Arkansas Woman Hospitalized For COVID Receives Bill For Nearly $1 Million

Empty bed in intensive care unit. Various medical equipment in ward. Interior of hospital.

Arkansas Woman Hospitalized For COVID Receives Bill For Nearly $1 Million

Shenita Russie nearly died of the disease, but got an extra shock when she was sent her hospital bill.

PUBLISHED ON : JULY 26, 2021 / 11:56 AM

Written by BET Staff

The coronavirus pandemic has continued to expose the criminally high price of healthcare in America.

According to Little Rock, Ark., station KTHV-TV, Shenita Russie nearly died when she was put in a medically induced coma and had to stay in a hospital for over a month due to complications from COVID. 

Russie, 42, who is a respiratory therapist and contracted COVID before there was a vaccine, was on life support but luckily recovered. However, she had to learn to walk again and is still suffering with breathing problems. When she finally left the hospital, she was billed nearly $1 million by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Baptist Health. 

The bill came although she is insured and has worker’s compensation. 

The station reports “confusion in paying them back is being settled,” nonetheless, Russie said the amount was overwhelming. "The bills? They were incredible. I mean it was close to a million dollars for how sick I was on life support.” 

Russie says she is still recovering and is walking with a cane.

RELATED: Louisiana Governor Forming Task Force Targeted At COVID-19’s Effect on African Americans

 Dr. Steppe Mette, the CEO at UAMS, explained to KTHV, that the average cost of care for a COVID patient at his facility is around $25,000. However, “for somebody who's on a ventilator in an ICU for a month, it's going to be a lot higher than that. Probably close to $100,000.”

Sadly, the high price of COVID has been an issue all over the country. Mette is encouraging everyone to get vaccinated, saying, "It is an individual's choice whether to get the vaccination or not. That also means that it's an individual responsibility to bear the consequences if they get sick.”

For the latest on the coronavirus, check out BET’s blog on the virus, and contact your local health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.


(Photo: Getty Images)


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