Long Island mom billed $2,200 for child's wart removal

MELVILLE, Suffolk County (WABC) -- A Long Island mom said she was floored by a $2,243 charge for her daughter's very simple medical procedure.

Sheila Sachs, from Melville, said her 11-year-old daughter was at her annual wellness check-up when the doctor asked her if she had any questions.

"I said, 'Well she has this thing on the bottom of her foot.' He said, 'I can fix that,' and gets a spray and gave it three quick sprays, and we put a Band-Aid and a sock, and we left," Sachs said.

The doctor treated a common Plantar wart, which many remove using over-the-counter remedies.
Then the bill came, charging more than $2,200 for the "removal of up to 14 skin growths."

The patient's portion? $934.16. Sachs immediately called the doctor, who has worked as her children's pediatrician for more than a decade.

"I was not aware there would be any additional charge, and I did not sign anything agreeing for an additional charge," she said.

Sachs said her doctor told her that he would speak to the office manager and the billing department, but the charge remained.

7 On Your Side was surprised to learn this was the same office, the same doctor who charged another Long Island family $2,800 to remove a splinter!

Earlier in the year, Dana Andreoni faced a similar situation: During a wellness visit for her son at NYU Langone Huntington Medical Group, the doctor extracted a splinter from her son's leg and later faced that hefty bill.

Both the Andreonis and the Sachses were sent to collections for the unpaid bill.

"I find it horrifying. I really value my credit rating, and I feel it's so excessive and so extravagant why would I be in this position," Sachs said.

Shortly after receiving that bill, a friend showed her the 7 On Your Side splinter story.

7 On Your Side paid a visit to the clinic and within a day, the family was told the bill was $0!

"It was amazing how quickly you were able to achieve success. We could not have done it without you," she said.
NYU told us the patient was NOT over-billed for the services she received. So why did they remove the charge?

"We look at each patient individually, and if there's a need for financial assistance, we will provide it," the office said in a statement.

Sachs, however, never needed financial assistance. 7 On Your Side asked repeatedly what that means but never got an answer.

The big takeaway -- if you're asking or receiving a service from a doctor that's over and above your visit, ask if there will be a separate charge. That way, you won't be blindsided by a bill for services you thought were included.

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