Surgery Costs

When I was told I'd need to have surgery, the first thing I did was attempt to get an estimate of the costs. The surgeon's office told me he charges $3,500, and gave me a rough estimate that the hospital (the same one they always use) varies greatly but shouldn't be more than about $5,000. I tried again and again and again and again to contact the financial counselors at CPMC to get an estimate, and was never able to talk to one of them. There's actually a bug in their phone system that sends you back through the same cycle over and over without ever getting you to a person or even to be placed on hold. I finally just started pushing zero to wait for someone that could connect me to the right person, but after 6 days of trying at least twice a day, never actually spoke to a human.

Today I called billing and chose the option "pay my bill". I was connected right away and informed that my total comes to $19,000. Read that again. And again. Now add that to the surgeon's costs. What I thought would be around $10,000 (and thus only a few hundred for me after insurance), is $23,000. Twenty-three thousand dollars.

Not for the surgery mind you...just for the room, the anesthetics, the equipment, and the nurses who helped me for 4 hours. Oh yeah, and the morphine. Lots and lots of morphine.

I can't imagine what it would have been if I'd stayed overnight.

This is insane. Insane.

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