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A hospital fee minus just one thing: A hospital

The Boston Globe, January 28, 2013
Robert Reed's visit to a suburban dermatologist's office last year seemed ordinary: He was led into a small exam room with a scratchy paper-covered table, where the doctor inspected his skin and squirted liquid nitrogen onto three pre-cancerous spots. The statement he received a month later appeared anything but ordinary: It included $1,525 in "operating room" and hospital "facility" charges. Surely, Reed thought, it must be a mistake. There had been no hospital, no anesthesia, no surgical nurse. And these charges were far more than what the doctor billed for her services—just $354. "I feel like I've been taken advantage of," said Reed, a 57-year-old financial analyst. "They need a reality check on what they are charging."