Mooresville Man Receives Hefty Medical Bill After Snakebite - myfoxcarolinas.com

Mooresville Man Receives Hefty Medical Bill After Snakebite

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Snake-bitten both literally metaphorically – Eric Ferguson of Mooresville was fanged with a hospital bill of nearly $90,000 after taking a bite to his bare foot.

It all started when Ferguson was taking out the trash last August, and felt a sting.

“I realized there were two holes instead of one,” Ferguson said. “My wife Laura said, ‘You got stung by a bee,’ and I said, ‘No, bees don’t have fangs.’”

Ferguson, admittedly hard-headed, drove solo to Lake Norman Regional Medical Center where he received anti-venom medication for his bite. He says during the ride to the hospital he had to stop for gas and became dizzy, faint and knew he had to get on his way.

He says his foot was swollen and gray.

The four viles of anti-venom medication came out to $81,159.16. With the 18-hour hospital stay, his bill totaled $89,226.86.

“I opened that bill and I thought I was going to have a heart attack,” his wife Laura Ferguson said.

She needed answers and wanted to check how the hospital came to their figure.

Searching the internet, Laura found matching vials costing anywhere from $750-$12,000. Despite that wide range of price online, even the most-high dose of anti-venoms would costs substantially less than what her husband was billed -- almost half the cost.

When talking about a sum of money large enough to buy a house -- half isn't a laughing matter, Ferguson said.

The hospital said that, “In some cases, Lake Norman’s charge is considerably higher than other local hospitals, because hospital gross charges are a product of our country’s broken health system in general.”

So in short -- there was nothing Ferguson could do but pay the high markup the hospital administered -- and move on with his day.

After insurance helped out, Ferguson was left with a bill of $5,350.

Ferguson says he  has no problem paying his bills – but wants his story out there so people can start questioning the high markups of our country’s health system.

“Maybe this is an eye opener to make hospitals more transparent in their charges,” he said.

Ferguson wasn’t looking for revenge on the hospital – but he did get his revenge on a belly-crawling reptile -- one he believes could be the same that started this mess.

Just weeks after leaving the hospital -- Ferguson stumbled upon a Southern Copperhead slithering around his back patio.

“I got to a machete and made that snake in two parts, which made me feel better,” he said. “But also the fact that we later measured the fangs and the fangs were the same width as the bite marks on my foot. So it was either that was the snake or it was a sibling of the family.”

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