Marcie Edmonds of Ahwatukee, Ariz., was working in her garage last June when she was stung by the scorpion in her abdomen. She went to Chandler Regional Medical Center for treatment and was given two doses of the scorpion antivenom Anascorp. Three hours later she was discharged -- and a few weeks later a bill for $83,046 arrived in the mail. Edmonds' insurance company Humana paid $57,509, leaving her with the remaining tab of $25,537.
The Arizona Republic notes that Anascorp doses cost about $100 each at pharmacies in neighboring Mexico. An American drug distributor charges hospitals $3,750 per dose. The Arizona hospital where Edmonds went charges $39,652.
The hospital, owned by Dignity Health, told the Republic Edmonds was charged the full billing price because she was out-of-network for her health insurance plan. Edmonds says doctors never discussed the cost of the treatment with her before administering the drug.
Edmonds said she is outraged at the markup on the drug she was given.
"Everyone I talk to says, 'You've got to be kidding'" when she explains her bill, she said.