So Alex Rodriguez got himself shot full of steroids. For those of us Barry Bonds haters, this is a big deal. We’ve been marking time until Rodriguez hits enough homeruns (and he will), to wipe away Bonds’ drugs-enhanced record for career homers.
But I’m wondering something else, today: How much do ballplayers pay for a shot of steroids and is it more than the great unwashed pay?
This month, we at the Bank of Casa Collins have been receiving an education on the way the health care organizations game the system by padding the route between diagnosis and cure with a series of “services” and “consultations.”
I had a sore shoulder that left my fingers numb in November. After $325 in visits to the chiropractor (two) that didn’t help, I went to my regular doctor ($220), who gave me some steroid pills ($6.99). “How’d they work out?” he asked me on a follow-up a week later ($145).
They cleared it up, briefly, but the pain and numbness returned and I was starting to get discouraged that my chances of breaking Barry Bonds’ homerun record were slipping. He gave me a week’s worth of pills the next time I saw him and on the followup ($220), he sent me off for an MRI ($1,473), and referred me to a neurologist to get a shot of steroids for the pain.
At the office visit, the neurologist (The bill hasn’t come in yet, but let’s assume $400) said I’d need a shot of steroids, and gave me a referral to a pain clinic.
At the pain clinic, a nurse looked at my paperwork, took 5 minutes to explain the workings of the spine ($406) and said I’d be getting a shot of steroids. A doctor then walked in ($1,323.93) to tell me I’d be getting a shot of steroids and after about 10 minutes, I was led to a room where I got a shot of steroids ($1,273.80) and an appointment to do it all again in another two weeks.
Two weeks later, I canceled the appointment for a second shot and kept the follow-up appointment with the nurse ($195), who arrived 45 minutes late to give me a referral to a physical therapy clinic (also owned by the same health care company), that I had no intention of using.
Total cost for one shot? $5,988.72.
This week, the shot started wearing off and the pain started to return. I’m going to learn to live with it.
Alex Rodriguez makes $28 million a year. The steroid-delivery system is made for guys like him.