Sunday, September 11, 2005

Rising Medical Costs: $1,133 Charge to Clip Toenails


According to the AP, a lawsuit brought by Lori Mill against Seattle's Virginia Mason Medical Center was triggered by a $1,133 charge to clip her toenail, but it has now become a class-action lawsuit involving an unknown number of patients with such complaints.

If the hospital loses, Washington's state Consumer Protection Act allows triple damages of up to $10,000 per patient who provides documentation of such a billing.
The hospital has not yet provided how many patients were assessed such a fee, Mill’s lawyer, John Phillips said Friday... Phillips has obtained internal e-mails showing Virginia Mason doctors and staff have complained about the charges, court filings show.

The story led one wag at Dave Barry's Blog to muse, "Over $1,000 for a toe nail, yet thumb tacks still cost around a penny..."

Think about it.

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