Stephens Family

Stephens Family

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Cost of an ER Visit...

I think we have finally got all of our bills in the mail for the trip we took to the ER on 12/26/2012.  With each bill I am reminded of the terrible feeling Mike and I had thinking that we had lost our baby at 14.5 weeks.  Thank God this was not the case.

In case you didn't know, the day after Christmas I woke up at 4 am to a watery gush of blood.  Mike and I, not really even knowing there could be another explanation, headed to the ER thinking most definitely that I was miscarrying. (I am now 22.5 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby girl!)

I can vividly remember the visit as it was somewhat a traumatic experience for me.  Here were the services provided:

*I was asked by my nurse a series of questions about my health, etc. (10 mins)

*I was given an IV -- side note -- my nurse totally botched it; I had tons of blood running down my arm filling up a towel beneath.  He said, "Whoops, didn't mean to do that!" I was thinking, seriously, haven't I lost enough blood today? (5 mins)

*Several vials of blood were tested for blood type, rx factor, etc. (2 mins)

*Doppler was used to check for baby's heart beat -- side note -- same nurse could NOT find a heartbeat and continued to explain that sometimes women just have their period when they are pregnant!  Seriously?!  I'm not a nurse and even I know that CAN'T be true! (5 mins)

*Received an ultrasound from the radiology technician who said that baby in fact DID have a heartbeat was moving around but could answer no other questions. (10 mins)

*Saw the ER doctor who administered an internal pelvic exam and told me that my cervix was closed which  was a good thing.  But continued to state that I had a 50% chance of miscarrying and to "take it easy" and not put anything in my vagina until I see my OB who would give me further instructions. (5 mins)

*Insurance guy came in to ask some final questions about our policy, address, etc. (5 mins)

***Between all of these we waited for probably an hour total.  So our total time in the ER (including waiting) was approximately 1 hr and 37 minutes.  Note that we only saw a doctor for 5 minutes of that.

And our grand total cost (before insurance) was $2,686.00.  

Thankfully, we have decent insurance and only had to pay $335.00 of that.

So, our insurance paid over $2,300.00 for our 1.5 hour long visit to the Emergency Room.

I have no real reason for posting this.  I am not complaining and am very grateful for the entire medical world -- especially, hospitals, doctors and nurses.  I was just caught by surprise by how much a quick visit to the ER could cost.  And, don't get me wrong -- I know there were other things being done which cost $$ but didn't necessarily pertain directly to me during my visit like the Radiologist reading my u/s (which we never saw the results for, but still) and the cost of medical supplies and equipment used, etc.

As I reflect, paying these bills makes me so thankful for Mike's daily hard work to provide for Eli and I (and baby on the way) and his company, which provides our family with health insurance.  I can't even imagine what it would be like to have to visit the ER without insurance and my heart goes out to the uninsured.  To unexpectedly swallow nearly three thousand dollars in not even two hours would have been a blow our bank account.

I am also thankful -- no matter what the cost -- for hospitals, doctors, nurses and medical technology.

Most of all, I am thankful for God who is the supplier of everything good.  He has been there for us through this entire experience and I know will continue to be!

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