BACK SEVERAL YEARS AGO, I was in a small town hospital for acute dehydration. It was a matter of getting IV fluids for a day or two, then out. I brought my meds with me from home. I could have gotten them from the hospital, of course, but they would have billed me far more than I had paid for them myself. We hear a lot about the incredible costs of pharmaceuticals, but much less about the raging costs of hospitalization. According to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), “hospital prices have increased at a faster pace [than drugs] and will continue to do so through most of the next decade.” In any event, a nurse discovered that I’d brought my own pills and informed the hospital pharmacist. He ordered her to return to my room and confiscate my pills. She claimed that the reason was so that he could “see what I was taking.” I refused to give them up. I told her to tell the pharmacist to come to my room himself and explain to me why he needed to confiscate my meds. He never showed up and I continued with my own pills. There is nothing you will get in the hospital that you’re not charged for, and sometimes you will be charged for things that you don’t get (in my case, it was a pair of pressure socks that I refused to wear). When you’re a hospital patient, you'd be surprised what goes onto your tab. I recently saw an item about a woman finding on the itemization of her hospital bill a charge of $40 for them consoling her while she cried. Like drinking water or air for your tires, human sympathy now comes with a charge.
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Ostomy Memories in the Hospital
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