Teen Saves Drowning Boy and Then Receives $2000 Bill From Hospital

This falls under the category of no good deed goes unpunished. Treval Hall, 17, saved a drowning boy in Kenosha, Wisconsin and was taken to a hospital with the boy. His reward for saving Aaron Puente, 14, was a bill from Aurora Medical Center for more than $2000.

Hall pulled Puente to safety after finding him face down in the water. Both Hall and Puente were taken to the hospital. Hall was taken just as a precaution because he swallowed a little water during the rescue.

Aurora Medical Center spokesman Adam Beeson insisted “Our goal is to work with the patient to find an equitable solution.’’

What is particularly notable is the ridiculous level of bill inflation perpetuated by these hospitals. A teen swallows a little water in a rescue and leaves with a $2000 bill for just having doctor’s examine him. The hospital insists it performed a battery of tests, including chest X-rays, an electrocardiogram and blood work.

The question is who will now rescue Hall.

Source: Sun Times

24 thoughts on “Teen Saves Drowning Boy and Then Receives $2000 Bill From Hospital

  1. Funny how “defensive medicine” caused by those social pariahs, the plaintiff’s bar, always results in obscene profits for the medical community. They seem well compensated for their feigned fear of justice.

  2. The hospital bill does appear to be overinflated, but the precautionary tests could have been warranted. It would not be the first time that a rescuer died from secondary drowning.

  3. This fits my mood today. A couple of weeks ago I was at the emergency room with chest pains. (I have an identified heart problem). The nurse gave me a nitro tablet. Just one, you understand. It knocked the pain right out of me, so I didn’t even need two. Yesterday I got a bill from said hospital for $24.39 for that one little bitty pill. I called the hospital and advised them that I carry nitro in my purse, and had I been told that my insurance plan does not pay for medication in the E.R. which can be taken without assistance, I would have taken my own nitro. The hospital lady asked me if I had advised the nurse that I had nitro in my purse. No, I didn’t. I also didn’t advise her that I had an address book, a pen, a wallet and a book titled “The Passing of the Armies.” I might add that I did not personally place the nitro in my mouth. The nurse did that….evidently assuming I would be unable to find my tongue and tuck the pill underneath it. I called my pharmacist yesterday to find out how much my prescription of nitro cost in total. The amount was $8.94 for 25 pills, paid by both myself and my insurance company. The pharmacist did, however, have one interesting idea. He suggested I take one of my own nitro tablets down to the hospital, give it to them, and call it even.

  4. Leah,
    You had to pay for the pharmacist’s time, the packaging, the transportation to the ER, the nurse’s time and all the overhead. If you were conscious, why didn’t you ask what med you were being given, and why, with your history, didn’t you volunteer the info when you were given it? The nurse doesn’t work on commission, and doesn’t care where the meds come from, and is happy to know that you have the right, proven dose with no side effects with you. It would have made everybody’s life easier.

  5. OK, this is an unfortunate thing but I have to ask, did he need to be seen? If he did then whats the problem with the bill? Yeah its way too big, WELCOME TO AMERICA (You can get better health care many places but you won’t pay more!)

    It would be wonderful if someone stepped up and took care of this for him but I fail to see what the hospital did wrong in the facts printed in the story.

  6. Frankdawg,

    I’m pretty sure Hospitals can donate their services. May even get a nice write off for it. “Legal” and “acting like a member of the community” aren’t the same thing.

  7. “Posted On: March 7, 2010 by Finch McCranie, LLP
    Outrageous Hospital Charges Exposed
    The issue of tort reform has been embraced by many health care reform opponents as being necessary to bring down medical costs in the United States. This mantra is constantly repeated even though all unbiased studies show that the cost of medical malpractice is only a small fraction of the health care costs in the United States and that capping damages to severely injured people does little, if anything, to lower insurance costs for doctors or stop inflation of medical costs. Yet, the proponents of this so called tort reform constantly repeat this falsehood even though over 98,000 innocent people die every year in this country alone due to medical errors.

    This week CNN covered a story that everyone concerned about high medical costs should view. Their reporters uncovered massive overbillings by hospitals. These outrageous billings included $1,000 for a common toothbrush. You can go to your pharmacy and buy 100 Tylenol pills for $10, yet one hospital billed $140 for a single pill. An alcohol prep pad, a piece of gauze, was billed at $44.00 by a hospital when the retail cost at a pharmacy is 23 cents. In another example a hospital billed an emergency room patient for 41 bags of IV fluid during a 2 hour visit. This of course is impossible.

    Our own lawyers can tell similar stories. We had one client who was severely injured in an automobile accident and pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. Yet, when reviewing the bill we discovered a $25 dollar charge for a “mouthcare kit” which consisted of a plastic cup, a toothbrush, and mouthwash. Also charged for this patient who was dead upon arrival was $45 for a pillow.

    These are just a few of the overbillings we have seen. In fact, CNN reported that health insurance companies rarely review hospital bills unless they are in excess of $100,00.00.

    If the proponents of tort reform really want to lower healthcare costs these outrageous charges might be a good place to start.

  8. Recently, I got a tush exam (colonoscopy) and my previous insurance was billed, even after telling both the doctor and billing office the right one. I got the retail bill, for $5100, which included recovery room for $569 that was actually the doctor’s lobby while I waited for a ride home. My insurance actually paid $1800. I paid nothing. If you go in naked (uninsured), you will suffer as much after as during the visit.

  9. Yissil- Don’t get too smug- I saw those Canadian cars with square tires on South Park-not to mention Stephan Abootman, President of the WGA (The World Canadian Bureau) with his beady eyes and flapping jaw,Eh?

  10. Henman:

    Unfortunately there is a two year waiting list for South Park episodes in Canada, so I haven’t seen that one yet.

    Of course I could always sneak across the border ….

  11. Yissil- Try southparkstudios.com Season 12, Episode 1204, “Canada on Strike”. They have the episodes on streaming video. Whatever you do, don’t cross the border- you might get sick here and lose everything you own before you can escape back to civilization. Also, watch out for American Patriots, who will probably mistake you for a Mexican “terris” and shoot you with one of their many guns. They are very jumpy because the black helicopters are coming to “con-fin-skate” their guns. Regards,Eh?

  12. HenMan:

    This always happens to me with Buddha: The thing about the “two year waiting list” was meant to be a joke about the famous waiting lists of the Canadian Healthcare System.

    Ha Ha as we say in Nanuktuk.

    I actually am in America at the moment. Sometimes black apache helicopters fly over my head. No, really. They always travel in threes. Every now and then I think of buying a gun and going to the range. Guns are fun. That is probably the most dangerous things about them.

  13. Yissil- Sorry I missed your joke about the two year waiting list. My obtuse sense of humor. I thought maybe your Canadian TV set took two years to warm up. Don’t take this as hostility toward Canada- I have the words to “O Canada!” on my desk in case I have to flee North on short notice; i.e. the election of President Sarah Palin or if I get drafted again.

  14. The story did not mention that this teen-age hero also was billed $700 for a ride in the ambulance to the hospital.

    Unless his parents agreed to the medical treatment their received, I do not see how he or his parents are liable for these charges. Few 17-year olds have $2,700 in assets. Let them sue him in Small Claims Court. A good judge will toss the suit without delay.

  15. Nal,
    Thanks for the update. This hospital was probably not too excited about the bad publicity over their outrageous bill for this hero. It took public opinion to bring them to their senses.

  16. Leah,

    If you carry nitro in your purse, had you taken 1 prior to going to the hospital? Most cardiac pts are advised to take it at first sign of chest pain. And yes, at the hospital you are paying for the staff and their training….much like lawyers charge for their time,knowledge and services. I could easily argue that the hospitals are the kinder of the 2 in regards to billing…..

  17. I reviewed a hospital bill a long time ago and found a charge of over $100 for a box of Kleenex. I questioned it; and, was given the explanation of how prices are jacked up for the people who don’t pay their bills. I told them I might possibly by that explanation; but, they did not provide me with “real” Kleenex. I was given little sheets of paper that were as rough on my nose as the real tree might have been. The “real” Kleenex is soft. The U.S. health care system leaves a lot to be desired. And, the people who run it out to have to spend one week a year at a hospital.

  18. We charged you $100 for a box of kleenex to make up for the people who don’t pay their bills.

    There is so much wrong with that I don’t know where to begin. Well yes I do.

    This shows why free market economics don’t work for the health care system: there’s only one way a hospital can charge $100 for a box of kleenex. It has to have a monopoly.

  19. Passing the cost of health care for people who can’t pay their bills onto those who can is not news. What’s news is that they admit it. Some people refuse to go to hospitals who minister to indigents for that reason. The insurance companies have bargained for charges for everything down to a band aid, so they’re not a source of the revenue needed to make up the shortfall. So, they pass it onto the the uninsured.

  20. Yissil,

    “This shows why free market economics don’t work for the health care system: there’s only one way a hospital can charge $100 for a box of kleenex. It has to have a monopoly.”

    … and then there’s “price fixing” for those who claim to be in competition …..

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