Woman's Hospital Bill Includes $40 Charge Because She Cried During Appointment

Mason Joseph Zimmer
young doctor explains something to another woman with open book in front of her
Canva | aleksandrdavydovphotos

One story that saw a woman charged $40 for crying during surgery appointment will now have us checking every hospital bill for a "brief emotional" charge.

Although there are many problems that some Americans have faced when dealing with the nation's healthcare system, it's hardly a surprise to learn that the biggest of them all tends to boil down to cost.

And of course, most of know that it can often be very expensive to get medical care even with insurance, but some bills are so outrageous that we can only wonder how they arrived at the number they did.

Although some doctors will speak candidly about the lengths their patients will have to go to afford treatment, it seems that others are willing to play the game and follow any codes that insurance companies come up with no matter how bizarre they are.

Because as we'll soon see, the costs involved are only part of the problem because it's easy to underestimate what these institutions can get away with charging us for.

On May 17, a woman named Camille Johnson told Twitter about her younger sister's struggles to find treatment for a rare disease.

woman with nose ring wears hair in multi-colored bun in TikTok video
TikTok | @offbeatlookofficial

Although Johnson didn't specify what condition this concerned in her tweets about the matter, she mentioned that it took a great deal of time and effort to find adequate treatment for it, which made her emotional when she did finally get to see a doctor.

However, it turns out that the way she expressed those emotions would be more expensive than she expected.

As we can see here, her visit resulted in a list of charges but one of them seemed out of place to the family.

hospital bill that charges $40 for crying via "brief emotional assement"
twitter | @OffbeatLook

Johnson helpfully outlined that one of these charges concerned a "brief emotional/behavior assessment" that apparently translates to the practice of charging someone (in this case) $40 for crying.

As Johnson put it in a separate tweet, "They charged her more for crying than they did for a vision assessment test. They charged her more for crying than for a hemoglobin test. They charged her more for crying than for a health risk assessment. They charged her more for crying than for a capilary blood draw."

And while some suggested that this charge was incurred because of a doctor's mental health treatment, Johnson maintained that it couldn't have been for anything besides crying.

doctor explains something to another woman with open book in front of her
Canva | aleksandrdavydovphotos

That's because she said nobody addressed her sister's crying in any way besides quietly slipping it onto the bill afterwards.

In Johnson's words, "One tear in and they charged her $40 without addressing why she is crying, trying to help, doing any evaluation, any prescription, nothing."

And not only is that charge more common than you might think, but it's just the tip of the iceberg for what a person can be overcharged for.

hospital bill charging for "brief emotional assesment" or code for crying
twitter | @mxmclain

For instance, one commenter mentioned that while they were doing physical therapy, they were charged $173 for every instance that saw a trainer hand them an ice pack.

And as we can see from another user's hospital bill from last year, it's not just that Johnson's sister was charged for crying. It's that the price for crying is apparently $29 higher than it was back in 2021.

So what, do they have to adjust the dubious costs for inflation too?