This feature was published in the New York Times in December, 2013:
A day spent as an inpatient at an American hospital costs on average more than $4,000, five times the charge in many other developed countries, according to the International Federation of Health Plans, a global network of health insurance industries. The most expensive hospitals charge more than $12,500 a day. And at many of them, including California Pacific Medical Center, emergency rooms are profit centers. That is why one of the simplest and oldest medical procedures — closing a wound with a needle and thread — typically leads to bills of at least $1,500 and often much more.
For patients without health insurance, an emergency room visit typically costs from $150-$3,000 or more, depending on the severity of the condition and what diagnostic tests and treatment are performed, according to Costhelper.com. Services, diagnostic tests and laboratory fees add to the final bill, and a doctor fee could add hundreds or thousands of dollars to the final cost. Alternatively, urgent care centres offer substantial savings for more minor ailments, and some hospitals offer discounts of up to 50% or more for self-pay/uninsured emergency room patients.