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What should an appendectomy cost?

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by re_guderian, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. re_guderian

    re_guderian SILVER Star

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    Had a friend go in for appendicitis. Ended up removing his appendix. Got the bill for 1 day in the Hospital, plus the surgery, and all told it was $33K. His insurance said reasonable and customary is $8300. Anyone familiar with what this might actually cost? $33K just seems way over the top. There were no complications. His insurance isn't the greatest. He just submits a claim, and they will only reimburse "their" R&C, so he's on the hook for the rest. But why so dang much? Why not charge $50K, or heck, even $80K? You'd have to pay, right? What recourse does he have if the charges are above the norm? Get his appendix back???
     
  2. Shahram

    Shahram I ain't got herpes no more. SILVER Star

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    Depends....does he believe in universal health care? If not, then he should pay and shut the **** up. It's a free market. No one put a gun to his head and said he HAD to have his appendix out. He could have gone to the competition. Shopped around. Hell, he could have skipped it altogether.


    Yep....I got nothin'. Hey, tell your friend to look on the bright side. Sure, he might have to work hard for years to pay off the bill, but hey, at least he doesn't have an inflamed, pus-filled banana slug in his gut anymore! And there's a Republican in the White House! Things are comin' up grand!
     
  3. Jman

    Jman

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    I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I think that is a ****load of money for an appendectomy.
     
  4. JC39232

    JC39232

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    You have to consider all he had done. Of course I agree, 33K is a ****load of money.

    ER visit: $300 @ least
    CT scan: $2000-3000
    Having CT read by radiologist: $100 @ least
    Other labs the ER drew: Anywhere from $100-400

    Anesthesiologist: $2000
    Nurse Anesthetist: $500-750
    Hospital charges for OR: $2500
    All the meds used to put him to sleep: $300-500
    Surgeon fees: $2000

    That **** adds up.
     
  5. sisukid1975

    sisukid1975

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    mine cost that much at least.

    I had complications though... Peritonitis and things like that. I was in the hospital for almost 2 weeks on full-spectrum antibiotics and painkillers. (Started on Morphine, eventually went down to demerol then Darvocet)

    My insurance company refused to pay the bill. Claimed the hospital and doctor was "padding the bill." They said "the average appendectomy costs $X,XXX we're not paying $YY,YYY for one." They didn't seem to care that I had complications and was very near death for quite a while. I had to hire a lawyer and sue them (and go after them for attorneys costs, punitives, basically the whole truckload) It took 3 years to get them to pay, during which time my credit was trashed. They finally called on the day before trial was scheduled to begin and said they wanted to settle. My lawyer wanted to tell them no way and go after them in court, cause that city's very liberal juries were not friendly to big insurance companies and probably would have raped them hard, but I told him to settle and get it done with.

    If your friend didn't have complications, I have no idea why it's so much. Did he go to Cedars-Sinai or Mayo or something like that??? :D



    Fred
     
  6. sisukid1975

    sisukid1975

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    Like Jman, I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I think a CT scan is a bit much for appendicitis. It's a basic thing every doc in the world learns how to daignose and treat in med school, and ASFAIK, it's readily diagnosed with an inventory of symptoms, palpitation and a generic x-ray. I mean honestly, a second year med school student can probably diagnose appendicitis without a CT scan.

    When I went into the ER, the doctor there told me she was "pretty certain" it was appendicitis just by talking to me and poking around my guts for a minute... Even before she ordered the x-rays and blood work, she knew what it was, but just did the xrays and stuff to make doubly sure. I didn't get a CT or MRI or RFE (Real friggin expensive) scan or any of that crap.

    Fred
     
  7. DSRTRDR

    DSRTRDR I can mangle anything ... SILVER Star

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    He should get an itemized bill and go to the state medical board to find out if the rates for each item/procedure are customary. And then go back into dispute with the insurance company, if necessary with the help of a lawyer.

    I had an operation once at Mayo in AZ, more involved than an appendectomy but it wasn't THAT expensive. Find it hard to believe a hospital in AZ would charge even more than Mayo does.
     
  8. Rocknroll

    Rocknroll SILVER Star

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    I had mine done a year ago. Appendectomy, cat scan, exporatory surgery for additional cleanup, 10 days in the hospital. By the time the doctors, anesthesiologists, and hospital were done, the total was just under $60,000. I was able to get the 45,000 the hospital wanted paid on a hardship, but iI'm still paying off the rest. It was truly the worst experience of my 33 years. But i had a rupture and many conplications due to that. Good luck!
     
  9. JC39232

    JC39232

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    I'm a 4th year medical student and most surgeons around here won't operate on a patient without the triple contrast CT scan. It is the gold standard for diagnosis. I agree it is unnessary most of the time. And an X-ray is only good if there is a fecalith blocking the appendix.

    And the word is palpation. Palpitation is a symptom if your heart is beating fast.
     
  10. sisukid1975

    sisukid1975

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    Man, it's gone up. I had pretty much the same thing as you, (with the exception of the CT scan) and the bill came up to just under $40K.... granted, it was like 14 years ago, but still! :eek:

    Fred
     
  11. JC39232

    JC39232

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    14 years ago? No wonder you didn't have a CT scan. Back then they were not used for that or were just beginning to be. CT scans were horribly slow that long ago. Probably would have taken 30 minutes or more even just to scan the abdomen.

    It's called inflation. Higher cost of living. Doctors are getting paid more. Hospitals are charging more because there are more people that don't pay their bills. Hospital administrators are making more money.
     
  12. beaufort-fj60

    beaufort-fj60

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    I was under the impression IF your insurance co. has a pre-existing agreement with a provider for costs and services, the insurance co. will pay up to those pre agreed numbers. If the provider bills you for "extra" costs and you pay, just stamp "sucka" on your forehead.
     
  13. abclin

    abclin

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    did he get to keep the "inflamed, pus-filled banana slug", if so put it up on ebay and reep the profits.
     
  14. JC39232

    JC39232

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    Most insurance companies either pay a certain percentage of the bill for services provided or have a set amount for certain procedures. However just because they have that set amount does not mean the hospital cannot charge more than that. Insurance companies are in the business they are in to keep the shareholders happy. This means making money. And you don't make money by paying 100% of the fees. And yes you have to pay it unless you somehow get it written off (hardship, etc.) or you want to have bad credit.

    I would just fake my own death, have my family sue because I died from complications, and buy some island somewhere.
     
  15. Jman

    Jman

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    He should check his nads--sounds like they may have taken his left nut, too.
     
  16. sisukid1975

    sisukid1975

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    On top of all the things you mention, I'm under the impression that malpractice insurance for doctors and hospitals has gone way up, and much of the money we pay is "lost" in red tape/administrative costs.

    Fred
     
  17. emr88

    emr88

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    Had an emergency appendectomy about 7 years ago. I think the total bill for everything was around 17k. :frown:
    I don't know what I would have done without good health insurance.
     
  18. beaufort-fj60

    beaufort-fj60

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    dream on 4th year medical student
     
  19. grrlscout89FJ62

    grrlscout89FJ62

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    I had mine out a couple years ago, and it came out to about $25,000. Insurance covered all but about $750.

    It was not yet ruptured, the procedure was done laproscopically, and I had a 3.5 day hospital stay.
     
  20. 73fj55

    73fj55

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    Appendectomy

    I just worked with a pt and his charges. They came to a grand total of $7500. Another $1500 for the surgeon and anethesia.

    I would double check the billing. That amount seems a little extravagent.
     

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