A North Carolina man who was bitten by a snake was charged $89,000 for an overnight hospital stay.  

Eric Ferguson, 54, was bitten on the foot while he was taking out the garbage.  He drove himself to Lake Norman Regional Medical Center where he was given four vials of anti-venom.  Believing he was overcharged, he looked up the anti-venom online, where he found it cost from only $750, whereas the hospital bill charged over $20,000 per vial.

Medicare, the federal healthcare program, typically reimburses by paying the sale price, plus 6 per cent.  This would mean the medicine should cost $2,365 per vial.   Eric was covered by Blue Cross of North Caorlina, and with contractual support, the bill was reduced to just $20,000.  

Eric praised the hospital's care, but admitted the bill came as a shock.  The hospital is already under watchdog's eyes for previous questionable practices.  Doctors have been accused of accepting kickbacks for unnecessary treaments and tests.  

Eric's wife, Laura, argues that the system needs to be more transparent.  "What if it was someone that didn't have the resources to research and didn't have health insurance? What is fair and equitable here?" 

A bill was passed in North Carolina last summer in an attempt to do just that; starting in June, hospitals have to make prices clear and post bills in clear, simple language. 

What do you think? Is healthcare too expensive?