Twitter user posted a bill showing she was charged for "brief emotion" and the platform couldn't help but pile on with the jokes.
Seeing the medical bill after a visit to the hospital can be a pretty emotional experience but if you're not too careful you could be charged for it. American health care is known for its massive medical bills and many have been surprised by the charges but one woman claims she was charged for crying. Twitter user @mxmclain had gotten a mole removed and was charged $223 for the physician’s work, along with some other basic charges but one that caught her eyes was $11 for “brief emotion.” @mxmclain had a little fun herself tweeting the bill with the caption: Mole removal: $223, Crying: extra.
Unsurprisingly, Twitter grabbed the opportunity and the comments were filled with jokes about the American health care system. One person asked, "For how long did you cry? I just want to know the going rate." @mxmclain dutifully replied, "one tear." Another joked, "This can't be real. To think I was just experiencing emotions for free this entire time."
I’m going to start charging my children this way— Rachy Rach (@riot4rach) September 28, 2021
I doubt it but yes let’s go with that— Midge (@mxmclain) September 28, 2021
While it sounded like she was being charged for expressing brief emotions, it actually points to a brief emotional/behavior assessment for things like depression, ADHD, or substance abuse. According to connected mind, "It was created as part of the ACA’s federal mandate to include mental health services as part of the essential benefits package now required in all insurance plans Patients can be screened and billing submitted for the following visits: post-hospitalization, new diagnosis or complex medical issue, patients with pain, patients with substance abuse, and patients diagnosed with or being treated for mental illness." Any qualified health care professional can charge for CPT 96127 with costs varying as per the insurance company.
I cry ALL the time this is financially terrifying hahaha— hyper-sympathetic telepathic machine (@Laura19994298) September 28, 2021
A single tear— Midge (@mxmclain) September 28, 2021
Does your health care cover feelings?— Dickensnyc (@Dickensnyc) September 28, 2021
"Administration of the assessment is entirely up to the physicians, with patient consent," the American Academy of Family Physicians told Newsweek. "There are no requirements to screen patients if they display emotion, and Code 96127 cannot be reported simply because a patient shows emotion, such as crying. Any emotional/behavioral assessment based on an encounter is a clinical decision made by the physician in consultation with the patient." Doctors can charge up to $25 for this “service,” up to four times a year, reported God. Dailydot. Many questioned why emotional/behavioral assessment is required for mole removal but then again if you start questioning the American healthcare system charges, there's no end.
When the doctor heard a sniffle pic.twitter.com/N5Ig3KDcty— Craig's VCR (@Craigs_VCR) September 30, 2021
This is literally, this ☠️ pic.twitter.com/6KrexwgnQh— BTS’s Uni⁷ 🇹🇹 StopAsianHate 💫✨ (@btsblkfairy) September 30, 2021
As we reported, one nurse stated out that the American healthcare system minted money by fleecing patients. She highlighted how hospitals were charging way more than they should. “Patients are going into crippling debt. Medical debt is the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States. Yet, nobody is holding these hospitals accountable, and I am tired of it,” said Christy. She also pointed out that those being weighed down by medical debt did have other avenues to seek help.
Christy pointed out most hospitals in America are non-profit, meaning they have charity care programs that help ease the debt of those who cannot afford medical treatment and are under a certain income level. “Most hospitals in the United States are required to have charity care programs. That means they’re required to have programs that either reduce or completely wipe out debt for individuals who make under a certain amount of money,” she said, before adding, "‘Dollar For’ is an organization that will contact your hospital, apply you for their charity program, and then they will follow up with the hospital on your behalf until your debt is reduced or eliminated. And guess what guys, they do it for free.”