$143,989 bill for snakebite treatment

May 30, 2012 at 7:45 PM
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SAN DIEGO, May 30 (UPI) -- A Norwegian student studying in San Diego said a $143,989 hospital bill to treat a rattlesnake bite "is way too much" and he's glad he had insurance.

Dag-Are Trydal, who is studying cybernetics at University of California, San Diego, was walking to his car April 26 when he felt a snake bite his foot, KGTV-TV, San Diego, reported Tuesday.

"I stepped two steps back just immediately and I was seeing that a snake was sitting right between my flip flops," he said. "I was really scared, because I don't know much about the snakes here and how dangerous they are."

Trydal walked across the street to Scripps Hospital and received four doses of antivenin over the course of 24 hours. He said he was later shocked to receive his medical bill for the treatment.

"I thought maybe $10,000," Trydal said. "This is way too much, at least for a person that doesn't have good insurance."

Luckily, he said, he had purchased health insurance to cover his six months of study in the United States, KGTV reported.

A statement from Scripps Hospital said it reviewed Trydal's bill and found "all charges to be accurate and appropriate," adding that antivenin is very expensive. The hospital is currently negotiating payment with the insurance company and assured the student would not be billed, the statement said.

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