She posted a bill showing she was charged for "brief emotion" and Twitter kicked off the jokes on the steep healthcare costs in America.
Hospital bills are a nightmare and some of the items on the bill and the steep costs can take you by surprise. A woman named Midge was shocked to fund that she had been charged $11 for 'crying' during a procedure. Midge, who goes by @mxmclain on Twitter shared an image of the bill and said she had been charged by the hospital for crying, reported Comicsands. She had been charged a total of $223 for the physician’s work for getting a mole removed but found the bill listed an additional item — "brief emotion = $11." She was also given a discount of $2, which many joked was because of her shedding nothing more than a single tear. Midge tweeted the image of the bill and captioned it: Mole removal: $223, Crying: extra.
The steep costs of American healthcare, especially in comparison to the rest of the world, has taken a toll on the people with many being driven to bankruptcy. After Midge shared the tweet, the platform was filled jokes about the American health care system. One person asked, "For how long did you cry? I just want to know the going rate." @mxmclain dutifully replied, "one tear." Another chimed in, "This can't be real. To think I was just experiencing emotions for free this entire time." Another said they were going to "start charging my children this way."
I doubt it but yes let’s go with that— Midge (@mxmclain) September 28, 2021
I cry ALL the time this is financially terrifying hahaha— hyper-sympathetic telepathic machine (@Laura19994298) September 28, 2021
It eventually turned out, she wasn't being charged for crying or expressing emotion. Brief emotion as simply short for brief emotional/behavior assessment which is carried out to detect cases of depression, ADHD, or substance abuse. According to connected mind, "It was created as part of the ACA’s federal mandate to include mental health services as part of the essential benefits package now required in all insurance plans Patients can be screened and billing submitted for the following visits: post-hospitalization, new diagnosis or complex medical issue, patients with pain, patients with substance abuse, and patients diagnosed with or being treated for mental illness." A qualified health care professional can charge for CPT 96127 with costs varying as per the insurance company.
A single tear— Midge (@mxmclain) September 28, 2021
Not fully apparently— Midge (@mxmclain) September 28, 2021
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, "Administration of the assessment is entirely up to the physicians, with patient consent." The academy spoke to Newsweek on the subject. "There are no requirements to screen patients if they display emotion, and Code 96127 cannot be reported simply because a patient shows emotion, such as crying. Any emotional/behavioral assessment based on an encounter is a clinical decision made by the physician in consultation with the patient." Seeing the charges on Midge's bill, many questioned why emotional/behavioral assessment was required for a mole removal surgery.
When the doctor heard a sniffle pic.twitter.com/N5Ig3KDcty— Craig's VCR (@Craigs_VCR) September 30, 2021
This is literally, this ☠️ pic.twitter.com/6KrexwgnQh— BTS’s Uni⁷ 🇹🇹 StopAsianHate 💫✨ (@btsblkfairy) September 30, 2021
One of the main reasons is the steep prices of pharmaceutical drugs. "Americans shell out almost four times, on average, as much for pharmaceutical drugs as citizens of other industrialized countries pay," according to Investopedia. It was also found that the US spends an average of $1,443 per person, compared to $749, on average, spent by the other prosperous countries studied. Lack of government regulation has been a major issue in America. A study found that that private insurance companies paid almost two and a half times what Medicare would've paid for the same medical service at the same facility.
Research published in JAMA found that collection agencies held $140 billion in unpaid medical bills in 2020. “If you think about Americans getting phone calls, letters and knocks on the door from debt collectors, more often than not it’s because of the U.S. health care system,” said Neale Mahoney, a health economist at Stanford University and the paper’s lead author, reported The New York Times.