Rod Dreher

Lucas, my six-year-old, broke his arm running down the sidewalk a couple of weeks back. He had to go get a cast the next day at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, but that afternoon, he was treated by a hospital closer to our home. That hospital sent us a copy of the charges and services provided, for some reason. It was not a bill, but it was still a fascinating document. Here’s what it says, verbatim:

UE — FOREARM 2V: $659.82
UE — WRIST 3V+: 659.82
Total charges: $2504.64

So, to interpret this, the first two charges are for X-rays. The third charge is the ER visit itself. And the “minor procedure”? That’s the charge for splinting a six year old’s arm and wrapping it in gauze. Keep in mind that he had to go to CHOP the next day for actual setting of the bone and placing it in a cast. Who knows how much that cost…
We have good insurance, thank God, but it’s astonishing how much something as relatively simple as a kid’s broken arm can cost. It’s insane, really. Is it that way for people in other countries?

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