Well, the consensus in Gradgreenland is that unless we are dying, nobody goes to the ER. There is an urgent care place pretty close by and they do stitches, so we'll head there if anybody's bleeding.
I promised to report back on the cost of C's ER visit. Check it out (and remember, he HAS insurance, so this is the negotiated rate):
Physician services: 602.00 (the doctor cleaned his wound, gave him a shot of local anesthetic and gave him 6 stitches. Some areas could not be stitched.)
Hospital services: 2161.75 -- adjusted for insurance to 1405.14. I guess this includes the supplies, sitting in a room for a couple of hours, inadequate financial counseling, and the nurse who bandaged the wound.
Yowza -- $2007.15 total. C has a high deductible HSA, so we are responsible for most of that. I will be calling the hospital to see if this can be reduced at all.
Will there be other bills? Who knows.
It seems excessive, doesn't it?
What makes me extra mad is that the whole point of an HSA is that the patient will be able to have control of medical expenses, but I ASKED about the price of various things and nobody was able to give me even the most vague idea.
Keep in mind -- this was all for a cut on the elbow -- a pretty gross bloody cut -- but a non-life-threatening injury. It probably would have been okay, albeit gory, with no stitches at all.