How can you advocate for your patients when facility pricing is often very hard to access before hand, and certainly unavailable in an emergency?

This week we’re going to take the perspective of our patients and delve into an ED bill.  Please read or listen, to the below story of one previously healthy 21 year old; who armed with the advice from her NP mother, went to an in-network ED with severe acute abdominal pain, and ended up without a clear diagnosis and an 18k bill.  

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/06/28/1007198777/a-hospital-charged-more-than-700-for-each-push-of-medicine-through-her-iv (Links to an external site.)

  • Tell us about your thoughts after getting through this story.  Does it make you angry, ambivalent, frustrated, confused, or something else?
  • Were you aware that there was so much allowance for individual facilities to set their own prices?  Is this ethical?  Is it more ethical in rural or resource poor communities where hospitals carry a higher financial risk for non-payment?
  • As an APRN or healthcare leader, how do you reconcile the need for excellent patient care, with the financial realities individuals may have?  
  • How can you advocate for your patients when facility pricing is often very hard to access before hand, and certainly unavailable in an emergency?