It has been a number of years since I've been to the doctor; at least 10, maybe 15 years, and I had the opportunity to go to an emergency room recently as a patient. It was an eye-opening experience for me, literally.
I'd been working on the farm, and I forget exactly what I was doing, but I remember getting something into my eye. It felt pretty small, but it was causing me to blink, and I didn't think much of it, and I went about my business. it bothered me all day, and I spent some time in a mirror trying to see what it was that was causing me grief, but didn't find it. the next morning it was still bothering me, and I purchased some eye drops and tried to irrigate it out of the eye, with no luck. On day 3, the eye was noticeably red and the pain had increased, and I was starting to get light-sensitive. Into the emergency room I went.
My blood pressure seemed to be very interesting to them. Interesting enough that they measured it 5 times during my 5 hour visit. the receptionist, the triage nurse, the orderly, and then the RN each took a turn, and then the doctor did. It was remarkably consistent at 80/120, and my pulse, which they measured at the same time, was a resting 55. None of that had anything to do with my eye, but whatever.
The actual treatment was for them to put an eye drop into my eye that made it insensitive, and then remove a very small black speck from it with a cue tip swab. $9 eye drop prescription and tetanus shot later they released me.
My insurance co-pay was $235, which I paid at time of treatment. They billed my insurance company... $2100.
Twenty one hundred dollars.