W.T. Hooker: Administered meds rip-off

April 3, 2013 

Administered meds rip-off

I was in UNC Hospitals overnight recently. I take six maintenance drugs for enlarged prostate, acid reflux, hypertension, elevated cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.

I buy three of my drugs from the V.A. at a cost of $9 per month each and three are generic drugs I buy from Harris-Teeter at a cost of $4 per month each or a 30-day total of $39 or $1.30 per day.

Hospitals will not allow a patient to bring in any drugs and insist or dispensing any needed drugs from their pharmacy. I went back home the next day. I just received a bill for those maintenance drugs for one day in the amount of $173.60. Medicare will not pay the hospital for “self-administered drugs” (drugs that you take orally) so I am stuck with a bill for meds that cost me $1.30 at home. I’ll do the math: $173.60 divided by $1.30 is 13,354 percent.

I am retired and my sole income is social security. I thought I just read in The N&O that hospitals overcharge high-income patients in order to cover the costs of low-income patients. What am I missing here?

W.T. Hooker, Cary

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