Patient pays $1,900 for stitches, removes them himself

Patient pays ,900 for stitches, removes them himself

A TikTok user has gone viral after calling the US healthcare system.

In a video with over 5.2 million views on Sunday, TikTok user Sam (@_sam_goodwin) reminisces about his experience with healthcare billing in the United States.

Sam says he cut his finger late at night when all the local urgent care centers were closed. Knowing that this cut needed quick attention, he says he went to the hospital for treatment, which resulted in five stitches that lasted two weeks.

After leaving the hospital, he says he received a bill for treatment. The total cost? $3,800 before insurance — and nearly $1,900 after.

@_sam_goodwin i hate american healthcare #fyp #foryou #universalhealthcare #capitalism #socialism #Pleasefixthis ♬ original sound – names

When it came time to remove the stitches, Sam says he made an appointment with a local urgent care center affiliated with the hospital.

Upon arrival, he says he was told he would need to have the stitches removed at the hospital where he had them. Luckily, they told her the move would be free.

Knowing he needed the stitches removed, Sam says he went to the hospital and told them about his experience at the urgent care center, noting that they told him that the stitch removal suture would be free. Unfortunately, he claims the hospital informed him that he would have to pay to have them removed.

Sam responded by saying he would just remove the stitches himself. To help her, a nurse slipped her a kit that included sterile scissors and tweezers.

“It’s a little story about health care in America,” Sam concludes. “$1,800 will get you five stitches, and then the nurses will have to come to the back of the hospital to get you treated. .”

In response, some commenters suggested that Sam should have just used superglue to fix the wound himself. Depending on the circumstances, this may actually be a safe way to repair small cuts in an emergency, although proper medical attention is advised.

However, as Sam notes in a follow-up video, this does not solve the problems at the heart of health care billing in the United States.

@_sam_goodwin Replying to @alexfullthrottlez91 ♬ original sound – names

“I shouldn’t be stuck with…two options, then.” The first option, super-stick myself and risk getting a serious infection in my blood at home. It’s not good. I don’t like that option,” he says. “And the second option, in my case, was to go to the hospital and pay $1,900.”

Some commenters offered more advice, suggesting that Sam ask for an itemized bill. This is an invoice that details all the services rendered and their respective costs.

Asking for an itemized bill and disputing charges is known to reduce the cost of healthcare. That said, Sam claimed in a comment that he requested such an invoice and disputed several charges to no avail.

While these prices may be shocking to those outside the United States, stories like these are incredibly common in a country where the average hospital visit costs United Healthcare $2,200.

“In 2021, health care spending in the United States reached $4.3 trillion, an average of about $12,900 per person,” reads an article from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. “In comparison, the average cost of health care per person in other wealthy countries is only about half.”

While some may argue that these high prices make Americans healthier, that’s not really the case.

An article by author Jacqueline Howard for CNN from earlier this year notes that “the United States spends more on health care than any other high-income country, but still has the lowest life expectancy at birth. and the highest rate of people with multiple chronic conditions.” citing a Commonwealth Fund report.

Additionally, “compared to peer countries, the United States has the highest rates of death from preventable or treatable causes and the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality.”

In Sam’s original video, some users claimed that the downside of socialized healthcare systems in some comparable countries was the long wait times for patients. Again, this claim is not supported by data.

In fact, “patients in peer countries generally have similar or shorter wait times than patients in the United States for a variety of services,” writes author Thomas Waldrop for the Center for American Progress.

On TikTok, users shared their stress of living under the US healthcare system.

“Every time I hurt myself I think about possible health care bills,” wrote one commenter. “That’s the first thing that comes to mind.”

“That’s why I waited to go to the hospital with severe stomach pains for 5 days because I was so scared of what the bill would be,” a second recalled. “It ended up being appendicitis and if I had waited any longer it could have ruptured and I could have died. I don’t have insurance, and even after financial aid it still cost $5,000 for the operation to remove the appendix.

“I’m paying close to $5,000 after insurance to have a small bump on my butt removed in March,” said a third. “For comparison…My horse had a big bump removed for $120…And a $30 vet visit.”

We reached out to Sam via a TikTok comment.

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