying for. That, and all the trimmins that comes with it. There is simply no other reason for the disparity in price you pay - the nonpayors are covered by other means. Your insurance company (private or medicare) promotes this practice by paying these exhorbitant costs and passing it on to their insureds and tsxpayers.

Litttle discussed but of major importance. Hospitals have become a workhouse for MBA's who thrive, by the way, on more and more government regulations everywhere from the employment office to every single test that is done.

Obamacare will multiply this buracracy X 20. If you think its expensive now, just wait! My insurance company sure knows - they've increased my premium 300% in the last 5 years! They knew what was coming.

Its a smokescreen - you have to actually be working in one of those places to realize it.
CUontheFlipSide on 12/31/2012:
The Feds will fix it. Everything they ever touched got better, right?
The Paramedic on 12/31/2012:
The majority of the cost was most likely for a CT scan to rule out a head bleed. Those run approximately $8000, not including the fee for the radiologist to read it. Why would blood tests be performed for a "bump on the head"? That is not justified medicine.

I am a paramedic in a very busy Dallas ER, and it frustrates us that most people misuse the ER and think free medical care is owed them. People come for head colds and many, many stupid reasons. An elderly person that falls needs to be evaluated to ensure there are no broken bones or a head bleed
wjk898 on 01/02/2013:
That's why you are just a paramedic and not the guy writing orders. "just a bump on the head" could have/probably did happen from a fall. Let's the top of my head...hemoglobin of 7, wbc 220,000, potassium 1.8, sodium 102 Who knows? Anyone of those situations could cause someone to fall, have an episode of syncope..etc etc. Of course yoy do tests.

Keep up the good work, but stick to the wagon.
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X-Ray Rip Off
Posted by on
FOLSOM, CALIFORNIA -- I visited Mercy Hospital Folsom, CA for a chest X-Ray. They charged me 746$, which is very high, even I did not consult the doctor in the facility. They are sending several bills and built lot of pressure on me. I consulted other facilities in same region for the same type of service, it was really surprising they are charging only $75.00 for this.

The hospital billing people have no MERCY.
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User Replies:
Anonymous on 02/07/2010:
Welcome to America. I was charged over 2,000 dollars for a CAT scan. You're not the only one. If you are one of the millions of people who don't have healthcare, it can be rough, especially if you have to visit the hospital.
BEJ on 02/07/2010:
A radiologist has to read the xray and generate a report based on what he or she sees. A fee is charged for this professional service. Some facilities separate these charges and some do not.
Anonymous on 02/07/2010:
Is this the hospital off of E.Bidwell and "something" creek rd?

localgod on 02/07/2010:
The 14"x17" chest film is expensive, the cassettes and developing chemicals are expensive, the cost of an x-ray machine is expensive, the radiologist who evaluates your x-ray isn't a volunteer...
Anonymous on 02/07/2010:
How is one clinic only charging $75?
skumar10 on 02/07/2010:
Yes, this facility is off of E.Bidwell and "something" creek rd.
The URGENT CARE charges only $75.00 for X-ray.
I did not verify with Radiologist.I took the X-ray to my private doctor.
Starlord on 02/07/2010:
Local, almost nobody uses film and chemicals anymore. My mother was a registered x-ray technician for over thirty years, and I worked in the summer while in high school as a darkroom technician. Nowadays, they are using digital x-rays, using the same technology as your digital camera. No developing, no film, no chemicals. My mom would be so impressed.
Skye on 02/07/2010:
Excellent point Starlord. I had my lower back x-rayed last March, and it was all digital. They gave me the CD, to take with me. Nothing is processed anymore, well almost. Some places are not set up for digital radiographs, yet, for human medical care.

Starlord on 02/07/2010:
Thanks, Skye. Everyplace I have been for the last couple of years has gone digital. I didn't stop to think that may be not every place had switched over.
Sparticus on 02/07/2010:
Healthcare costs are ridiculous. We paid $1800 for a guy to come in spend 5 minutes hooking up an epidural. $1800. 5 minutes. We didn't have insurance. The entire 2 day stay at the hospital ran close to $15,000.
Anonymous on 02/07/2010:
Sparticus, I can see that. Can you imagine the malpractice or injury insurance that tech or hospital must carry for that procedure? They insert a long freaking needle in your spine. One mistake can paralyze a person. I had one with my c-section and when they say be still, I was still as cement. :)
localgod on 02/14/2010:
I'm going to miss the smell of x-ray developer and fixer...mmm...chemically!
jktshff1 on 02/14/2010:
+10 Ken
tnchuck100 on 02/14/2010:
My wife just spent 2 nights for a sleep apnea test. $2,300 the first night, $2,900 the second. PLUS $350 X 2 for some guy to write a prescription for a CPAP machine that billed the insurance company $2,200 for an $800 machine. GREED! Pure and simple GREED!!
Anonymous on 02/14/2010:
Just tell them you're an illegal alien, then it's free.


Anonymous on 02/14/2010:
Chuck I have seen those claims before. Believe me when I say that the doctors can bill that much but they will not get paid that much. Some plans have a capitated costs for providers, meaning they get paid so much per month whether you or any other patient is seen or not. Those days maybe gone though. It's been awhile since I have seen how the claims department works. Others have a maximum allowable cost, (this type of billing is still in effect) which means they will cut the payment on doctors, hospitals and on services such as the machine from the $2,200 charged down to maybe $600. Most contracts with providers are written so they have to write off the additional cost and NOT bill the patients for the difference.

My last ER visit a few weeks back the insurance was billed $13,933. The insurance paid a little over $3,600.

You are absolutely right though, Chuck. It is greed. Insurance greed, doctor greed, hospital greed... and the list goes on and on.
tnchuck100 on 02/14/2010:
Pro, in the case of the first night the bill was $2,300. The contractual discount was $230. With a $1500 deductible (new year) I had to pay $1,614 of that bill.

I full well believe our deductibles and co-pays are paying for the actual services. All the rest of the money is for those greedy ba$tards at the top. The poor nurse or practitioner sure isn't getting it.

I do sympathize with the doctors' mal-practice insurance. I blame the lawyers and courts for that - which when you get right down to the bone is ignorant jurors (people just like us) that allow ridiculous awards for trivial cases. - I mean TRIVIAL not TRUE negligence.

The system sucks. If NO ONE paid ANY insurance premiums then the medical profession would have to charge what people could afford. The would be no insurance company paying them. Then doctors could make a 'living' instead of a 'killing' off of us.
Nohandle on 02/14/2010:
I have no dental insurance coverage so I know what it's like to pay full price for visits. Payment expected at check out. It does aggravate me to realize what I'm paying for a cleaning vs what is accepted as payment in full for those with that type of coverage. I had surgery a number of years ago and was shocked at what the total charges were, what my insurance paid and it was considered paid in full.
Anonymous on 02/14/2010:
I had four fillings I had to get done 7 years ago I did not have any dental insurance cost like 3 grand I got it done at a private practice dental office ouch. None wonder the doc was driving a Benz.

His secretary kept calling me weekly wanting to know if I wanted any more dental work done I’m like are you nuts I just spent 3 grand you want to shake me down for more sheesh.
tnchuck100 on 02/14/2010:
Dentists amaze me as well. They try to schedule as many appointments as fast as possible. And they think you pay them out of your pocket change. Many problem. Got to make that Benz payment. Or maybe the country club dues are due.
Nohandle on 02/14/2010:
Even though the original complaint did not include a dental procedure, I brought that one in just to show others there really is a vast difference in what is expected as payment in full from a facility. Charge everyone the same price insurance companies pay IF payment is given upon check out or as soon as a hospital has all charges recorded and billed on that patient's account. None of this easy payment plan, just payment in full by the patient. I pay $85.00 for a simple cleaning at the dental office 3 times a year. I sincerely doubt the insurance companies pay that and I paid upon check out.
tnchuck100 on 02/14/2010:
Well, Ken, MissMarple is the only one to survive. At least she was able to keep your relevant comment up front.
Anonymous on 02/14/2010:
No one messes with the Marpster
Anonymous on 02/14/2010:
I get what you are saying chuck. If it sounded like I was trying to minimize your experience or expense with the insurance and doctors relating to fees that was not my intention.

My insurance doesn't have a deductible (thankfully). But I do sympathize for the rest that get hit with these outrageous costs. In my case if something isn't on the covered list by the HMO I am screwed and pay for all of it out of pocket.
Nohandle on 02/14/2010:
Pro, I can't speak for Chuck but I don't think you were making light of his experience. I personally have been VERY fortunate. For my surgery I paid $150.00 to the hospital and that was it. My insurance took care of the rest. I'm still amazed at the discrepancy in what is considered paid in full from insurance companies and those without insurance are expect to pay.
Aquarian by the sea on 01/19/2011:
This site is useful. Some facilities are truly gouging patients and taking advantage of their situation and needs. concerning the charge on chest xray- for Folsom, CA and within 100 mile radius chest x-ray has a low price range of $159, average price of $278 and high of $1,306 (would want to avoid that place!!). It is extremely rare to find physician and facility charges bundled, they are charged to patients separately. After 35 years in health care I've never seen charges bundled.

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