Hospital Billing – Exposing the Economics

by Dr Nick

 

Am I the only one frustrated with a health system that allows for bills to show up not only as a slow trickle but also an avalanche if you have been unlucky to intersect with a hospital system for anything. But as if that was not bad enough there is no of limitations for medical bills and this South Korean couple found themselves on the receiving end of an $18,000+ bill for a visit that took place over 2 years ago for a 22-minute visit that included a nap and some formula milk

Image Credit: Vox

Two years later, the bill finally arrived at their home: They owed the hospital $18,836 for the 3 hour and 22 minute visit, the bulk of which was for a mysterious fee for $15,666 labeled “trauma activation,” which sometimes is known as “a trauma response fee.”

The fee multipliers obfuscating any understanding of the justification and naturally with the long delay any ability to recall details to support or refute the claim likley losts to the mists of time

And these trauma fees make me want to order a new MedicAlert Bracelet with a

“Do Not Take me to Any Trauma Center”

As this lady did

It doesn’t matter if they fail to bill you or communicate your debt. Each state may have some form of limitation on collection of debts – it would be worth taking a look at the rules for your state which can be found here (and also at the bottom of this post). Time varies from a low of 3 years to 10 years (15 in the case of older debts in Kentucky)

Essentially – if the bill shows up and it’s legitimate you have to pay it. Never mind the fact that budget allocation has long since passed

In the Meantime – share your bills with the Vox Team here. Transparency is on the path to resolution – it’s a small incremental step you could take and it may not help you now, but it may help others and yourself in the future as we expose the secret world of hospital bills to hard data analysis and review

 

State Statute Written contract Oral contract Injury Property damage
Alabama Ala. Code § 6-2-30 et seq. * 6 6 2 6
Alaska Alaska Stat. § 09.10.010 et seq. 3 3 2 6 (real property); 2 (personal property)
Arizona Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 12-541 et seq. 6 3 2 2
Arkansas Ark. Code Ann. § 16-56-101 et seq. 5 3 3 3
California Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 312 et seq. 4 2 2 3
Colorado Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-80-101 et seq. 3 (6 most debts; rent)
(2 tortious breach)
3 (6 short-term debt/rent )
(2 tortious breach)
2 (injuries from motor vehicle accidents, 3 years) 2
Connecticut Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 52-575 et seq. 6 3 2 2
Delaware Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 8101 et seq. 3 3 2 2
District of Columbia D.C. Code § 12-301 et seq. 3 3 3 3
Florida Fla. Stat. Ann. § 95.011 et seq. 5 4 4 4
Georgia Ga. Code Ann. § 9-3-20 et seq. 6 4 2 4
Hawaii Haw. Rev. Stat. § 657-1 et seq. 6 6 2 2
Idaho Idaho Code § 5-201 et seq. 5 4 2 3
Illinois 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/13-201 et seq. 10 5 2 5
Indiana Ind. Code Ann. § 34-11-2-1 et seq. 10 6 2 6 (real property); 2 (personal property)
Iowa Iowa Code Ann. § 614.1 et seq. 10 5 2 5
Kansas Kan. Stat. Ann. § 60-501 et seq. 5 3 2 2
Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 413.080 et seq. 10 (15 years for contracts entered into on or before July 15, 2014) 5 1 5 (real property); 3 (personal property)
Louisiana La. civil code § 3492 et seq. 10 10 1 1
Maine Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 14, § 751 et seq. 6 6 6 6
Maryland Md. Courts & Jud. Proc. Code Ann. § 5-101 et seq. 3 3 3 3
Massachusetts Mass. Ann. Laws ch. 260, § 1 et seq. 6 6 3 3
Michigan Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5801 et seq. 6 6 3 3
Minnesota Minn. Stat. Ann. § 541.01 et seq. 6 6 2 6
Mississippi Miss. Code. Ann. § 15-1-1 et seq. 6 3 3 3
Missouri Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516.097 et seq. 10 (If contract is for something other than payment of money or property, then the statute of limitations is five years.) 5 5 5
Montana Mont. Code Ann. § 27-2-202 et seq. 8 5 3 2
Nebraska Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-201 et seq. 5 4 4 4
Nevada Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 11.010 et seq. 6 4 2 3
New Hampshire N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 508:1 et seq. 3 3 3 3
New Jersey N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2a:14-1 et seq. 6 6 2 6
New Mexico N.M. Stat. Ann. § 37-1-1 et seq. 6 4 3 4
New York N.Y. Civ. Prac. Laws & Rules § 201 et seq. 6 6 3 3
North Carolina N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-46 et seq. 3 3 3 3
North Dakota N.D. Cent. Code § 28-01-01 et seq. 6 6 6 6
Ohio Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2305.03 et seq. 8 6 2 4
Oklahoma Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 12, § 91 et seq. 5 3 2 2
Oregon Or. Rev. Stat. § 12.010 et seq. 6 6 2 6
Pennsylvania 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5501 et seq. 4 4 2 2
Rhode Island R. I. Gen. Laws § 9-1-12 et seq. 10 10 3 10
South Carolina S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-510 et seq. 3 3 3 3
South Dakota S.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 15-2-1 et seq. 6 6 3 6
Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-101 et seq. 6 6 1 3
Texas Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.001 et seq., Tex. Bus. & Com. Code Ann. § 2.725 4 4 2 2
Utah Utah Code Ann. § 78B-2-101 et seq. 6 4 4 3
Vermont Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 12, § 461 et seq. 6 6 3 3
Virginia Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-228 et seq. 5 3 2 5
Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 4.16.005 et seq. 6 3 3 3
West Virginia W. Va. Code § 55-2-1 et seq. 10 5 2 2
Wisconsin Wis. Stat. Ann. § 893.01 et seq. 6 6 3 6
Wyoming Wyo. Stat. § 1-3-102 et seq. 10 8 4 4

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