The Associated Press recently reported about an Arizona woman who was charged more than $83,000 by her local hospital for receiving the scorpion anti-venom Anascorp.
Marcie Edmonds was billed by Chandler Regional Medical Center for multiple doses of anti-venom priced at $40,000 per dose. Edmonds’ insurance ended up covering over $57,000 of the bill, but the hospital is still expecting her to cover the remaining $25,000 of the cost.
Back in November of 2011, Arizona hospitals were reportedly charging more than $12,000 per vile of Anascorp. A patient’s total bill was reaching beyond $50,000 because they were being given five or six doses at the time of treatment.
Is It Necessary?
Contrary to popular belief, nearly all scorpion stings in Arizona are not fatal. While the bark scorpion is considered the most toxic, and thereby the “most deadly”, cases of fatality are few and far between. Scorpions stings will surely cause an immense amount of pain, but the lingering affects vary from person to person. Most victims simply feel numbness and pain in the area for a few days. Temporary paralysis can be a more severe outcome, but it is less common. Cases of severe reaction and even death are typically a result of an allergic reaction to the toxins in the scorpion’s venom and a lack of medical attention. If one has no known allergies to bites or stings, from a bee for example, then the likelihood of severe reaction to a scorpion sting is greatly limited. Adults will handle scorpion venom introduced into their system much better than children, as a larger and heavier body is more capable of metabolizing through the venom at a faster rate.
Results have shown that a sufficient dosage of Anascorp can lower the pain and recovery time to under four hours. But is that worth spending several thousands of dollars to spark your body to do what it will most likely do on its own?
At What Cost?
Bulwark Exterminating primarily offers two service plans – every month and every other month. A one year every month plan will cost a total of $623. An every other month plan will cost $440. If a customer happens to live in Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Antonio or Austin, they can also request Bulwark’s revolutionary Scorpion Truck service, which applies a max dosage of product to the exterior of the house. The Scorpion Truck is included as part of a customer’s initial treatment appointment. As an added service Bulwark also offers a “Scorpion Seal”, an application of Teflon tape to all entry points of the exterior and interior of the home. This service runs at an average of $1,500 for an average sized house, but is a service we seldom perform. Customers typically stick with one of the two service plans and see beyond satisfactory results.
A customer with a no nonsense, take no chances and/or prisoners attitude who goes with an every month plan, plus the seal, would play $1,123 in the first year of service. Based off 2011 Anascorp prices, that is a savings 91% of the cost of only one vile of anti-venom. Based off the 2012 prices of Anascorp experienced by our friend in Chandler, a $1,123 deluxe package is nearly a 99% savings over a treatment of Anasorp. Curse that inflation!
These numbers purely reflect the price difference between a dose of Anascorp and one’s potential hospital bill. Not calculated are additional expenditures such as gas consumption to and from the nearest hospital with a ready supply of Anascorp, time lost from work if a loved-one or relative must clock out in order to assist the victim with travel to seek treatment, possible food bills if one must eat out while the victim is receiving treatment. Maybe even a stop at Cold Stone Creamery on the way home, because that is definitely part of the recovery process.