August 15, 2012 in Member Stories
A colleague at WBUR slammed her right pinky finger in one of our heavy studio doors a few weeks ago. When she got home that night she realized that the gash was deep enough to need stitches. It was after 8 p.m., on a Friday, so her doctor’s office was closed for the weekend. She went to the local ER.
Two-and-a-half hours later, most of which involved waiting, she went home with two stitches. She just got a $1,059 bill from the hospital (The total cost of her visit was $1,134, but the bill was reduced by her $75 ER co-pay).
She was mystified by “how two stitches could possibly cost more than eleven hundred dollars?” She called the hospital and asked for an itemized bill. Here’s what she got:
It’s a little hard to read the scanned copy, but if you look at the second line, that accounts for a $400 charge, you see this explanation: SIMPL REPR SCLP/AX/GEN.
We’ve been trying to guess, in the newsroom, what “simple repr sclp/ax/gen” means? Anyone? Couldn’t the billing staff at least send an explanation with full words?
My friend’s finger healed well. It should, she says, for $1134.