Sarah Macsalka has seen the stories about how expensive an emergency room visit can be, even for a minor complaint.
So when her seven year-old son Cameron gashed his knee on a weekend morning in June, the ER was NOT where her family headed first.
In fact, Macsalka did just about everything she could to avoid paying a big, fat bill to get Cameron’s knee stitched up — and ultimately failed.
For instance, she took Cameron first to a local urgent-care clinic, but was told they didn't have anesthetic. So it was off to the ER.
Before signing anything, Sarah asked what it might cost and pressed hard — but got only squishy answers.
She ended up liable for $3,000 in charges. If only she had known.
“I would've said thank you very much. And walked out and gone back to our lovely urgent care and been like, 'Cameron, bite on this stick.'”
Her adventures make an entertaining parable, and they raise a big question: In a health care system where consumers are told to "shop" for the best deal, why is it so hard for us to get the information we need?
On this episode, we get some answers, thanks to a super-insider and straight shooter: Lisa Bielamowicz, a doctor who now runs Gist Healthcare, a consultancy firm where hospitals are the clients, gives us the dirt.
We'd love it if you support this show on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/armandalegshow
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
We're re-releasing and updating a story we first reported in 2019, about how insulin got to be so horribly expensive—the scientists who discovered it …
Jeff is a lawyer who used to represent medical-bill collectors in court. ("I was a bad guy, for sure," he says.)
But he switched sides, and he's here …
2021 is off to a rough start, but we've got a couple of small things that don't completely suck.
First, a new federal rule could help cut through one …
This episode turns the tables: Host Dan Weissmann gets interviewed about what he's learned this year, and what's ahead for the show— with T.K. Dutes, an ace radio host and podcast-maker ... …