Why Did Jules Weiss Have To Pay $55,000 For Snake Bite Anti-Venom?

By Chris Weller on August 13, 2013 3:15 PM EDT

Copperhead Snake
Jules Weiss racked up $55,000 in hospital fees for a snake bite that required three doses of anti-venom, the costliest portion of any snake bite treatment. (Photo: Flickr, Axel.Foley)

Jules Weiss thought she was stung by a bee, until she noticed not one but two puncture wounds on the side of her foot. She saw a liquid oozing out, and within the hour her foot ballooned and turned blue. But after receiving three doses of anti-venom at the hospital, the scariest part of Weiss's ordeal was the $55,000 bill she received.

Weiss, one of about 48.6 million uninsured Americans, says her biggest regret in getting bitten wasn't even the bite at all. It's that she has to rely on the hospital's financial assistance program to pay back the exorbitant debt she incurred from her treatment. According to Suburban Hospital's website, the treatment Weiss received is nearly three times as expensive as a knee replacement and almost $15,000 costlier than open heart surgery.

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