A Man's Flu Shot Fainting Spell Leads to a Hospital Trip and a $4,700 Bill

Bill of the Month is a crowdsourced collaboration between Kaiser Health News and National Public Radio that dissects and explains medical bills. It is being republished with permission.Matt Gleason had skipped getting a flu shot for more than a decade.But after suffering a nasty bout of the virus last winter, he decided to get vaccinated at his Charlotte, N.C., workplace in October. "It was super easy and free," said Gleason, 39, a sales operations analyst.That is, until Gleason fainted five minutes after getting the shot. Though he came to quickly and had a history of fainting, his colleague called 911. And when the paramedics sat him up, he began vomiting. That symptom worried him enough to agree to go to the hospital in an ambulance.He spent the next eight hours at a nearby hospital, mostly in the emergency room waiting area. He had one consultation with a doctor via teleconference as he was getting an electrocardiogram. He was feeling much better by the time he saw a doctor in person who ordered blood and urine tests and a chest-X-ray.All the tests to rule out a heart attack or other serious condition were negative, and Gleason was sent home at 10:30 p.m.Then the bill came.  Continue reading...

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