Woman's spider bite becomes $1,100 bill

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by LiAna Gonzales

azfamily.com

Posted on March 1, 2013 at 3:05 PM

PHOENIX -- A Valley woman wonders how a small spider bite could turn into an $1,100 charge.

Leanne Kinnard enjoys being out in her yard, gardening.  And gardening is where she believes she got a small spider bite on her hand.

"Spider bites, I understand can be dangerous," said Leanne.

The spider bite kind of looked like a blister and bothered Leanne, so while driving by an Urgent Care center one day, she thought she would drop in just to have it checked out.

"He looked at it, said it might be infected, but he lanced it, drained it, it was good. I walked out of there with a prescription," said Leanne.

Leanne said she was in and out of the office in 15 minutes, and didn't think much about it until her insurance company mailed her an "explanation of benefits," and she didn't like what she saw.

Her insurance company was billed for two office visits, not one, and surgery.

The total billed almost $1,100.

“I was shocked, I thought it was strange, it was either a mistake or something was amiss," remarked Leanne.

Leanne hadn't actually received a bill yet herself, but she thought the charges were excessive and was concerned her financial responsibility would be higher when she was billed.

So Leanne contacted the Urgent Care facility.

"I'm offended that you would bill my insurance that amount of money for this kind of procedure," she said.

Urgent Care acknowledged there was only one office visit and explained to 3 On Your Side that the second visit listed was to justify a $75 up-charge because Leanne came in after hours.

As for the so-called surgery, the facility maintains the insurance company is the one that assigns the terminology and pricing, not them.

But Leanne said the whole ordeal seems a little over the top for a spider bite.

"That's what's pumping up costs of my insurance premiums," Leanne noted.

Again, the urgent care facility says they did everything by the book.

The insurance company told 3 On Your Side they're looking into the matter to make sure things were coded and billed correctly.
 

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