Overcharged 38000% !!!

Pretty Grumpy in NC writes in :

I am writing this letter as a complaint about medical charges from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, which I think is excessive.

I would like to point out that I got excellent care during my stay at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. I am questioning charges in total of $763.50. I received my bill for my hospital stay for surgery on June 10, 2013. I noticed a charge categorized as “Cast Room” of $763.50. I called the billing department and asked for an itemized bill.

I received the itemized bill and discovered that the “Cast Room” bill was really a daily charge of $254.50 for “Basic Frame with trapeze”. I called about this charge and learned that it was the bar above the bed attached to foot of bed to the head of the bed along with a trapeze handle. This item is used to help get up out of bed.

I think these charges are excessive.

I contacted a local home health equipment company to see what the charge would be if I rented this piece of equipment, and they told me the same item is $20 per month! This just seems unbelievable that a hospital can charge over 38000% above the price I can get this equipment for my home.

I had similar surgery in 2009 there is no entry on this EOB for “Other Services” as in the current EOB.
I only used this trapeze to get out of bed the first day of my hospital stay. I would have appreciated the therapist who did my therapy, and observed that I was not using it on day 2 & 3, to ask me if I needed this piece of equipment on my bed. If I would have known I was charged this excessive amount per day, I would have said “no, go ahead and take it off”.

I accept paying an initial charge for the equipment since they had an employee come to my room and install the equipment, but a daily charge of this amount? I have paid my bill including one day of the $254.50 realizing this as a possible charge for labor, and the use of this piece of equipment for the first day, even though it took the employee less than an hour to put the equipment on the bed.

Also, I am surprised the insurance company would accept this charge for this piece of equipment. My EOB shows my insurance company accepted $458.10 of this charge, this is unbelievable!

I received a reply from the hospital billing that my procedure was billed under a DRG(diagnosis related group) methodology and basically this billing was a “package deal” and whether I used the equipment or not, it is still billed.

They basically said they could not reimburse because of this methodology.

The letter also stated that I am responsible for this charge.
How can a hospital get away with charging this much for a piece of equipment?

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