Two years ago, a Korean married couple received $ 18,836 (US $ 25,358) hospital bills for bringing their son to a hospital in the United States. Jang Yeo Im said the amount was too high for an uneventful hospital visit.
The family was in San Francisco, California in 2016, when Jiang's then 8-month-old son, Park Joeng Whan, crashed her hotel bed after a fall. The baby had no visible injuries, but he could not stop crying, so Jang and her husband called an ambulance to take their son to Zuckerberg General Hospital.
At the hospital, Jang said the doctors had not seriously injured Joeng Whan by the fall, even though he had some bruises on his face. They had him nap in his mother's arms and drink baby food before sending him home with his parents after three hours and 22 minutes. The family then continued their vacation in the USA.
Two years later, they received the bill from their hospital visit. The bill showed that they owed the hospital US $ 1
The activation fee for trauma is the amount that the trauma center of the hospital calculates activating a group of healthcare professionals to cope with a patient who is preoccupied with a life-threatening situation. How much it varies varies from one hospital to the next. According to Medliminal (via Kaiser Health News), it can range from $ 1,112 ($ 1,497) in a Missouri hospital to $ 50,659 ($ 68,200) in a California hospital.
The pair had US travel insurance, but it would cover only US $ 5,000 (AU $ 6,700) of the bill. "It's a huge amount of money for my family," she told KHN. "If my baby gets special treatment, OK, that would be alright, but he did not, why should I have to pay the bill, you did not do anything for my son."
The spokesman for the Kreuzberg San Francisco General Hospital , Brent Andrew, defended the response to a dream fee of over $ 15,000 even though the baby did not need drastic services.
"We are the trauma center for a very large, densely populated area, and we are dealing with so many traumas in this city – car accidents, mass shootings, multiple vehicle collisions," he said. "It's expensive to prepare for it."
Jang has a patient advocate working on her behalf to try to negotiate the bill with SFGH. She still hopes to visit the country in the next few years, although her experience with the notorious US healthcare system is not exactly pleasant.
"I like the US There are many things to see when traveling," he told the newspaper. "But the health care system in the US was very bad."