Exactly $6,250 for a urine drug test. A $8,042 charge for a CT scan. And even $75 for a “late night” charge at a 24-hour Emergency Room.
These are just some of the charges from hospitals and health care providers 9Wants to Know analyzed when our viewers showed us their bills.
Over the last year, viewers have sent in hundreds of emails, complaints and medical bills that ultimately unveiled the complicated and costly health care system in Colorado.
Our viewers’ bills revealed mistakes in insurance coverage – agencies mistakenly denying coverage for life-threatening treatment.
One year into 'Show Us Your Bills' | One man's response to outrageous medical bills
Nearly a dozen bills now show how a handful of toxicology labs are billing thousands of dollars for urine drug tests that could only cost hundreds. The bills revealed how different hospitals “score” an emergency room visit – which can cost patients thousands.
On Thursday, a “Show Us Your Bills” special broadcast on 9NEWS will highlight your bills – and the investigative reporting those bills made possible. During the broadcast, 9Wants to Know will talk to a panel of experts who understand the medical billing system, emergency care, how hospital bills can impact your finances and provide insight to healthcare policy in the U.S.
Those panelists include:
Sarah Auchterlonie, a consumer protection attorney who worked for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and will help answer questions about medical debt – which is a leading cause of bankruptcy for individuals in the US.
Dr. Kevin McGarvey, an emergency physician and the co-founder of Hippo Health, a telemedicine start-up out of Boulder that aims expand access to medical help for people who otherwise are unable to see a physician but may not need emergency care.
Ben Miller, director of the Eugene S. Farley, Jr. Health Policy Center, focused on the financial and political aspects of the U.S. healthcare system.
Sherryn Hensley is a patient who, after multiple surgeries, sought out a pain management doctor who requires urine drug testing for his patients. She visited Insight Labs, and later received a bill for $6,250. Her story launched our investigation that found the state of Colorado spent more than $1 million every month in 2016 – up from just $52,000 per month in 2014.
Share your questions, comments and concerns on the 9NEWS Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org.