Woman Billed $70K For Cat Bite Says 'My Funeral Would Have Been Cheaper'
A Florida woman was trying to feed and care for a skinny and sick looking stray cat when it nipped her finger, breaking the skin with its teeth.
Wildlife biologist Jeannette Parker spotted the kitten wandering along a road just outside Florida's Everglades National Park.
Wanting to help, the 44-year-old American offered up some tuna she had sitting in her car, but the cat got vicious, biting Parker on the very hand that was trying to feed it.
Concerned about contracting rabies, the woman drove herself to the emergency room at nearby Mariners Hospital.
After two hours, two different injections and an antibiotic, Parker was reportedly discharged without seeing a doctor.
“I went home happy as a clam,” she told local media.
Then the eye-watering bill came in -- AU$69,392. One injection alone came with a price tag of AU$65,446.
Thankfully, Parker had health insurance which covered the brunt of the exorbitant costs, but she was still out of pocket AU$6,000.
"My funeral would have been cheaper", she said.
After asking some questions Parker learnt that the majority of the cost was for the rabies immune globulin -- the hospital billed her more than $65 000 for that alone.
"I have never heard anything that high for immune globulin," independent biomedical consultant Charles Rupprecht, a World Health Organisation rabies specialist told NPR.
The hospital's bill was over 10 times the national average for rabies treatment.
"I sat on it for a while because I was upset. Finally, I went by the hospital to confirm, and they said, 'Yes, that is right,'" Parker said.
The hospital has since released a statement saying the charges reflected list prices the hospital had in place when Parker was treated.
It's safe to say she will be keeping her tuna to herself from now to avoid another cat-astrophe.
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