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OFF BEAT: Bill for Band-Aid adds insult to injury

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A New Jersey hospital has a public relations emergency on its hands after it charged a man $9,000 to bandage his cut finger.

According to reports, Baer Hanusz-Rajkowski, of Bayonne, New Jersey, went to the emergency room at Bayonne Medical Center last August after a cut on his finger was slow to heal. A nurse practitioner examined Mr. Hanusz-Rajkowski, determined stitches were not necessary, administered a tetanus shot and bandaged the damaged digit.

The subsequent bill left Mr. Hanusz-Rajkowski fuming. “I got a Band-Aid and a tetanus shot,” he told NBC 4 New York. “How could it be $9,000?”

Dr. Mark Spektor, president and CEO of Bayonne Medical Center, blamed the outsize bill on an ongoing dispute with UnitedHealthcare, Mr. Hanusz-Rajkowski’s health insurance company. Dr. Spektor said the insurance company has paid its portion of the bill, roughly $6,640.

But even though the hospital has agreed to write off his portion of the debt, Mr. Hanusz-Rajkowski said he will find another place to fix him up should another medical disaster befall him.

“If I severed a limb, I’d carry it to the next emergency room in the next city before I go back to this place,” he said.