Friday, August 14, 2009

A System of the Absurd

Charge for wellness checkup blood tests @ St. Lukes Hospital: $1142.20.

Amount written off by hospital as negotiated by Anthem BC/BS: $967.20.
The insurance company pays NOTHING for this service.

Amount patient required to pay: $175

Does any of this make sense? Does $1142.20 represent the true cost of doing the testing for the hospital? What if I had requested to pay cash for the whole thing? Same charge?

BTW, my mom's hospital bill (Des Peres Hospital) for her same-day surgery (rotator cuff repair)--ready--$33,000. Not sure what her insurance is going to cover yet, but she was at the hospital from 8 am to 5 pm, and in actual surgery less than 2 hours. Never admitted to a room, just in and out burger style. The surgeon had 8 similar surgeries on the schedule that day. Bonus!


Anonymous said...


I had a similar experience with my appendectomy. I stayed in the hospital overnight (one night) and was charged nearly $60,000...for a routine appendectomy.

Did you know that one of the number one reasons why individuals have to declare bankruptcy is because of hospital bills?

Can you see how disastrous it can be if you go for any period of time without health insurance?

Something needs to change!


Boris said...

Wow - good post. Living abroad can really open your eyes to what other systems are out there. Not that we don't have great health care here - we have the best IF you have the money and coverage...

Anonymous said...

I had to take a urine drug test and forgot to bring my new insurance card with me so I just gave them my old one. The insurance company denied the claim and I got a bill for $1200 and change. You can by an at home drug test in a pharmacy for $20!