10 immensely overinflated hospital costs

Although patients know hospital trips are expensive, they still often experience sticker shock when they view their medical bills — especially when these bills are itemized.

Pat Palmer, the founder of Medical Billing Advocates of America, a company that helps patients understand medical bills, outlined examples to Reader's Digest of surprising overcharges by hospitals on medical bills.

Here is the average price for 10 common items used in hospitals.

1. Tylenol
Charge to patient: $15 per individual pill

2. Patient belonging bag (often a grocery bag)
Charge to patient: $8 per bag

3. Box of tissues
Charge to patient: $8 per box

4. Gloves for physicians
Charge to patient: $53 per non-sterile pair

5. Plastic cup to hold medications
Charge to patient: $10 per cup

6. Marking pen (for surgery)
Charge to patient: $17.50 per pen

7. Blood pressure cuff
Charge to patient: $20 per use

8. Oral administration fee
Charge to patient: $6.25 per instance

9. Headlight use in operating room
Charge to patient: $93.50

10. Swabs, alcohol
Charge to patient: $23 per swab to disinfect skin

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