Facing Outrageous Hospital Bills

Ron Claiborne reports on the high cost added to patient's bills.
1:28 | 02/22/13

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Transcript for Facing Outrageous Hospital Bills
And there's news tonight about how much americans may be overpaying on medical bills. In the spotlight because of a ground-breaking new investigation by "time" magazine and with it, here's abc's ron claiborne. Reporter: When emilia gilbert fell and went to the er she was diagnosed with a simple broken nose. A few weeks later, she got the bill and was floored again. I knew I would have to pay something, but I didn't think it was going to be $9,000. Reporter: Including $6,500 for three cat scans that the government says should actually cost the hospital about $825 under medare rates. Charges were outrageous. Reporter: The time study found non-profit hospitals routinely billing many patients more than what a procedure costs the hospital. They're making a ton of money. Reporter: For example, one hospital charged a patient $157 for a blood test that they bill medicare just $11 for. Another patient, $8,000 for a stress test that medicare charges about $550 for. Reporter: The american hospital association said a bill reflects not just the patient's treatment, but also, quote, what it takes to provide the care, the nurse at the bedside, and all the staff who keep the hospital running 24 hours a day. So what to do? Brill says what most people don't know, they can usually "new york times" -- negotiate their bills down, so they don't pay the price, like emilia gilbert. Ron claiborne, abc news, new york.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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