HOMESTEAD, Fla. — What was supposed to be a simple, kind gesture for a stray cat turned into a nearly $50,000 medical bill for one Florida woman.
Jeanette Parker is a wildlife biologist, so when she spotted a small, sickly stray kitten outside the Everglades National Park, she felt compelled to give the little creature some tuna, Kaiser Health News reports.
The kitten, however, lashed out and bit her, sinking its teeth into her skin.
As she cleaned up the wound and did a little more research, she began to get worried.
Miami-Dade County had a rabies warning up, and she was concerned the kitten could have been infected.
After finding her health department closed, she went to Mariners Hospital’s emergency room.
She never spoke to a doctor. All she got was two injections and an anti-biotics.
All in all, the bill came out to $48,512.
“My funeral would have been cheaper,” she told KHN.
It turns out one of the injections she got, 12 milliliters of rabies immune globulin, is not cheap.
The average wholesale price is $361.26, which means the 12 milliliters she got should have cost about $4,334.
But the hospital told her no, the five-digit figure was correct. The hospital charged Parker based on the the higher-than-normal list prices for the exact date she was in the hospital.
That dose, less than a tablespoon of liquid, added up to $46,422 of the total bill.
After her insurer’s payments, she only had to fork up $4,191 but still plans to see what she can do to work that number down with her insurer.