Health

Los Angeles Hospital Charges Woman Nearly $2,000 For Fainting By Father's Bedside

| by Nathaly Pesantez
Emergency Emergency

A woman faces a hospital bill close to $2,000 after fainting at her father’s bedside.

Lauren Leigh, 57, became ill in February immediately after her father had died at Los Angeles’ Good Samaritan Hospital, reported Los Angeles Times.

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Leigh was taken to the hospital’s emergency department and given lorazepam, an anti-anxiety drug. She left the hospital 90 minutes later, once her blood pressure was normal.

Leigh received her $1,952 bill in May, with the bill reading, “Type of service: Emergency.” No charges were itemized.

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Concerned, Leigh reached out to Good Samaritan about her bill. A staff member from the hospital’s billing department told Leigh there were no errors in her bill.

Unsatisfied, Leigh’s contacted her insurer, Blue Shield. It contacted Good Samaritan for an explanation of the charges.

According to the hospital’s insurance claim, the blood-pressure exam administered to Leigh cost around $232, and the medication was listed at $19.54.

Most of Leigh’s bill was for visiting the emergency room — a $1,700 fee.

“You’d think they could show at least a little compassion,” said Leigh.

Katrina Bada, a representative from Good Samaritan, says the bill factors the costs of staffing, facilities and infrastructure, along with the treatment performed on Leigh.

The emergency room charge at Good Samaritan, according to Bada, “is consistent with the charges assessed by other hospitals in our area.”

Leigh’s nearly $2,000 bill is separate from the $100,000 Good Samaritan charged Leigh for her now deceased father’s stay.

A typical U.S. hospital charges 3.4 times the cost of patient care, according to a study reported by The Washington Post.

Another study in 2013 found that more than 1 in 5 Americans under age 65 had problems paying medical bills, reported The Huffington Post. 

Sources: Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post

Photo Credit: Taber Andrew Bain/Flickr