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Man’s $618,967.78 Hospital Bill Sparks Debate About Cost Of Healthcare

It’s no secret that healthcare in America is prohibitively expensive and getting high-quality insurance isn’t much cheaper. For many Americans, a healthcare plan consisting of hopes and prayers for continued good health is the only affordable option. Unfortunately, a Reddit poster’s infected knee landed him in the hospital for a month, after which he came out with a bill for more than half a million dollars.

In a now-deleted post on the pics subreddit, a man shared a photo of the itemized bill he received from Geisenger Medical Center in Pennsylvania which totaled a whopping $618,967.78.

infected knee hospital bill

This included nearly $18,000 worth of anesthesia, more than $25,000 in lab work, over $16,000 for radiology, $93,000 for medication, and almost $1,000 for food (which, if you’ve ever been forced to eat hospital food before, you’ll know is criminal in and of itself).

However, more than 50% of the massive bill came from simply having a bed in a room that I bet you wasn’t private. In what has to be the world’s most expensive rent with the crappiest view, Geisenger charged the patient $343,482, which is about $10,000 per day.

Thankfully, it seems as if the man had insurance and in the end only had to pay $21 of the costs he incurred—must have been a pretty good plan! It’s unclear why he decided to delete the photo as well as his entire Reddit account after sharing the bill on several subreddits, but it was live long enough for the comments section to get pretty lively.

“It gets to a point where all you can do is laugh,” one user wrote.

Another jokingly added, “It might have been cheaper just to amputate.”

Many pointed out the obvious: that in most of the developed world, medical costs like these would simply never happen, insurance or not. Socialized healthcare is taken for granted in countries like Canada, the UK, and much of Europe, so “only in ‘Murica” was a common thread.

This man got lucky that his insurance covered the very important care he needed and received over the month he was in the hospital, but considering that medical debt is crippling millions of people in the US. When will we do something to change it?