A 21-year-old legal assistant from Tulsa, Oklahoma was hit with a $93,000 hospital bill after attempting to take his own life. Oliver spent a week in the hospital after the incident, and while he was there, he racked up tens of thousands of dollars in charges.
Obviously, when the young man made the decision to attempt suicide, he was not thinking of the potential hospital bills. The medical system may take some of the blame as well, considering that Oliver had trouble finding decent treatment for his mental health issues.
Oliver posted a photo of the bill to Twitter, showing just how easy it is to go deep into debt from a hospital visit.
“This is how expensive it is to attempt suicide in the US,” Oliver said.
This is how expensive it is to attempt suicide in the US. pic.twitter.com/QHEzNcDeyB
— oliver garden (@alcumist) April 15, 2019
Oliver has decent insurance, so luckily they are covering most of the costs for him, but he will still be expected to shell out nearly $3,000 for the treatment that he received in the hospital.
“For someone who couldn’t afford insurance, this would be utterly catastrophic,” Oliver said.
When the costs were broken down, it looked like Oliver had to pay over $29,000 just for lab costs. On top of that, respiratory services cost more than $16,000.
“And this isn’t including the additional $480 I paid in doctors fees (after insurance), $290 in hospitalist care, $137 for the ambulance (after insurance), additional radiology bills from when I caught pneumonia and MRSA while in the hospital, and more,” Oliver Tweeted.
“The fact that the room alone is $10,000 is disgusting,” one commenter replied.
The Tweet quickly went viral and brought a ton of attention to Oliver’s post, but not all of that attention was welcome. Oliver reportedly had to fend off a few trolls, and even some people who were telling him to kill himself.
I'm actually surprised at how many people are so pressed to harass people bc they survived a suicide attempt,,, wild https://t.co/VpR2nClYKw
— oliver garden (@alcumist) April 16, 2019
“Receiving bills and notices for something that will likely take me years to pay off is…disheartening. It leaves a hopeless feeling,” Oliver said.
Oliver is currently raising money for a different medical procedure, but this time it isn’t related to suicide. Oliver is asking friends and supporters to help him get a “top” surgery to remove his breasts. Oliver is a transgender person who is in the process of transitioning.
The fundraiser reads:
My name is Oliver Jordan, I’m 21 years old, and I’m trying to raise money for my top surgery. I’ve been out as transgender for over four years now, I’ve been on testosterone (hormone replacement therapy) for over three years, and I’m hoping to have top surgery as soon as possible. The largest point of my dysphoria is my chest. Binding helps, but it’s caused me to break ribs and miss out on so many things I enjoy due to the pain, the decreased lung capacity, and shortness of breath. To be able to not wear a binder would be my greatest dream. I recently had a change in insurance and it no longer covers my top surgery at all, so I’m needing to raise the full amount. Any donations are HIGHLY appreciated, anything will help! Anything gets me closer to my goal of finally being comfortable in my own skin.
Hi, my name is Oliver Jordan, I'm 20 years old, and I'm transgender (FTM). I decided to set up a gofundme for my top surgery. I understand that many people can't donate, so even a retweet would be so highly appreciated! https://t.co/K9C3EWwdLh @gofundme pic.twitter.com/bDXOENPx93
— oliver garden (@alcumist) January 2, 2018
According to the Health care cost institute, ER facility prices grew in tandem with faster growing charges in the past decade.
A report from the organization found that:
- ER facility prices grew in tandem with faster-growing charges from 2009-2016
- The average charge for the highest-severity ER visit increased by $954 (107%) over the 8 year studied – the largest growth of the 5 codes.
- The average price of an ER visit increased from $452 in 2009 to $894 in 2016; a total increase of $441, or 98%.
- The average negotiated price was 70% of the average charge amount for all ER visits. This insurance discount remained relatively constant from 2009 to 2016.
- Although the higher severity level visits had the highest prices, patients paid smaller shares of the full charge amounts for those visits compared to lower severity level visits.
This case was very controversial online, with some people not showing much sympathy towards mental health or rising health care costs. What do you think? Is this problem with over-inflated health care costs a failure of capitalism? Or is it the result of government intervention and regulation in health insurance markets?