Blown Away - the hospital bill showed up

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GTOdave
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 3/16/2011 4:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Glad to have insurance (United HealthCare).

30 hours at Yale New Haven (CT) Hospital, Davinci Surgery. The total below does NOT include any doctors.

$40,835.00

This is the "pre-discounted" total. Suffice it to say, I am speechless.

I don't have the details, just the emailed bill total.

Comments?

Can't wait to hear Bronson's Canadian free gov't med plan comment tongue
52 yr old, PSA 3.5, Gleason 6 with 3 of 4 top nodes (0%;1%;10%;1%) cancerous. Bottom 2 floors are clean.

DaVinci surgery at Yale 3/4/11.

45 gram gland weight
Gl 3+3
T2C
margins clear
no metastis
5% of gland aedenocarcinoma

142
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 7078
   Posted 3/16/2011 4:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Don't have mine at hand, but it was +/- $37K 18 months ago.
 
I'm not surprised, but hate to be able to say that.
DaVinci 10/2009
My adjuvant IGRT journey (2010) -
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=35&m=1756808

compiler
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7269
   Posted 3/16/2011 4:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Mine was $64k.
 
I was out of pocket very little (can't remember but probably $100)
 
Mel

daveshan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 3/16/2011 4:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Yep, pre discount cost in excess of $45K insurance cost was right around $25K counting the doctors and one night's hospital stay.
07-06 PSA 2.5
01-08 PSA 5.5
09-09 PSA 6.5
12-09 Biopsy, initial Gleason 9 (4+5) later reduced to 8 with tertiary 5
03-01-10 Age 55 RRP in Durango CO by Dr Sejal Quale and Dr Shandra Wilson
03-16-10 Path' G-8 (4+4+5) Bilateral involving 21% of left lobe, 3% of right lobe, SVI, Focal positive margin, pT3b NO MX

All PSA as of 1-25-11 <0.04

tatt2man
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2845
   Posted 3/16/2011 5:11 PM (GMT -6)   
GTODave:
In Canada, there are set guidelines as to what dollar value can be charged for procedures and what procedures are allowed - and at what time intervals - as well as what the doctor can claim back - in most cases, to no monetary charge to the patient. Other procedures are billed and they can be hefty too if you do not have insurance.

Nothing in the world is free, and we Canadians pay for our "universal health care" through our taxes at work ( federal and provincal) , and with what we purchase. There is sometimes a time delay in which elective surgery is subject to and as well as when test results are processed.. but all in all, I would not be alive today, if I had to face the costs of the American Medical System.

Wishing you all the best.
healthcare hugs,
BRONSON
...........

P.S. one of the OHIP guideline parameters: for orchiectomy due to testicle cancer - is no charge to the patient ( often a day surgery) - but if he wants to have a prosthesis put in - he has to pay for it !
....
Age: 55 - gay with spouse of 14 years, Steve
location: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
PSA: 10/06/09 - 3.86
Biopsy: 10/16/09- 6 of 12 cancerous samples, Gleason 7 (4+3)
Radical Prostatectomy: 11/18/09
Pathology: pT3a -Gleason 7 -extraprostatic extension -perineural invasion -prostate weight -34.1 gm
PSA: 04/08/10 -0.05 -Zero Club
PSA: 09/23/10 -0.05 -Zero Club
PSA: 03/24/11 - TBA

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 3/16/2011 5:34 PM (GMT -6)   
GTO,

I had open Surgery with 4 days in the hospital and my total bill, not counting doctors was 90k. Welcome to the world of expensive operations. I never had to pay a cent out of pocket on mine.
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 2/11 1.24
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10,

Flytyer2
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 3/16/2011 9:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I had RRP in Dec 10 at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, with follow-up catheter removal. In hospital 4 days. Total bill, including doctors, was $40K. Felt like it was a bargain.
Age 61
PSA: 12/09 7.3 (Proscar) -- 7/10 9.06 (Proscar)
Biopsy 9/13/2010
Diagnosed 9/20/2010
One of 12 cores positive: <5%

RRP at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 12/15/2010
Gleason 3 + 4 with tertiary grade 5
Tumor confined to the prostate
Surgical margins negative

Catheter removed 01/03/2011
Pad free with min leakage 01/18/2011

goodlife
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2692
   Posted 3/16/2011 10:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I recently went to the ER on a Friday so I could get an important script for a condittion that could not wait until Monday.

Saw doctor, answered some questions, no lab tests, no X-rays, etc., got a script. Bill was 933, insurance paid 318, my cost 50.

Throw in robot, OR, lab work, etc., and couple days in hospital, I suppose 40 k is reasonable.

Goodlife

davidg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 3/16/2011 11:18 PM (GMT -6)   
i was in the hospital 24 hours, albeit in a private room so all my family could sleep the night there with me, and that bill was $21K at mount sinai. That was all covered by insurance.

My insurance also covered some of the docs, about $4000 worth.

My insurance ( which sucks btw) did not cover my surgeon. The surgeon I chose was out of network. His fee is $45k. When we called, his office manager told me that this doctor didn't believe in turning away people with cancer who wanted to use him. They told me they would collect as much as they could from my insurance, and charge me $7890. They managed to collect $7000 from my insurance. So my surgeon ended up doing it for under $15K. A bargain in my eyes because I was dead set on wanting him and would have paid the $45K if I had to. My family helped. We all understood that this was a one shot deal and that I had to use who I thought was the best for me.

btw, my urologist submitted a bill for $7800 for my biopsy two months before the surgery. I think the insurance gave him under $2K for it.

fulltlt
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 264
   Posted 3/16/2011 11:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I added up all of my medical bills related to pc from last year. They came to $186,000 for the IMRT and seeds and all other misc tests, biopsy etc.
I only paid the insurance deductable. Now we all have had huge insurance premium increases at the small company I work at.
age 57 2/2010
PSA Feb 8.2
biopsy 2/2010 - 2 of 8 left & 2 of 8 right positive, Gleason 3+4=7
attended support group - advised to get a second opinion
second opinion on pathology from Johns Hopkins 4+4=8
PSA 15 4/2010
5 weeks IMRT 4/2010-6/2010 at Copley Hospital in Aurora, IL
91 palladium 103 seeds 7/2010 at Chicago Prostate Center, Westmont, IL
PSA Oct 3.97, Dec 2.78, 3/9/11 2.42

davidg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 3/16/2011 11:41 PM (GMT -6)   
yeah, my firm was hit by a series of cancer episodes and the firm had a lot of trouble even finding an insurance company that would take us. Yeah, I grew up is Europe with socialized medicine, but there has to be something wrong with a system where insurance companies turn you down because people in your firm got "too" sick the previous year.

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4848
   Posted 3/17/2011 3:09 AM (GMT -6)   
As I recall - my hospital bill was $40K discounted down to about $18K.  I remember saying WOW - glad I have insurance.

NY-Sooner
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 464
   Posted 3/17/2011 6:40 AM (GMT -6)   
My surgery at a top notch hospital with one of the best robitic surgeons in the country was only $21,000 total in 2007.   $15,000 for the hospital and $6,000 for the surgeon.  My insurance paid $12,000 to the hospital and $3500 to the surgeon and they never billed me for the rest.
 
Age 56, Biopsy 6/2007 - PSA 4.5, 2 of 12 with  <5% cancer Gleason 6
Surgery 9/2007 Strong Memorial,  Rochester  NY with Dr. Jean Joseph (1300 plus surgeries)
 Path - Negative margins, cancer in 20% examined tissue, Gleason 6
 Post Op - No ED issues, full erections without drugs,  used 5-7 pads a day for 3 months. Now dry except for stress leaks now and then.
 All post op psa's <.04

reachout
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 3/17/2011 9:02 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm surprised at the super high costs many of you report. I don't have the bill handy, but it was around $25000 for DaVinci at an excellent hospital in northern virginia, doctors included. Medicare and Tricare pretty much covered it all, though they paid the discounted rate which was quite a bit lower. I suspect many of the extreme costs are superficial, because they know they are not going to be reimbursed nearly that amount. If they know that no matter what they bill, insurance will pay, say $15K, why not bill $200,000? Maybe this is what they would charge wealthy self-insured patients.
Age: 66
Pre-surgery PSA: 7 tests over 2 years bounced around from 2.6 to 5.6
Biopsy 8 of 12 positive, Gleason 3+4, T2a
DaVinci August 2009, pathology Gleason 4+3, neg margins, T2c
Post-surgery PSA one year of zeros.
Continent right away.
Viagra and other pills only gave me headache
Trimix working great!

North49
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 83
   Posted 3/17/2011 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm Canadian:

I recently attended a prostate support meeting where a Canadian surgeon had assisted 200 Da Vinci procedures at a special clinic in the US. According to him and post op results, outcomes were pretty much identical to open surgery with one exception, incontinence. Da Vinci patients had a much longer recovery of continence than open patients did and there is no apparent reason why this is the case.

From a cost stand point, Da Vinci cost more to perform but post-op recovery in the hospital is shorter than open. However, Da Vinci overall is more expensive and patents seem to like the fact that their belly isn't being split open. My uro said that the US health model prefers to sell technology since it is a fee based system even though the outcomes are the same for the patient.

Many of you reported that your insurance either picked up the tab or did most of the heavy lifting, that's great for you. PBS did a show on health care systems around the world, they reported that 700,000 Americans have to declare bankruptcy each year due to medical costs and 40 million don't have insurance. Is that acceptable from a country that declares to have one of the highest living standards in the world?(that's a question BTW, not a statement, I'd like some feedback).

My recent surgery, hospital stay (4 days), pre-op and post-op PSA tests, biopsy, all visits to my doctors, chest X-ray, CT scan, bone scan and ultra sounds have cost me squat. Sure I pay, as everyone has to, into a medical plan but that is only $726 a year. I'd hate to think what all this would have cost me south of the 49.

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 3/17/2011 12:03 PM (GMT -6)   
North, welcome to HW, I enjoyed chatting with you last night during Chat Night.

David in SC
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 2/11 1.24
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10,

MikeS24
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 3/17/2011 1:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I though that I paid a lot for surgery but most of you have me beat. My work colleagues wanted me to use the National Institutes for Health. They would do robotic surgery for FREE. Yes, that is correct. If you can get your butt down to Bethesda, MD, if might be a 2 to 3 month wait, but you can get a robotic prostatectomy for no charge. These are your US tax dollars at work. NIH is a research facility and they produce much in the way of cutting edge therapies and funds for other studies. So don't be disappointed if you could not take advantage of the "free lunch" so to speak. You get it back in other ways via new tests, techniques that are developed, etc. So they work on real patients to collect study data and work just like real doctors in the rest of the world.

My surgeon at Hopkins was out of network, but the cost for his feel alone that had to be paid up front was just over $5,300. BC/BS took care of most of the other things involved, (hospital stay of 2 days) assistant physician, drugs, anesthesia, etc. For those who chart these things, it was interesting that the majority of the Hopkins surgeons charge around the same $5,300 for an open RP. The robotic is around $12,000 but if you want the "big name" and try to book Patrick Walsh for surgery, he cost around $14,000 for open surgery. He is amazing. To be in his 70s and still doing surgery is quite remarkable.

Got to get back to work and pay off these doctor's bills.

Mike S.
Dx 56
Biopsy: Gleason 3+3=6, PSA 6.6 One core of 12 with 5% T1c
Surgery: July 2010 J. Hopkins
Path: Gleason 6, Neg Mar, Neg LN, Neg Sem Ves
9/15/10 1st post op PSA <0.1 undetectable
3/11/11 PSA - TBD <0.1
Incontinence - seeing some progress
Aug -Sept 2010 - 4-5 pads
Oct 2010 3 pads
Nov 2010 2 pads
Dec - Mar 2011 1 pad all day -slight leaking
ED: slow steady improvements

North49
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 83
   Posted 3/17/2011 1:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Purgatory said...
North, welcome to HW, I enjoyed chatting with you last night during Chat Night.

David in SC


Me too. As a newbie to this forum any idea how often the chat sessions are offered?
Age 53
PSA 5.6
Diagnosed Sept. 2010
Biopsy T2b/c Gleason 7, 4+3
RRP Dec. 2010
Pathology pT3a, Gleason 7, 3+4, 20% PCa Negative margins, lymph nodes and seminal vesicles
No further treatment recommended, next PSA 03/2011

Post Edited (North49) : 3/17/2011 12:56:57 PM (GMT-6)


Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4848
   Posted 3/17/2011 2:53 PM (GMT -6)   
The scheduled chats are on Wednesday.

goodlife
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2692
   Posted 3/17/2011 11:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Interesting how we can paint numbers sometimes.

Not sure how one would that 700,000 Americans go bankrupt over medical bills each year, but., if I am over head in debt all ready for my new cars, nice house, and cottage, get laid loft or downsized, and then have to send 5,000 to the doctor, I might say it was the med bills that did me in, but in reality, it was really only a small piece. My lifestyle may have had something to do with it.

Any one of the 40,000,000 uninsured can go to a hospital and be seen. It is true they may not be able to go to a doctor for a physical or a prostate check, but it is a little misleading to say that they don' t have health care. They can have a prostatectomy if they need it. Not saying their doctor will have had at least 500 surgeries, but they do have access to health care.

Goodlife

davidg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 3/17/2011 11:31 PM (GMT -6)   
they get billed at the hospital. They aren't turned away if they have no coverage, but they get billed. Then you and I pay for it when they don't pay their bill.

I've lived in Europe and socialized medicine was just fine. My mother had heart surgery in England. I was hospitalized in Italy.

American system is great when you can afford it.

My surgery was performed by one of the top in the field. People fly from Europe to see him. Curiously, he was trained in France.

MikeS24
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 3/18/2011 8:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Do you really think that drug dealers with multiple gun shot wounds actually PAY for the health care they receive? No, you and I as regular folks pay for it. So that argument that Americans don't have health care coverage does not go over well with me. We all pay high premiums because the guy in the next bed may be getting treatment and paying nothing because he is uninsured.

After the rant about great health care outside of the US, I am still trying to come up with the name of a major center of academic excellence that is outside of the US that I have seen cited in literature. Also trying to come up with the name of a major Canadian drug company that produces ground-breaking pharmaceuticals for the world. I can drive 2 hours from my home and pass by 3 of them here on the east coast.

We might not have perfect health care but we do contribute some a vast amount to the quality and availability of procedures and drugs to the rest of the world.

Mike S.

Viperguy
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 259
   Posted 3/18/2011 9:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi GTO,

My bill was in the neighborhood of 30K with a 2 night stay. That does not include all pre-surgical testing.
2009 PSA 2.2
2010 PSA 3.2
Biopsy 24 cores 3 positive
Gleason 3 plus 3
Robotic Surgery March 3, 2011 @ 6 am
At home recovering
Cath removal scheduled 3/17/11
Pathological report confusing, no seminal invasion Gleason 6 but margins not completely clear.

North49
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 83
   Posted 3/18/2011 11:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Please read my thread again, no where did I say that American's were denied health care. I did state that more American's are uninsured than the population of Canada (@34 million). That means those who do pay, pay more than they should for those who don't.

It is also a well known fact that the US has the most expensive health care system in the world per capita. My point initially was to show you an example of what all of my treatments cost me, which was nothing other than my meagre $726 annual premium.

And in case you were wondering, Canada is a leader in pharmaceutical research:
http://media.investincanada.gc.ca/eng/information-and-resources/life-sciences-bio-pharmaceuticals.aspx
Age 53
PSA 5.6
Diagnosed Sept. 2010
Biopsy T2b/c Gleason 7, 4+3
RRP Dec. 2010
Pathology pT3a, Gleason 7, 3+4, 20% PCa Negative margins, lymph nodes and seminal vesicles
No further treatment recommended.
3 month post-op PSA 03/2011 <0.01

MikeS24
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 3/18/2011 2:06 PM (GMT -6)   
North49: I read your post again and did not see the direct comparison between the population of Canada and the number of uninsured in the US. I see you cited 40 million but did not see any comparison with the population of Canada cited. Perhaps I am missing a post.

You asked if it is acceptable to have this occur in the US. Actually, by default, yes it is. If people wanted to have socialized medicine and pay the kind of taxes that are required to support it, we would have legislators being browbeaten by citizens and lobbyists howling to get this system in place. The most recent permutation of this is was the only major piece of legislation Obama put into place. Unfortunately, it is jury-rigged into a half-baked system and provides an expensive band-aid to an open free enterprise system. I could not agree more with nearly everyone who posted that it takes having a good job and lots of money to retain good health care provisions as an American citizen.

We have lots of jury-rigged system in this country. Our health care system is broken but we do manage to have some of the best most innovative research anywhere on earth so some part of it works well. Our tax codes are outrageous, built on one modification after another. Soon we will dedicate all the taxes we collect will go toward Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We fought two major wars and never raised a penny in taxes to help pay for them. So it is no wonder we are growing broke.

Free enterprise is about the only thing that is working successfully. However, if we hamper that system with some social medicine overlay and not provide new money and incentives for companies to prosper in the US, we will have to settle for a mediocre system of health care and worst of all loose leadership in the pharmaceutical industry in the US as well as in medical research. (Recall my NIH story. Lots of money flows out of NIH to eager medical researchers all over the US. Starve that fund and we all loose, US Citizens and Canadians alike.) Which brings me to my last point.

Thanks for the reference to the website on Canada's pharmaceutical industry. Sure, they are doing fine but notice that the leadership they maintain is interdependent on US and European pharmaceutical manufacturers. My point is Canada cannot go it alone. Look at the list from the website you provided. See the group of Global Investors who are providing support. Here is the same list with the corporate headquarters listed along side.

Amgen – Thousand Oaks CA
Astra Zeneca – London, UK
Bayer – Germany
Bristol Myers Squibb – New York
Eli Lilly – Indianapolis, IN
Glaxo Smith Kline – Philadelphia, PA
Hoffman La Roche – Basel, Switzerland
Johnson & Johnson - New Brunswick, NJ
Merck – Whitehouse Station, NJ
Novartis – Basel, Switzerland
Novopharm –Toronto, Canada
Pfizer – New York, NY
Sandoz – Princeton, NJ
Sanofi-Aventis – Bridgewater, NJ
Sanofi Pasteur – Lyon France / NJ

Notice the pattern. These are the big, well known, well financed drug companies. Out of the 15 companies listed as supporters of Canadian initiatives, only one is Canadian. 5 are European and 10 are American. In fact, if New Jersey exploded tomorrow, (sometimes I think it might given the industries that line the NJ Turnpike) the drug industry worldwide would be in a lot of trouble.
America - (US and Canada) has a symbiotic relationship with medical/pharma research. So before we get down on the US medical/pharmaceutical industry be thankful they produce the things they do. Let's see any one of us make a useful drug on our own.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. It is the main reason I don't buy the debate on which system is superior. Both have strong and weak points. We wlll leave it at that.

Mike S.
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