Florida ER lowers bill after $5K charge for 4 stitches

A Florida woman said her husband went to the emergency room for a minor cut and was charged $5,000, according to WFTV.

Linda Caldwell told the ABC-affiliated television station that she and her husband spent about 50 minutes at the Ocala (Fla.) Health's quick care center in West Marion County. She claims her husband received four stitches for a minor cut and was on his way.

However, questions arose after medical bills totaled $5,000. When Ms. Caldwell examined an itemized statement, she saw that her husband was billed for a level three emergency, meaning care provided was a higher-level emergency that involved a specialist or substantial decisions, WFTV reported.

Ms. Caldwell said she disputed the charges with hospital officials, her insurer and state regulators, as there had been no specialist, lab work or X-rays.

She also sought help from the TV station and was able to get the issue resolved.

Once a level 1 code was applied for a simple visit, the bills were lowered from $5,000 to $800.

According to WFTV, Ocala Health apologized for the patient financial experience and said its team members are ready to help with confusing billing issues.

"We understand healthcare bills can be confusing at times," the system said in a statement obtained by the TV station. "To help patients understand the billing process, we provide resources on our website and have a patient financial services team to assist. Another important resource for consumers is their insurance provider, since insurance coverage typically plays a significant role in determining a patient's out-of-pocket expenses. If any consumers have questions about the billing process, they can visit our website at ocalahealthsystem.com to get connected with our team."


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