As the 70-year-old Seattle man surprised doctors an family members when he recovered from the deadly COVID-19 disease, he got his own surprise when handed the hospital bill.
Michael Flor shared a 181-page document which says that while he has insurance and Medicare coverage, he have to pay a relatively small amount of $1,122,501.04.
His bill, which is technically an “explanation of benefits,” is the best example of the skyrocketing health care costs in the U.S. that has been under scrutiny during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to The Seattle Times, Flor was admitted at Swedish Medical Center near Seattle for 62 days.
At one point, he woke up and told his wife, “You gotta get me out of here. We can’t afford this.”
An excerpt from the bill that describes nearly 3,000 itemized charges states:
“Just the charge for his room in the intensive care unit was billed at $9,736 per day. Due to the contagious nature of the virus, the room was sealed and could only be entered by medical workers wearing plastic suits and headgear. For 42 days he was in this isolation chamber, for a total charged cost of $408,912.
He also was on a mechanical ventilator for 29 days, with the use of the machine billed at $2,835 per day, for a total of $82,215. About a quarter of the bill is drug costs.
The list of charges indirectly tells the story of Flor’s battle. For the two days when his heart, kidneys and lungs were all failing and he was nearest death, the bill runs for 20 pages and totals nearly $100,000 as doctors “were throwing everything at me they could think of,” Flor says.”
Flor said that his heart almost failed the second time when he got the bill, and exclaimed, “I opened it and said ‘holy [bleep]!”