20 Unpredictable Things That Can Run Up A Mom's Hospital Bill

Hospitals and unpredictability often go hand in hand. Obviously, when most people consider these two words, they think of health and the drama that can ensue when you're watching a loved one go through the health care system. But it can also refer to how remarkably expensive hospital bills can end up. This is because many hospitals will find ways of charging patients for things that they just didn't expect. Sure, when something happens, we all expect to have some bills to pay afterward. But sometimes it can really take people back. This list will go into detail about some of the things that moms can expect to be thrown at them that cause numbers to climb to daunting levels.

Of course, every state, province, and the country has a different health care system and insurance system that covers individuals differently. So, not everything on this list will apply to every person who reads this. Still, every mother should know what other moms have to go through when they are taking their kids to the hospital or giving birth. For example, in The United States, the price tag for birthing is the highest in the world. A 2016 study by the healthcare information company Castlight Health put the average cost for delivery at $8,775. But each state and city has their own price tag. In Sacramento, it's $15,420, while Kansas City it's $6,075. It tends to so staggered thanks to a variety of off charges that not every mom can expect. All the sources are listed at the bottom. Without further ado, 20 Unpredictable Things That Can Run Up A Mom's Hospital Bill.

20 A Visit From The Anesthesiologist

Via: Cross Cut

Upon receiving her delivery bill from a hospital in Austin, Haelle noticed something a bit odd. She was charged nearly $1,000 for something called an "anesthesiology consult." Haelle couldn’t remember this happenning. She was told that this charge was for a follow-up visit by her anesthesiologist to monitor her reaction to anesthesia. Haelle didn't think this happened, but the hospital said that it had. The extent of the visit was proven to be a less than 15-second check-up, while the patient was still partially under the effects of the anesthetic, to make sure they were feeling okay. Although this seems less than fair, it's totally acceptable given most systems. The hospitals claim that this is necessary to make sure everyone is okay.

19 A Private Delivery Room

One mother in California named Ramsey Hootman, said that she was charged close to $3,000 for a private delivery room in the hospital. This seems like a pretty incredibly unfair price just to be able to be in a room without other delivering parents. But there was something that was even more unfair about it; the hospital only had private delivery rooms. So, essentially, they were billing mothers for being in an exclusive private room even though every room in the hospital was private and exclusive. Although we are sure this could have been contested, the mother paid the bill because it seemed to be the hospital's policy.

18 Nap Time And Baby Formula

Via: Vox

The Daily Mail shared a story about a San Francisco hospital that charged a family of tourists from Japan more than $18,000 for an incredibly simple visit. This occurred after a two-year-old baby fell out of his bed. His parents took him to the hospital as they worried something bad had happened. But it turned out to be nothing. None-the-less, the hospital gave him some baby formula and allowed him to sleep for a little bit while they monitored him. But that was all that happened and they were still charged $18,000 for a couple of hours of hospital time. Sure, they weren't citizens, and thus not covered by any health care plan, but this does seem pretty unfair.

17 Pregnancy In Another Country

Via: Babble 

In the previous entry, we discussed the nuts hospital bill that a family from Japan experienced in The States, but it pales in comparison to the bill that a couple up north of the border received. A family from Saskatchewan went on holiday to Hawaii while the mother was 24-and-a-half-weeks pregnant. But she ended up giving birth early. This meant that she had to go to a hospital there. She spent two days in the hospital and was taken care of. She wasn't worried as she purchased insurance before she left just in case something like this happened. But that didn't stop the hospital from charging her close to a million because she wasn't a citizen. Yep, you read that right...

16 A Hospital Visit Thanks To A Child With An Endocrine Issue

Although some parents don't know this, it's quite typical for children with any sort of complex endocrine issue, such as diabetes, to rack up a large hospital bill. This adds to the obligations that these types of issues cause parents. After all, parents with kids with diabetes have to test regularly, as well as make sure their kids are getting their insulin and managing their foods. Honestly, the list of things is never-ending. But taking them to some hospitals in certain states can get really expensive as they tend to be a lot of work for the nurses and doctors as well.

15 Patient Belongings Bags

Of all the strange things that a hospital can charge you for, those personal belonging bags can end up on a mom's bill. Without a doubt, every person that comes into a hospital, regardless of the reason, will end up using a patient belonging bag at some point. This is because not everything can be taken into the rooms with them. They end up having to purchase what essentially amounts to a grocery bag to store their devices, clothes, and other items. On average, hospitals charge about $8 for each bag that is used. Sure, it seems like a small expense in the grand scheme of things, but it does seem like a totally unnecessary charge.

14 Holding Your Baby After Delivery

Okay, so prepare yourself for perhaps the most annoying charge that a hospital can charge moms. Many mothers on the internet have talked about how they were charged for simply holding their babies after birth. On average, they have to spend about $40 just to cradle their newborn. This is called a skin-to-skin charge. The reason that hospitals are allowed to charge for something this odd is because it often requires an additional nurse to watch the baby while he or she is being held by the mommy and daddy. It's because they want to make sure the baby is safe and sound while they are still in the hospital, essentially because they don't want to be liable for anything.

13 Some Lactation Help

Via: Bustle

If you're in the States and have the Affordable Care Act, chances are some form of lactation help (including a pump) is covered by insurance. In order to double check this, you should call your insurance company. But those who aren't covered will be charged for someone to come in and help feed babies. A whole ordeal comes with this too. It's not just the nurse, it's also the equipment that's needed. Essentially, you have to rent things in order to feed your baby. The only way to avoid an unpredictable charge like this, aside from having the right insurance ahead of time, is to be a pro at feeding babies. Yep, if the hospital can charge you for something they will, even if it seems like it should be included.

12 Random Rogue Fees

Via: Splinter 

Rogue fees are basically the definition of unpredictable charges that moms get on their hospital fees. This is where hospitals really try to squeeze every last penny out of their patients. The problem with rogue fees is that they could be anything. Some rogue fees seem understandable. But the vast majority are just silly. For example, hospitals can bill moms for toothbrushes, combs, tissue paper and the like. But they can also get you for operating room fees and just random stuff like that. Most of these things really do feel like they should be included in the cost for the use of the hospital itself. Sometimes it seems like they will charge you for every move you make.

11 Hospital Parking Fees

If you are staying at the hospital, at least one parking spot should be included in the fee. But this is not the case for many hospitals across multiple countries. Of course, the mother isn't going to need parking, but the person who is taking care of her will definitely need it. And usually, parking in hospital zones can be quite scarce, meaning that parking lots can charge silly amounts of money for spots. These parking fees can range from $40 - $160 per spot per day. That hardly seems fair, but some hospitals just don't care. What do they expect; the partner or grandparent to bus or Uber to the hospital every day to make sure the mom is comfortable?

10 The Presence Of A Surgical Assistant

Whenever a mom goes into the hospital when pregnant, she's flipping a coin to see how complicated the delivery will be. This is the same for kids who have to go in for various surgeries. In some cases, the complexity of a child’s procedure may require the use of a pediatric surgical assistant to complete the task in the safest possible way. Although this seems reasonable, hospitals don't typically provide surgical assistants at their facilities. They have to bring them in from elsewhere. This means that they have to add this to the bill even if you're under and have no idea about it at the time. On top of this, insurance companies don't tend to guarantee that an assistant fee as a covered benefit.

9 Uninsured For Diagnostic Images

It's not uncommon for moms to need some sort of diagnostic imaging when they are pregnant. Of course, ultrasounds tend to be the most common, but things can require more complex systems such as X-rays, CT scans, or even an MRI. Unfortunately, many citizens in countries that don't have socialized medicine aren't covered for any of these things. This means that the bill can climb far higher than a mom can expect. The exact same thing is true for children, whose parents take them for these forms of diagnostic imaging. Typically, a CT can range from $212 to $400. But things can climb far higher depending on the hospital and the state that it's in.

8 That Delivery Goodie-Bag Charge

In almost every hospital, nurses give the mom and baby a bunch of goodies to take home. No, it's not a bottle of champagne and a "congratulations card"; these goodies tend to be things like diapers, pump accessories, lanolin, wipes, pills, and other labor recovery accessories and supplies. Although it seems like these "goodie bags" are part of the hospital fee, they aren't always. Whether you ask for it or not, you will get one of these bags and may even be charged for it. And when they do charge for these bags, they will go overboard. For instance, one mom said that she was charged $2 for every ibuprofen pill. It would be far cheaper just to go to the store and purchase an entire bottle of them,

7 Being Handed Remedies

This entry sort of ties into a couple of the previous ones. Essentially, it has to do with how every time a nurse or expert hands you something, they can charge patients for it. When you think about using a lactation expert to help with feeding, it seems somewhat reasonable. But hospitals can (and most of the time, will) charge patients every time a nurse hands them pills to take. This is because they have to pay the individual who is sorting the right pills, carrying them around, and handing them to the patient. In some cases, this is built into the cost of using the hospital in the first place. But if it's not, it can pop up on the bills and through moms for a loop. Typically being handed medicine will cost parents $6.25 every time.

6 Facility Fees

Via: Stantec

Some hospitals run like hotels in the sense that they can charge facility fees to the guests (AKA patients) whether the facilities are used or not. When you book a high-end hotel, you understand that the cost of the beautiful experience includes the exercise room, spa, and pool, whether or not they are actually visited. But when staying at the hotel for a procedure or a birth, patients can be charged for other amenities such as the nursery or family room. This is pretty silly since it's not meant to be an extravagant experience. Nurseries do cost money to run, but they should probably be paid for by those who use them, or, at the very least, be built into the overall cost and not as an add-on.

5 Big Cash For Minor Boo-Boos

Via: NPR

One mother took her daughter to an ER due to a minor cut on her hand. However, she was worried that the cut was more legitimate than it ended up being. After all, they were only in there an hour or so. Sure, this was a relief for the mom, but it still wasn't fun due to the $629 that the ER charged her. Essentially, she was billed for a band-aid that was placed on her child's finger. At the store, she would have paid $7 for the exact same thing. Sure, if you are visiting the hospital, you should expect to pay, unless it's covered by insurance. This is because they take money to run. But a large fee like that for a minor boo-boo can be pretty unpredictable.

4 Un-remedied Errors On The Bill

Via: The Bump

When presented with a bill, most people won't ask questions and just pay it. But sometimes a procedure can show up two or three times on a hospital bill. Additionally, supplies can be charged separately when they should be included in one solid fee. Or, even worse, patients can be billed for something that they didn't even experience. This is because mistakes can be made and people don't tend to double-check or inquire, especially when there are a lot of bills that need to be created. This can really take some moms back who are prepared for one bill but get something far larger. So, make sure that you pay attention to the hospital bill and get your partner friend or family member to try and keep an eye on things to make sure the bill is correct or not.

3 Witch-Hazel Pads

Whether you know it or not, when you are going to go to the hospital, you may tend to get treated with witch-hazel pads. This is especially true for moms who are giving birth. This is because witch-hazel pads contain natural chemicals that help reduce swelling as well as inflammation. They can be really helpful for women to use after they've given birth. Actually, hospitals tend to hand them out like candy. Therefore, you'd think they'd be free. They are really cheap to produce and purchase, after all. But this doesn't always end up being the case. So, moms can find that this item is an unpredictable charge.

2 Doulas And Midwives That Aren't Covered By Insurance

Midwives and doulas have always been a popular choice for mothers who require or just want that extra help. Since they can be so typical, one would expect that insurance covers them. But the truth is, doulas and midwives aren't always covered by insurance. This can end up as an unpredictable fee on one's hospital bills as well. However, if one chooses a to have a home birth or have a midwife take control of the delivery at the hospital, this might be even more costly. In the States, the cost of using a midwife varies greatly due to location. Sometimes they can take mothers aback by their amount. It's totally not abnormal for them to cost between $3,000 to $5,000.

1 Unseen Epidural Charges

Some mothers desire an all-natural birth. And that's fine, but it does seem pretty silly since birthing can be a heck of a lot. This is why we have epidurals. But a New Jersey mom, Darlene Maggiolo, was charged for an epidural when she chose not to have one. Eventually, her insurance stepped up and paid for it anyway, but she was still charged for it. Additionally, a mother in California was unnecessarily charged for an epidural because the anesthesiologist that did it wasn't in network. This is hardly something a mom should worry about when she is giving birth, and yet, she may have to because some insurance and hospital fees can be totally unpredictable.

SOURCES: Tonic.Vice, Unity Point, Huffington Post, Policy Genius, PopSugar, The Daily Mail, CBC, ReadersDigest, USHealthNews, HealthGrades, Health LineMoney.USNews, Rocky Mountain Kids Surgery, QCH

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