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Brianna Snitchler was just figuring out the art of adulting when she scheduled a biopsy at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
Snitchler was on top of her finances: Her student loan balance was down and her credit score was up.
Years - Credit - Adult - Snitchler
“I had been working for the past three years trying to improve my credit and, you know, just become a functioning adult human being,” Snitchler, 27, said.
For the first time in her adult life, she had health insurance through her job and a primary care doctor she liked. Together they were working on Snitchler’s concerns about her mental and physical health.
Concern - Cyst - Abdomen - Growth - Size
One concern was a cyst on her abdomen. The growth was about the size of a quarter, and it didn’t hurt or particularly worry Snitchler. But it did make her self-conscious whenever she went for a swim.
“People would always call it out and be alarmed by it,” she recalled.
Cyst - Snitchler - Doctor - Growth - Cancer
Before having the cyst removed, Snitchler’s doctor wanted to check the growth for cancer. After a first round of screening tests, Snitchler had an ultrasound-guided needle biopsy at Henry Ford Health System’s main hospital.
The procedure was “uneventful,” with no complications reported, according to results faxed to her primary care doctor after the procedure. The growth was indeed benign, and Snitchler thought her next step would be getting the cyst removed.
Then the bill came.
The Patient: Brianna Snitchler, 27, a user-experience designer living in Detroit at the time. As a contractor for Ford Motor Co., she had a UnitedHealthcare insurance plan.
Bill - Facility - Fee - Operating - Room
Total Bill: $3,357.52, including a $2,170 facility fee listed as “operating room services.” The balance included a biopsy, ultrasound, physician charges and lab tests.
Service Provider: Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.
Procedure - Biopsy - Cyst
Medical Procedure: Ultrasound-guided needle biopsy of a cyst.
What Gives: When Snitchler scheduled the biopsy, no one told her that Henry Ford Health System would also charge...
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