Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It Costs How Much?

Do you remember this splint that I was told to wear (and did for a week) when I had acute olecranon bursitis? Well, I got my bill recently and was shocked by how expensive the splint was! If I had been told how much it was going to be, I swear I would have left without it. I would have used the "soft" elbow pad and made myself a plaster splint to protect my elbow from being bumped for that week. Here's the breakdown of the medical bill. For some reason, all of the charges had been billed to insurance EXCEPT the splint charge. I asked that it be submitted.

ServiceDescription of ServiceChargeInsurance AllowedPatient to Pay
99204Office/New Patient$229.02$140.38$140.38
73070X-Ray Exam$73.92$33.12$33.12
97760Orthotic (OT)Management$40.00$36.00$36.00
L3763Rigid Elbow Splint$773.33??????


Vijay said...

I am shocked Ramona.
You probably would have spent about 1000 to 1500 rupees (US$ 25 to 40) all inclusive at the best hospital in Salem. That is if we assume that the fancy splint would be costly. If you made do with a plaster cast it would have been less than $20.
$73.95 for an xray exam of the elbow is unbelievable. An xray film with frontal & lateral views of the elbow joint at my department, where we use CR (the poor man's digital radiography) would cost about eight dollars (US$ 8).

rlbates said...

The splint cost was the most shocking to me, Vijay.

Neumed said...

Wow, $773 for what looks like two foam pads and some velcro. Somebody's living large at those prices.

I've similar elbow/arm pain problems over the years and I've tried various pads and homemade splints with no luck. Do you think the fancy splint helped?

rlbates said...

It helped in that it protected my elbow from being bumped (going through doorways, closing my car door, etc) and kept me from resting my elbow (have mostly broken that habit) on the table and other hard surfaces. A plaster splint would have done the same.

The velcro makes it easier to remove and replace without help. A plaster splint would have to be re-wrapped with an ACE bandage if it was made to be removed for showers and such.

Dreaming again said...


Neumed said...

Thanks for the reply, Dr. Bates. I guess I'll stick with the less expensive options should the need ever arise again.

make mine trauma said...

Yikes!! I thought the 73.95 xray was pretty cheap. The office visit reasonable, not sure what OT Mgmt is, but the splint is outrageous. I know the mark-up for hospital supplies is extremely excessive (I used to work in a hospital business office) and, as far as I know, there is no regulation thereof. That splint is probably marked up about 150% or maybe someone accidentally typo'd an extra 7, yeah, I bet that's it!