Their Stories: Complex and Expensive

Hospital Takes Complex, Expensive Approach to Care

In the words of the child's father...


Our oldest son was involved in an accident that required a number of surgeries to repair.  Shortly after his discharge from the hospital we departed on a previously scheduled family trip.  While on travel, our son's arm became swollen and we feared infection.  


We presented at a local quick care that referred us to a local ED.  After 'stabilization' at the local ED we were transferred to the nearest children's hospital because the local hospital was, by policy, not permitted to admit minors.  Lab results were inconclusive but it was decided by the children's hospital staff that our son needed daily IV antibiotics.  


Since we were some distance from our lodging and in the center of a major city, we asked if the IV antibiotics could be administered on an out-patient basis closer to where we were staying.  We were told there was no mechanism for this to happen and that we would not only need to stay at the children's hospital but we would need to remain in the PICU until the course of antibiotics was complete.  The result was a six-figure hospital bill.  


Frustratingly, we later discovered that his arm was not infected but became swollen when stimulated through activity.  This happened multiple times over the next several months, as his arm healed, and never required antibiotics. 


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