Take a deep breath and imagine an unpleasant scenario: It’s late at night, your kid is really sick and you need to go to the emergency room.
How much are you going to be charged just to walk through the door?
The answer, according to a new analysis by a Colorado nonprofit, varies widely depending on where you go and how serious the hospital thinks the situation is. It could be as little as $190 at the cheapest hospitals and for the least-serious conditions. Or it could be more than $4,500 at more expensive emergency rooms treating the most grave conditions.
And that just covers the portion of the bill for evaluation and management. The cost for the actual medical treatment gets added on to that.
The analysis was produced this month by the Center for Improving Value in Health Care, which manages the state’s all-payer claims database, a massive collection of information on insurance claims paid out across Colorado.
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