Hospital charges $9,000 to bandage cut middle finger, report says

A New Jersey teacher said he was charged nearly $9,000 after he showed a cut middle finger to a hospital emergency room aide.

Baer Hanusz-Rajkowski said he went to the Bayonne Medical Center last August after he cut his finger with a hammer and thought he needed stitches. He didn’t. Instead he was sent home after he got a tetanus shot from a nurse practitioner who also sterilized the cut, applied some antibacterial ointment to it, and put a bandage on it.

Then he got the bill: $8,200 for the emergency room visit, $180 for the shot, $242 for the bandage and $8 for the ointment, plus hundreds of dollars for the nurse practitioner.

"I got a Band-Aid and a tetanus shot. How could it be $9,000? This is crazy," Hanusz-Rajkowski told NBC 4 New York Wednesday.

The hospital’s CEO Mark Spektor told the station Hanusz-Rajkowski’s visit cost so much because his insurance carrier United Healthcare refuses to offer fair reimbursement rates.

But United Healthcare responded by saying the hospital was just trying to gouge its members.

Linda Schwimmer of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute said the right price for getting a finger bandaged should be $400 to $1,000.

She told NBC that New Jersey needs a public database showing the average price for medical procedures.