*Update October 29 2018: the hospital sent me a bill summerizes the costs they charged, instead of 14k, it is actually 40k they charged me*
I was diagnosed with lymphoma in September 2018. Since then, my doctors have been hurriedly trying to order all different kinds of tests to figure out the specific type of lymphoma I have and figure out a treatment plan for myself. One of these tests required a two-night stay at the hospital.
The hospital billed me. It showed me the “before” and “after” in regards to how much they initially charged, how much insurance paid, and what me and my family were left to pay.
The hospital charged roughly $40000.
After insurance took out their share, my family and I were left with “only” about $2000. Unfortunately, traditional economic theories do not apply to the healthcare industry or market. The healthcare market is an entity all on its own.
To give an idea of what specifically my two-night stay involved, I got a lung biopsy (they used forceps to take out some tissue from the mass that is continuing to grow in my chest). They gave me a variety of pills each morning to help deal with the aftermath of the biopsy. I laid in bed for 80–90% of my stay, getting up to walk around only a handful of times (majority of that time I was too fatigued to walk around, plus the anesthesia was still getting out of my system.
For my graduate degree, I studied public health with a concentration in policy and management. In simple English, that means I studied governmental policies that rule the healthcare industry. We briefly touched on the healthcare market during my studies, and we learned just how much of a “monster” it truly is, where complex medical procedures are reduced to specific billing codes (where due to human error, it is very easy to mistakenly charge someone with the wrong procedure, which is why I personally recommend people to always check the ICD-10 codes before paying the bill).
In order to change the crazy costs of healthcare, we need more transparency with how hospitals and the like charge people. We need more governmental policies in place that aide the patient in knowing what hospitals charge what (one hospital at one side of the street could charge 10k for a procedure while the one across the street could only charge 2k for the same procedure).