A $3K Plastic Bandage Raises One Mom's Concerns Over ER Charges


August 19, 2019

By Natalie Cook Clark

A Katy mom took her injured daughter to a local freestanding ER to examine a small cut on the girl's forehead. The mom was charged nearly $3,000 for a four-inch long plastic bandage. Now she wants answers and wants to help prevent other families from encountering the same billing nightmare.

Photo credit: Angie Waller

Daughter Gashes Forehead in Ballet Leap

On June 1, 2019, Megan Porter's three-year-old daughter did a ballet leap into the corner of a wall in their Katy home. The not-so-graceful stunt left a gash in the ballerina's head and a very worried mother. The accident happened mid-day on a Saturday and the Porter's regular pediatrician was closed.

"I wanted to be sure stitches weren’t necessary and was referred by a neighbor to take her to First Choice Emergency Room at 1510 South Mason Road," says Porter.

Even though the sign clearly states the facility is an emergency room, Porter never expected the level of costs. "No one talked about what to expect on pricing," says Porter.

Daughter is Fine, Bank Account is Not

Fortunately Porter's daughter is fine. Yet that day has the mom confused over billing and concerned for her community.

"I gave my insurance information and filled out paperwork on medical history," explains Porter. "My daughter was quickly treated by the on-site doctor. We were in and out in 10-15 minutes."

The three-year-old did not need stitches but the doctor sealed the gash in her forehead with liquid surgical glue and then covered it with a gauze.

"Upon check-out we were told to pay $120 which we did and went on our way. We took our daughter to Target for a toy and put the trauma behind us."

Porter says her daughter is fine now, "The wound has healed. God is good."