North Carolina's Lake Norman Regional Medical Center charges patient $81,000 for $750 worth of snakebite medicine


#1

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#2

Greatest healthcare system in the world (for profitability)!


#3

Hrm, I imagine the experts and expedited nature of the custom antivenom would make this more valuable than whatever someone's selling on eBay? Is there "generic" antivenom being used? Can someone clarify further?

I knew someone who worked for an exotic pets company, they enjoyed renting out tigers to a party for Missy Elliott, they didn't enjoy their lack of health insurance when they were bit by a particularly nasty snake and racked up roughly $300k in bills to save their life.


#4

What's really funny is that copperheads are notorious for dry defensive bites. He may not have even needed the antivenin. Our system is SO broken, overcare and overcharging are SOP. Sadly, the docs are often caught in the middle. Keep a patient under observation or treat him for $90k? They'd likely get fired for the doing the former.


#5

eBay is always my go-to source for accurate pricing, reliable delivery, and guaranteed quality of prescription medication.


#6

Hey, AMERICA! Your health system is fucked!


#7

So is there an anti-venom against the bite of our health care system? Talk about toxic, they make the snakes look like sissies.


#8

“In some cases, Lake Norman Regional’s charge is considerably higher than other local hospitals,

Tough to shop around when you're dying


#9

Let the free market decide! (when you die)


#10

This exactly. "whatever the market will bear" doesn't really apply when the alternative is a horrible medical outcome.

On a semi-related note, my mother's oral chemotherapy drug ran ~$100 PER PILL!!! (post insurance!). So, out of pocket cost ~$3k/month for just one of the meds. Kind of a BS sort of situation when you're quite literally buying a wee bit more time.


#11

1) "How much for that anti-venom? Hang on let me check something..."
2) Much less on eBay? BUY NOW!
3) "Sorry, I'll just hold off. Yea I know parts of my flesh are necrotic but I need to go home, I'm expecting a package..."
4) Wait 2-3 weeks for shipping.
5) Totally miss the "out for delivery notification" because...
6) You are dead. Or known by the nickname of "stumpy".


#12

SWEET! CURE FOR AIDS ON EBAY!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/The-Cure-For-HIV-And-AIDS-by-Hulda-Clark-Self-Diagnosis-with-Electronic-Circuit-/321292241810?pt=US_Nonfiction_Book&hash=item4ace828b92


#13

That's under non-fiction... The swindling liars.


#14

This is a fundamental issue of insurance-based healthcare systems - insurers can't prescribe treatments, and heathcare providers have no responsibility to control costs. It's particularly mendacious in this instance (presumably because all parties involved are private organisations) but even in nations where the model is insurance-based but the provision largely state (in Germany, for instance, the state runs the majority of healthcare and the largest insurance providers) there is basically no cost control, so you go to the doctor with a bad back and they immediately send you for a largely un-necessary MRI scan.

The downside to a taxation-based model, which solves this issue by giving the healthcare provider responsibility for cost control, is that the entire system becomes vulnerable to political interference.


#15

Clearly, this is much better than a single payer system.


#16

This is why the hospital's charge data masters should be public. I propose a modified wikileaks style anonymous submission platform that hospital employees can send it to. Because there's absolutely no incentive for them to make their charges public. But one might hope that seeing how many are denied help a person who got into health with an honest desire to help people might help blow this thing wide open and bring true competition to the market.


#17

Isn't it some kind of fraud to refuse to post prices for goods and services rendered? I mean, I know there are restaurants that don't have the prices on the menu, but I'm pretty sure if you pull a waiter aside they'll tell you how much you want costs before you order it.

I mean it just seems somehow deceptive to offer a service without ever giving at least an estimate. And simultaneously having no legal obligation to at least try to estimate the cost if it's requested before hand.

Hospitals have a captive market. Although I'm pretty sure market isn't even a relevant term, seeing as their customers often don't have a choice but to just get to the damn hospital before they die of whatever is ailing them...

Talk about having someone's balls in a vice.

#18

Well said. So could we have a tax based system without the political interference, pleeease. Seems highly unlikely from where I am sitting in the UK but one can dream.


#19

Me, I'm thinking: "$700 for snake-bite medicine? What a ripoff!"


#20

How much are you willing to pay someone to handle incredibly venomous snakes, milk them, use that venom to create a vaccine that makes a horse or cow develop antibodies for it, administer that to said animals for a long time, extract a ton of blood from those animals, extract the antibodies from the blood, create a nifty injectable out of those antibodies and ship it to you?

A lot goes into making antivenom.

Also, the US only has one FDA approved and licenced antivenom for pit vipers (rattle snakes, copperheads and water moccasins) which is CroFab. They can charge whatever the hell they want, since they're the only game in town, and when it comes to life or death situations people are often willing to pay anything.

CroFab could be swindlers, but there is a significant legitimate expense in making antivenoms, and people aren't bitten by venomous snakes often enough to produce quantities large enough to drive costs down and encourage competition in our awful market-ish based healthcare system where the people who buy aren't the people who pay.