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An $83 sling and no simple answers

James Dichter awoke from elbow surgery in May and went home with a simple navy-blue cloth sling. When the bill for that sling arrived a month later, Dichter’s jaw dropped.

He discovered that his insurer had paid Surgi-Care, a Waltham medical equipment supplier, $83 for providing the item, which consists of two panels of thin cloth sewn together and a shoulder strap. His share was $25. Dichter, 59, a consultant with an MBA from the University of California Berkeley, suspected something was wrong with that price. He searched online and found a similar basic sling for $7.

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