Monday, December 6, 2010

The gravy train

Thank goodness for insurance. I keep looking up the claims for Al's heart surgery and there are still a lot missing. We met our deductible and our out of pocket maximum before Stanford started billing. Whew!

So many of our friends have been asking if we'd let them know what it costs. Sure! We've got nothing to hide and really who's prepared for this?!

Now the health care provider bills insurance and then insurance will pay them a contracted rate typically far below what they billed. I'm going to provide the billed rate, not the contracted rate because that differs so much based on the provider.

Stanford brought Lifeflight down to pick Al up. He had to get an ambulance ride to the airport since the helipad isn't ready yet. The ambulance ride, like three miles through town, cost $2,402.70. Lifeflight's 70-mile ride cost $23,837.72. Lifeflight will not negotiate their rate so our insurance picked up the full amount. Ouch!!

There are about 10 different doctors who have billed for their specialized services. I do wish it would say exactly what their specialties are on the claim. The only one I could gather was the anesthesiologist for the day of surgery. That was $9,709. The surgeon cost $62,000.

All in all the total cost thus far is $441,987.60. My first guess of $500k wasn't too far off. I don't expect there will be any other bombshell costs like the $343k ICU claim. I'll update again once all is in.

Al is doing very well. He's moving around a lot more and helping around the house when he can. His blood pressure is completely under control now with two meds. It's the lowest he's had since this problem started. Next week we'll follow up with surgeon. I'm expecting that it will be pretty uneventful.

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