You're absolutely right, David. The hospital billed 51K but were paid only about 7.5K for a 3-day stay, and our out of pocket for the hospital stay was limited to $200. I don't see how they could pay their staff and make a profit at that rate.
We're almost embarrassed how llittle the surgical assistant, the anesthesiologist and the nurse anesthetist were eventually paid. They ended up making less than $100/hr. for their part, which may sound like a lot, but surely isn't sufficient to pay for their malpractice insurance and other overhead. The surgeon was paid about 2K for a four-hour surgery. These are the guys who held my life in their hands.
Again, I think these payments were so low because after I turned 65 just one week prior to surgery, my insurance prohibited them from billing me more than they would bill a Medicare patient (even though I hadn't yet applied for Medicare). Had they looked at my file, found my birthdate, and operated 8 days earlier, they would have made a lot more money.
By the way, the pathologist got $500 more for reading the biopsy pathology than the uro got for performing the procedure. I think I'd rather be the pathologist than the guy with my hands in someone else's caboose!
The biopsy and all the other pre-surgery testing received higher rates of reimbursement because I was still 64.
Casey, I think you're also in the greater Chicago area, so maybe that explains our similar cost figures.
Post Edited (clocknut) : 11/10/2010 10:09:53 AM (GMT-7)