When a scab on Laura Wheaton-Werle’s son’s wrist wouldn’t heal, she suggested he visit his doctor. The doctor said it was nothing serious, but removed the lesion in his exam room.
Wheaton-Werle said she thought nothing more about it, until the bill arrived.
“That was $202,” she said. “That’s what I would expect from a physician,” she said.
What she didn’t expect was a second bill for $746 from Truman Medical Center, a hospital her son had never visited.
“When I called Truman Medical Center to ask them about this they said, `Well he came to our hospital,’”recalled Wheaton-Werle. “No he didn’t. He was at the doctor’s office.”
That’s when she learned Truman Medical Center owned the doctor’s office and considered it part of the hospital. The $746 bill was for something called a “facility fee” that goes directly to the hospital.
This is the sad future of healthcare. Now you know why the door is open for CVS and Walmart to get into the game and compete. And how sad is it when these patients get these bills, especially when their out-of-pocket deductibles is getting higher and aren’t covering these bills?
This story has now become the new but perverted twist on the line from It’s a Wonderful Life:
“The administrators says that every time a patient complains about a ‘facility fee’ it means that another doctor has whored himself or herself out to a hospital.”