Hospital Bill for Scorpion Sting: $83K

Arizona hospital apologizes, says it will adjust price
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 6, 2012 6:00 PM CDT
A scorpion sting ended up costing a woman $83,046 in treatment, though the hospital says it will change that.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Never mind the physical symptoms: For one Arizona woman, it was the medical bills that hurt the most after she was stung by a scorpion. A hospital in Chandler gave Marcie Edmonds two doses of antivenom—and charged her about $40,000 for each. Tack on ER bills, and her total bill was $83,046. Her insurance company, Humana, covered $57,509, but the hospital sought the balance of $25,537, the Arizona Republic reports. After the story went public, the hospital said it would reduce the bill by a still-undetermined amount, and it apologized to Edmonds for the distress.

All this for an antivenom available for $100 per dose at pharmacies in Mexico, where it's made. The FDA approved the antivenom last year; a distributor sells it to hospitals for about $3,780 per dose. So maybe a decimal point got moved? The Chandler hospital says it is reviewing its prices, and "our patient financial services team is working directly with Ms. Edmonds to adjust the high out-of-network cost of the Anascorp antivenom she received."

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