Thursday, July 16, 2009

Worse than McAllen?

If anyone wants to know why we need healthcare reform yesterday, all they have to do is read this newspaper article about a patient who spent 12 hours at the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center in Florida and racked up charges totaling $211,941.50 before being transferred to a 2nd hospital where an additional $400,000 in charges were run up in 12 more hours.

Granted, this case sounds like the patient was very ill because they ended up dying. But still. These charges are ridiculous.

I mean, $354 for 2 mg of Lorazepam? You can get a 2 mg tablet of Lorazepam at Costco for 37 cents.

When Dr. Atul Gawande wrote about the high healthcare costs of McAllen, TX, who knew there were actually places even more expensive to get medical care?