CRYING OR SHOWING EMOTION DURING MINOR SURGERY GETS WOMAN AN EXTRA CHARGE ON MEDICAL BILL
Medical care (and access to it) is on almost everyone’s minds in the United States. As it should be. Because millions of us don’t have it. And for almost all of us who don’t, it’s still too damn expensive. Potentially ruinous, really, at any time something goes wrong. There are all sorts of charges we can expect. Co-pays, deductibles, fees, etc. But there are often all sorts of extra fees we don’t expect when we get the bill. But this one would have me screaming bloody murder. Doctors charged a woman an extra fee for a shocking reason. They charged her more because she was crying, briefly, during her surgery.
CRYING, EVEN “BRIEF EMOTION” CAN MAKE YOUR MEDICAL BILLS A LITTLE BIT MORE, PROFIT FOR DOCTORS
So I have older family members and a medically fragile child, meaning I am more than familiar with the idea of CPT codes, and how they are often an essential nuance to navigating care, costs and, well, simply trying to find out what costs are. That last is often virtually impossible. But one woman discovered a CPT code no one would expect, CPT 96127. And the description on her bill along with that number was for “Brief Emotion.” Because she cried during minor surgery. Because she was in pain, she was crying. Briefly. There’s no word if this idea came from the planet Vulcan. You know, the fictitious planet filled with aliens who don’t show emotion?
DOCTORS CAN CHARGE 4 TIMES A VISIT FOR CRYING, SHOWING ANY OTHER BRIEF EMOTION
So yes, this woman only got an extra charge of $11 for getting a mole removed. That’s not a lot, as medical expenses go. Well, unless you live in Canada, where everyone would be in a rage for much less, eh? So maybe there’s no reason to be crying over spilled milk. But this next will have you crying bloody murder, too. Doctors can charge this CPT code up to 4 times for a single visit…. Chew on that one. So if you have the same medical coverage this woman does, you could see an extra $44 on your medical bill if you get emotional. And across the country, that turns into some serious money when you add it all up.
So maybe this idea of a profit-based medical system has gone a bit too far?