You’ve probably heard of the exorbitant prices of the American healthcare system where an emergency room visit for a bandage can cost you a modest sum of 629 dollars (about 594 euros). Reported by The Independent, a new case of the same kind has gone viral on Twitter after a woman by the name of Camille Johnson posted a photo of her sister’s medical expenses. “rare sickness”.
After a visit to the doctor to discuss her state of health, the young woman was given an invoice summarizing the different costs for a battery of tests of all kinds. 20 dollars (about 18 euros) for a “eye exam”, 15 dollars (about 14 euros) for a “hemoglobin test» and… 40 dollars (about 37 euros) for a “Brief Emotional and Behavioral Assessment”.
My little sister has been really struggling with a health condition lately and finally got to see a doctor. They charged her $40 for crying. pic.twitter.com/fbvOWDzBQM
— Camille Johnson (@OffbeatLook) May 17, 2022
Originally, this assessment was intended to make mental health treatments accessible to as many people as possible. According to The Independent, this type of test is usually carried out as part of“a screening […] for signs of attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity (ADHD), depression, anxiety, suicidal risk or drug addiction”. American doctors have therefore been authorized to bill for this act since 2015.
However, Camille Johnson claims that her sister “was not appraised, although it was charged $40.” According to his comments collected by the British daily, “the doctor of the health establishment […] saw my sister crying and did nothing to help her.
A health system that makes the poorest vulnerable
“They did not assess her for depression or other mental illnesses, nor did they discuss her mental health with her, explains Camille Johnson to the British media. She never spoke to a specialist, wasn’t referred to anyone, wasn’t prescribed anything, and they didn’t do anything to improve her mental health.”
This case has provoked many reactions on social networks. Some people have shared similar experiences, like one user who was apparently charged $1,900 for a pregnancy testor about 1,800 euros.
Johnson, however, specifies that his little sister was able to be reimbursed through her father’s insurance, which is unfortunately not the case for everyone in the United States. As France 24 points out, millions of Americans still have to go into debt to have access to basic care.