WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- When a young girl was bitten by a snake at last July’s summer camp, her hospital bills amounted to a whopping $142,938.
- The bills included the cost for the air ambulance ($55,577.64) used to transport her to a hospital, and four vials of antivenin ($67,957) used to protect her from the bite, with each unit costing $16,989.25.
- Thanks to the family’s health insurance and insurance from the summer camp, her family was able to avoid any out-of-pocket costs for her additional emergency care.
A young girl’s family was presented with a hefty medical bill of $142,938 after she was treated for a snakebite.
NPR reported that Oakley Yoder was 9 when a snake bit a toe on her right foot while she was at last July’s summer camp in Shawnee National Forest in Jackson Falls, Illinois.
The now 10-year-old recounted, “I was really scared. I thought that I could either get paralyzed or could actually die.”
According to the report, the camp counselors carried her on piggyback until they reached first responders, who recommended taking her to a hospital by air ambulance. They suspected that the bite was from a venomous copperhead.
After an 80-mile flight, she arrived at Indiana’s St. Vincent Evansville hospital, where her parents, Josh Perry and Shelli Yoder, were already waiting for her.
Her father, a health care ethics professor at Indiana University, Bloomington, told NPR, “It was a major comfort for me to realize, OK, we’re getting the best care possible.”
Thankfully, their daughter was able to leave the hospital after less than 24 hours. The family’s relief turned into horror, however, when the hospital bills amounted to a whopping $142,938.
The bills included the cost for the air ambulance ($55,577.64) and the four vials of antivenin ($67,957) used to protect her from the bite.
CroFab was the only drug available at the time that could treat venomous bites from pit vipers. Each unit cost $16,989.25 – more than five times higher than the average list price of $3,198.
Dr. Leslie Boyer, founding director of the research center the VIPER Institute, explained, “It’s a profitable drug and everyone wants a piece of it.”
Thanks to the family’s health insurance, IU Health Plans, the bills were negotiated down and paid for at $107,863.33. The insurance from the summer camp then covered $7,286.34 in additional costs.
Ultimately, Oakley’s family was able to avoid any out-of-pocket costs for her additional emergency care.
Her father, who also teaches a course on the ethics of the health care industry, admitted, “I know that in this country, in this system, that is a miracle.”
According to NPR, Oakley’s foot is now healed and she is ready to return to the camp this summer.
Source: New York Post