After a totally ludicrous $4000 bill the one time I was stupid enough to go to the ER for 4 stitches, a shot, and a few bandaids, I was not optimistic on the hospital bill for my recent surgery.|
At hand was: a 5H surgery with related staff and supplies, 1 night in the ICU (which I'm not quite sure I needed since I never was in a critical state, but I suppose better be safe than sorry if money is no issue), and one night in a regular hospital room (all in all I stayed a bit less than 48H).
So, what was the bill? Indeed, it was over $93,000 for just the hospital (my surgeon bills separately, and I may also get a separate anesthesiologist bill and potential lab fees).
While I realize that world class surgeons should get paid for their skill, and hospitals don't run just on good wishes and fresh water, they still cost over 5 times what I'd pay in France for similar service (minus maybe things that would be considered unnecessary).
Now the "fun" part is where the insurance has pre negotiated prices and decides that things are really worth less than what the bill says. From there it goes from $93k to $16k!
Now, $16k is not cheap, but feels not as unreasonable as the first bill. What's disheartening though is that it's likely people without insurance who get billed full price and maybe get a measly 25% discount in the end.
I don't work in a hospital, but I really do wonder how they get to quote such outlandish prices and what happens to people who don't have insurance that will refuse to pay their rate and negotiates the prices way down.
Oh, if you add "supplies", it adds up to $26k billed. I really want to see what supplies I got for $26K worth.
Even over $1650's worth of drugs is steep, but of course that starts with drug companies charging pretty ridiculous prices (which Cigna mostly fully paid).
Anyway, there is a lot of things to fix in the medical industry, but I suppose that's no news to everyone :-(
In the meantime, I can thank Cigna PPO for making this experience mostly a non event financially for me.