US hospital serves COVID-19 survivor bill of Rs 8.35 crore for 62 days of treatment

Gursshheen Gahllen | Jun 14, 2020 19:41

A 70-year-old man, who nearly died of COVID-19, has been given a bill of $ 1.1 million (around Rs 8.35 crore) by a hospital in Washington, United States, for 62 days of treatment. As per Seattle Times, Michael Flor was admitted at the hospital on March 4 and at one point came so close to death that nurses held up the phone so that his wife and children could say goodbye to him.

Flor, however, defeated the virus and was discharged from the hospital on May 5. His recovery ultimately gave strength to others at the hospital. Flor discharged amid cheers from hospital staff only to receive a hospital bill of $ 1.1 million later at his residence in West Seattle.

Resembling a book, the bill has 181 pages, which explain the charges of his treatment at the hospital. When shifted to the intensive care unit, the charge of his room was billed at $ 9,736 per day. Due to the communicable state of the virus, Flor was shifted to a sealed room, which could only be accessed by medical workers wearing plastic suits and appropriate headgears. He was kept in an isolation chamber for 42 days, which was billed at $ 408,912.

Also read: June 14: Complete COVID-19 report, analysis and statistics for Maharashtra

Facing difficulties in breathing, Flor was put on the mechanical ventilator for 29 days billed at $ 2,835 per day. About one-fourth of the bill was for the expenses made on drugs. Nearly having a brush with death, Flor faced multiple organ failure for two days as his heart, kidneys and lungs were not responding at all. The bill for those two days ran for 20 pages and totalled nearly $ 100,000. “The doctors, it seems were throwing everything at me they could think of,” Flor says.

Being a senior citizen and having a health insurance, Flor wouldn’t have to pay a lot of amount. Also, because Flor is a COVID-19 survivor, he might not have to pay anything at all.

Receiving treatment at the Swedish Medical Centre in Issaquah, Flor had an idea that it would cost him a lot. Being unconscious for most of his stay there, at the beginning of his illness, his wife Elisa Del Rosario remembers him waking up and saying, “You gotta get me out of here. We can’t afford this.”

Expressing his feelings, Flor said he was surprised at his own reaction after being handed the hospital bill, which was nothing but guilt. He said, “I feel guilty about surviving. There’s a sense of ‘why me?’  Why did I deserve all this? Looking at the incredible cost of it all definitely adds to that survivor’s guilt.”