Young girl’s snakebite leaves family with $142,938 medical bill

Young girl’s snakebite leaves family with $142,938 medical bill
(Image: Screen grab of KDLT video via NBC 4 LA)

[Ed. – NPR conveniently postpones mention that Oakley’s family didn’t pay a dime out of pocket for her emergency care until late in the 964-word article.]

Her parents, Josh Perry and Shelli Yoder, were already in bed that night when they got the call about what had happened to Oakley. They jumped in the car and arrived at Riley about two hours before their daughter. Once she made it, doctors closely observed her condition, her toe still oozing and bruised. By lunchtime, Perry said, physicians reassured the parents that Oakley would be OK.

“It was a major comfort for me to realize, OK, we’re getting the best care possible,” said Perry, who is a health care ethics professor at the business school at Indiana University, Bloomington. Less than 24 hours after the bite, Oakley left the hospital with her grateful parents.

Then the bills came.

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Patient: Oakley Yoder, now 10, of Bloomington, Ind. Insured through Indiana University, Bloomington, where her father and mother work as faculty.

Total bill: $142,938, including $67,957 for four vials of antivenin ($55,577.64 was charged for air ambulance transport). The balance included a ground ambulance charge and additional hospital and physician charges, according to the family’s insurer, IU Health Plans.

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