Dear Editor,

Recently I spent a few days in the Hospital at University of Missouri. While there, among other things, I had a CT Scan. When I came home I got the bill from them for the scan.

The total for the CT scan was $4557.3. Of this amountt my insurance paid $192.40. My co-pay amounted to $35.00

They received a total of $227.40. They wrote off the remaining $4329.91

Is this fair that someone without insurance would be billed 20 times what they got from my insurance and co-pay?

Why shouldn't the bill be $227.40 for everyone? Many people, including one person I know, lost their life-time savings to pay off an adult daughter's hospital bill because she had been unable to acquire health insurance. If they could have paid 1/20 of the bill they would not have lost all their savings. I think it is a disgrace that there is no fairness in our hospital's billing system.
While taking care of another friend who had many serious problems ( she was on Medicare), I began to notice the hospital she was in was charging for a cholesterol lab every time she went into the hospital – which sometimes was once per week. Most people know this is another way of "gouging" our government system. Your cholesterol does not change that quickly, usually once or twice a year is sufficient.

Also, the same friend was receiving very expensive medication due to the fact she was on dialysis. One pharmacy has the exclusive right to fill all prescriptions for the people on Kidney dialysis and working with the Kidney Foundation. As a dialysis and kidney patient she developed a resistance to the meds very frequently so her meds had to be changed often. The drugstore automatically mailed out the prescriptions without calling to see if she still needed them. I asked them to please call before they sent them out as she had so many discontinued and was receiving many extra prescriptions each month. They said "once the prescriptions left the pharmacy they could not take them back." When asked they told me "not to worry about the bill because the Kidney foundation was paying for everything. (Maybe they are paying for it, but it amounted to hundreds of dollars a month of unusable meds) WHAT A WASTE OF GOOD MONEY!

Barbara K. Thoma, RN