Born with a congenital heart defect and other medical issues, Sterling Raspe lived just eight months. In that time, she needed dozens of medical procedures and often required round-the-clock care in the neonatal intensive care unit. At one point, her parents were told they owed $2.5 million for her care. “It’s an offensive amount of money,” said Sterling’s father, Kingsley Raspe, in this KHN video produced by Hannah Norman and reported by Lauren Weber.
More than 300,000 U.S. families have infants who require advanced medical attention in NICUs every year. The services are delivered and, in keeping with the U.S. health care system, billing follows. But for the smaller fraction of families whose children die, the burden can be too much to bear.
For more about the Raspe family and others in similar circumstances, read “The Cruelest Bills.”