Snake bite victim receives hospital bill for more than $150,000 - CBS46 News

Snake bite victim receives hospital bill for more than $150,000

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

A metro Atlanta woman said a snake bite cost her an arm and a leg - financially.

Lisa Zambito killed a copperhead snake in her driveway a couple of weeks ago.

"The head moved as I picked it up and it just got me through the plastic," Zambito said.

The snake took a bite out of her finger, which in turn took a bite out of her wallet.

"I almost fell over in my chair," Zambito said of receiving the bill.

Piedmont Hospital billed her more than $150,000 in pharmacy charges. To make matters worse, Zambito said it took the emergency room doctor three hours to obtain antivenom medication from the pharmacy.

"Slowly, my whole arm swelled," Zambito said.

Zambito said she was then admitted to the hospital for two days and received additional medication, but not enough in her opinion to account for the huge bill.

"I know hospitals overcharge people with insurance, and it's called cost-shifting, and I just couldn't believe it," Zambito said.

So she complained to the hospital, and the pharmacy sent her a letter regarding the delay in receiving antivenom.

"Our review found that the medication was diluted with a lower volume than recommended, which increased dissolution time for the drug. We realize that snakebite injuries and treatment are time-sensitive and we apologize for any additional distress caused by the delay," Piedmont hospital's director of pharmacy said.

"I'm waiting with anticipation what my carrier is going to send me in terms of what my portion of the bill is," Zambito said.

Piedmont Hospital told CBS Atlanta News they did overbill Zambito for approximately four vials of antivenom. So they credited her account approximately $33,000. That said, she still owes over $120,000 in pharmacy charges.

She's requested an itemized bill to find out why.

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