I finally figured out why some hospital bills are so outrageous.
The first time I ever stayed in a fancy hotel, I noticed three days of parking charges on the bill. Not only did I not have a car with me, but I was only there for two days. I’ve seen people park poorly, but never poorly enough to rupture the space-time continuum.
When I brought the error to the attention of the clerk, he immediately removed the charge. No questions, no consulting with a supervisor, not even enough time to read over the bill. He struck the charge immediately. And that’s when something struck me.
The false parking charges were there in the hopes that no one noticed them. Some people just get bills and accept them without checking the details – and that’s what the hotel was hoping. The optimist in me would like to believe it was a mistake. The realist thinks the optimist is an idiot.
See also: The $150,500 hernia repair