Snake Bite Treatment Costs Norwegian Exchange Student $143,000

Posted on June 27, 2012

Medical care can be expensive; that should go without saying.  But a new story illustrates that things might be getting just a little bit out of control.

A foreign exchange student from Norway was reportedly bitten by a rattlesnake a couple months ago.  The individual sought treatment for that bite at a hospital, treatment which consisted of two doses of a drug meant to treat pit viper bites known as antivenin crotalidae fab.  The student got better, but he was shocked to learn the cost of the treatment he received:  $143,000.

Thankfully, the person has insurance that should be able to take care of the bill, but it does raise some interesting questions about the cost of healthcare in the United States.  The good news is that, should you ever be on the receiving end of such a bill, there are things you can do to ensure you’re not being taken advantage of.

First, it’s important to ensure that the bill is itself correct.  Avoid paying upfront, as doing so makes it difficult to get your money back.  Should the bill not be clear enough, request an itemized bill that carefully lays out each and every expense that was accrued in the process of you receiving care.  If you think that you’re going to need some time before you can pay, then keep a dialogue open with your provider.  Explain what’s happening so that your case isn’t immediately shuttled over to their collections department.

When all else fails, a personal injury lawyer can negotiate on behalf of those persons hit with an exorbitant bill.

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