Colorado Patient Charged $18K for Broken Wrist

By Consumers For Quality Care, on January 5, 2022

Colorado Patient Charged $18K for Broken Wrist

A 63-year-old woman who suffered a broken wrist from slipping on some stairs was billed over $18,000 for an x-ray, a splint, and a referral to see an orthopedic surgeon, according to Fox 31’s Problem Solvers.

After suffering her injury, Suzi Doerhoff was referred to a local emergency room for care. At the time, Doerhoff did not realize that her health insurance was not valid.

Once Doerhoff received her bill, she repeatedly attempted to obtain an itemized bill from the billing department, which led nowhere. Doerhoff later called Fox 31’s Problem Solvers to intervene. Eventually, the bill was lowered to $1,500, but Doerhoff has never received an exact accounting showing for what services that money paid.

“I don’t believe that there is another service that has such a lack of transparency for their charges and their billing as what I’ve experienced with this event,” Doerhoff said. “Transparency is what keeps things true and honest and something that we can understand.”

Last year, the Colorado state legislature passed medical billing reform that will now require hospitals to supply consumers with a list of charges in an easy-to-understand format before a bill is sent to collections. CQC urges lawmakers to require health care providers to be more transparent with how they bill for services so consumers can make better informed decisions.