Mystery hospital fee

David Lazarus' column on the mysterious $546 fee charged by St. John's Health Center to an orthopedic patient draws attention to a major source of confusion and frustration for patients of this clinic. ("Hospital's healthcare fee causes nothing but headaches," Column, June 5)

I suggest, as a follow-up, a quick read of the Yelp reviews for the Santa Monica Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Group, the clinic referenced in his article. This mysterious facility fee is referred to myriad times.

My family has been seen by several physicians there over the years. They are all very well qualified, but this fee seems to have the effect of forcing patients to seek their treatment elsewhere. In my case, I go to USC.

Five hundreds and forty six unjustified clams paid to a hospital across the street from the clinic feels like a shakedown. Adding insult to injury, St. John's is unable to articulate what it's for.

Hannah Galloway

Santa Monica

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