By Consumers For Quality Care, on July 28, 2021
According to Kaiser Health News, when a toddler was taken to the emergency room after falling off the bed, his only recommended treatment was a bottle of formula and a nap. Despite receiving minimal care, his family was later billed $15,666 for a “trauma response fee.”
Trauma response fees are only supposed to be charged when severe injuries require hospitals to summon top surgical specialists. However, hospitals are increasingly saddling patients with hidden fees, even when they aren’t admitted and don’t require specialist care.
“Some hospitals are using it as a revenue generator,” Tami Rockholt, a registered nurse and medical claims consultant said in an interview. “It’s being taken advantage of” and such casesare “way more numerous” than a few years ago, she said.
Trauma response fees are just the latest example of hospitals marking up their charges with hidden fees that send the cost of patient care soaring. As Congress works to implement regulations aimed at cracking down on predatory billing practices, they must ensure consumers are protected from all forms of surprise billing.