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FL trauma centers charge fees the moment patients come through the door

Tampa Bay Times, March 11, 2014

Before any X-ray was taken, any blood collected, any medicine delivered to his broken body, crash victim Eric Leonhard was charged $32,767 just to pass through the doors of a Fort Pierce trauma center. The bill was not for the surgery Leonhard needed to piece together his shattered pelvis. In fact, after exactly 40 minutes, doctors decided to transfer him because they didn't have the right specialist for the job. So they loaded Leonhard onto a helicopter and sent him to another hospital on Florida's east coast. Lawnwood Regional Medical Center still charged Leonhard, an uninsured tour boat captain, nearly $1,000 for every minute he spent with the medical team that couldn't fix him.