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USA A Heart Attack And The Numbers

Tejwant Singh

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Jun 30, 2004
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Henderson, NV.
A Heart Attack And The Numbers

1, August 2, 2014 by Darren Smith
Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Heart showing MIPresenting a succinct short story of a heart attack and the billing as experienced by a patient

One afternoon a man sitting at home and reading a news article, stood up to walk to the kitchen. He felt a sudden pain in his chest along with shortness of breath. About an hour later the pain returned and this time began spreading over the top of his chest and into his neck. Concerned, he drove to the emergency department of a local hospital.

The hospital admitted this patient and did not initially find any signs of heart issues from blood labs and ECG tests but the Hospitalist ordered an overnight stay for observation.

Around 1:30 AM a blood test revealed elevated cardiac enzymes, and again at 6:00 AM. A cardiologist ordered the patient into a cath-lab at 8:00 for an angiogram, concerned of a heart attack.

What follows is one of many true testaments to some health care issues in America.

In the Cath-Lab, the cardiologist found the Right Coronary Artery was 90% blocked and other areas will require further treatment at a later date to allow the heart to recover from the procedure. He placed a stent and the procedure was wrapped up in a little over an hour. The patient stayed overnight and was discharged the next day.

Two days after discharge, the patient felt very weak, short of breath, and angina pains. The on-call cardiologist ordered him to the emergency room. After an overnight stay, the cause was determined to be a drug interaction that lowered his blood pressure to a worryingly low level. The physician changed the drug regime.

In a follow up with the cardiologist, a week later, he recommended based on the continuance of the patient’s angina and general lack of energy that the patient should have the second phase of the stenting move to the soonest date available. On that day the patient went to hospital and another angioplasty was performed. Three medicated stents were placed and another coronary artery was ballooned. The hospital discharged the patient the next day.

The quality of care the patient received was excellent and the staff and physicians performed their duties to the highest standard. The patient is making a strong recovery and is feeling much healthier and better. There was no damage detected to the heart. The intervention certainly prevented a catastrophic heart attack from occurring in the future.

Now for the other aspect of this story: The cost

06/19/2014 to 06/21/2014
Inpatient HOSPITAL

INITIAL OBSERVATION 231.00
SBSQ HOSPITAL CARE/DAY 168.00
HOSPITAL DISCHARGE DAY 169.00

Sub-Total 568.00

06/19/2014 to 06/21/2014
Inpatient Hospital

Cardiology 45,716.53
EKG/ECG 640.29
Emergency Room 2,760.48
Laboratory 2,367.48
Supplies and Devices 11,247.60
Pharmacy 6,304.32
Radiology 412.26
Room and Board 3,461.09
Observation Room 1,053.20

Sub-Total 73,963.25

06/22/2014 to 06/23/2014
Outpatient HOSPITAL

EKG/ECG 213.43
Emergency Room 2,760.48
Laboratory 1,747.63
Pharmacy 458.67
Radiology 412.26
Observation Room 1,579.80

Sub-Total 7,172.27

07/14/2014 to 07/15/2014
Inpatient HOSPITAL

Cardiology 86,472.79
EKG/ECG 426.86
Laboratory 813.78
Supplies and Devices 56,943.56
Other Imaging Services 1,019.02
Pharmacy 9,827.02
Room and Board 2,633.68

Sub-Total 158,136.71

Grand Total $239,840.23
The patient spent, in total, seven days in hospital, the cost of which was nearly two hundred and forty thousand dollars. This amount represents 94% of what the patient paid for his house years ago.

When a person wakes up in the morning, they certainly don’t expect to have a mild heart attack or that a month later they will get a bill equal to four and a half years’ income for the median American Household. Yet, it happens quite often in the United States, probably every hour at least.

Fortunately he had health insurance. Of the $239K the hospital, cardiologist, and others billed, the patient was only responsible for $1,824.86. He paid the bill, thankful for this new gift of health and that his insurance indemnified him from the tremendous cost of the procedures.

One certainly cannot stress enough the importance of health insurance, for a healthy life and financial stability. Without insurance or government program most Americans would be bankrupted in receiving treatment as our patient has.

Also, though the treatment was certainly first rate, one has to wonder how seven days of hospitalization and a procedure lasting a little over an hour and the second part three, generated an expense of nearly $240,000.00.

Surely the cost is worthwhile to save a patient’s life. But, what is the cost to society in having a system such as we do presently?

http://jonathanturley.org/2014/08/02/a-heart-attack-and-the-numbers/#more-81720
 

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Harkiran Kaur

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Jul 21, 2012
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Yikes! So glad I live in Canada where I would receive no bill at all... the only things we pay (and need insurance for) are prescriptions drug plan, dentist and eye stuff (optometrist but not ophthalmologist since they are a specialist so considered medical...glasses, contacts, and I paid for laser eye surgery so I could get rid of glasses). Immunizations I think go on drug plans as well unless its one of the community wide ones if there is an outbreak like H1N1, or Meningitis then they had free clinics all over the city to get everyone immunized.... Anything 'medical' is free here though.

:winkingkaur:
 

palaingtha

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Aug 28, 2012
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Many of our Indian Hospitals needs to imbibe honesty in dealing with patients. Some five years ago I had angiography and artery was 50% blocked. I was on medication throughout and had no trouble. Since about three months my BP started fluctuating and I had to attend Hospital when my pulse rate rose above 125. In two days I was discharged. Three days later my pulse rate escalated and I rushed to emergency of the same Hospital. A tablet did the trick. Then a week later Pulse rate again shot up. I again rushed to Emergency. The Doctor in the Emergency reported to my attending Cardiologist when I was Hospitalized. He advised OPEN SURGERY. I returned Home saying I will come after two days for surgery. The next day I learnt that the Pulse rate escalated due to 2 reasons: one was I was running slight fever and that caused it and the other was the medicine tablet that had side effect of raising pulse rate. Dishonesty is rampant in every sector of Public life in India.
 

Harry Haller

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Jan 31, 2011
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Many of our Indian Hospitals needs to imbibe honesty in dealing with patients. Some five years ago I had angiography and artery was 50% blocked. I was on medication throughout and had no trouble. Since about three months my BP started fluctuating and I had to attend Hospital when my pulse rate rose above 125. In two days I was discharged. Three days later my pulse rate escalated and I rushed to emergency of the same Hospital. A tablet did the trick. Then a week later Pulse rate again shot up. I again rushed to Emergency. The Doctor in the Emergency reported to my attending Cardiologist when I was Hospitalized. He advised OPEN SURGERY. I returned Home saying I will come after two days for surgery. The next day I learnt that the Pulse rate escalated due to 2 reasons: one was I was running slight fever and that caused it and the other was the medicine tablet that had side effect of raising pulse rate. Dishonesty is rampant in every sector of Public life in India.
having had several heart attacks and full open heart surgery myself, my only comments would be that the 'tablet' was probably a blood thinner, I do not think a bypass would be suitable for an 83 year old man, are you sure they were not talking about a stent to keep the artery open? also, give your last angiogram was 5 years ago, it maybe prudent to have another one, just to see if there is any further blocking.
 

Bhai Harbans Lal

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Sep 24, 2004
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Why were all needed arteries not stented first time including ballooning. It would have saved cost and stress on heart.
 

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