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This month, the series takes a look at Drew Calver, who was hospitalized last year in Austin, Texas, for a heart attack. His treatment included four stents in his arteries.
Calver has health insurance through a teaching job, which covered about $55,000 of the bill. But a month after his treatment, Calver received a bill for nearly $109,000.
He and his wife Erin were confused and frustrated by the medical bills at a time when Calver needed to be concentrating on his health.
Dr. Elizabeth Rosenthal, editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News, explains that the prices hospitals charge are "kind of arbitrary."
"They can be anything. They pull them out of thin air," she told "CBS This Morning." "I have to say I looked at this bill and the prices for every line-item were just exorbitant. $200 for a blood test. $20,000 for one single stent. We looked into that and those stents probably cost $1,000, so there's mark-up on everything."
It's important to keep in mind that Calver had insurance, too, Rosenthal points out. However, because the hospital where he was treated was out-of-network, he was subject to what's referred to as "surprise billing" in which normal insurance protections don't apply.
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