Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Do You Have $20,100 I Can Borrow?

I got in touch with my local bariatric surgeon's office today and discussed briefly what the fee schedule would be for a cash-pay patient for the Lap-band procedure. Hoping for a reduced rate, compared to what they might charge health insurance companies, I held my breath waiting for the information.

Here is the breakdown:

Surgeon: $5,000 (not bad, not bad...I can swing this...breathe)
Anesthesiologist: $1,600 (ouch, okay...we can do this...breathe)
Hospital fee: $13,500 (ARE YOU SERIOUS!?!? GASP)
Grand Total: $20,100

Why on earth would the hospital be so darn expensive? Even if the surgeon had reduced rates, the hospital doesn't give a fart and won't budge an inch. The lady at the surgeon's office told me that they have made special requests in the past only to be denied.

What irritates me majorly about this is the fact that IF my BCBS DID pay for such a procedure, the hospital would be lucky to see $3,000 of it once the contracted rate had been paid. Why are cash paying patients punished!? I hate it! You think I could march in there and say, " Look, BCBS would only pay you $3,000, BUT it's your lucky day because I am willing to pay you $3,500 if you are interested". Unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way.

Mexico anyone? I never did go on a Spring Break fling.


lori said...

Mexico, absolutely. I'm having my surgery done by Dr. Ortiz. I've been to his beautiful clinic and met him and his staff. It's just wonderful. In addition, when you do it in Mexico, you'll spend the night under medical care, unlike the outpatient procedures in the US.

Dr. Ortiz was one of the first doctors to do Lap Bands, and has personally done over 6000 procedures. If you look on his site, you'll see several US physicians who have come to him for their procedures as well.

His patients love him and over 50% of them fly to Mexico for him to the fills. Considering how much easier it would be to get it done locally, that says quite a bit.

He's smart, he's personable and he gives all of his patients his mobile phone number so that they can get a hold of him. You should definitely consider him.

Mary said...

BCBS Wont cover your surgery? I have BCBS and they didnt have a problem covering mine. I did have to meet alot of the requirements in the process of getting it and it took almost 1 year for me to go thru all the loops but they approved it when It was time.

Catherine55 said...

I had my surgery done in Monterrey, Mexico with Dr. Rumbaut, and had a great experience. The whole thing, including airfare for myself and my mother, private car tour of Monterrey (was for fun), surgery and pre-op testing cost under $10K.

Dr. Rumbaut is banded and has done more than 6K procedures, too. Also, you may have seen photos in my bio -- the hospital is gorgeous and the level of care was fantastic.

Here is a link to Dr. Rumbaut's site. It's probably worth a call to his office to get info -- Cathy is the person I spoke with the most. She was banded by Rumbaut as well and was a huge help to me.



Hallie said...

While you're waiting and saving for your surgery... I joined ediets.com in March (not for the first time). My goal was to lose weight first, so I put my success in the hands of ediets. I'd just eat exactly what they told me to - it was their responsibility to make me lose weight. So far I've lost 40 pounds sticking to it. I like that I have a weekly meal plan and grocery list - all the food is ready for me and there's no reason to cheat because I know what I'm going to eat that day - I'm covered. It's really made it easy for me. Of course, I'm single and only preparing meals for myself and I'm sure that makes this program easier for me. But it's only $17 a month. When you start the program, you take a survey and you are assigned one of many diets they have available. You can pick your own if you want but because I was passing the buck to ediets, I went with what they gave me - Glycemic Impact, designed to keep my blood sugar regulated throughout the day so I don't give in to urges to cheat or binge, I stay pretty satisfied, and I eat 5 times a day, 3 meals and 2 snacks, and the food is good. Plus, I have regular cheat days every week or two so I can have whatever naughty culinary experience I've been missing. So far I've lost 40 pounds since March and I fully expect to achieve my first long-term goal and get down to 220 hopefully in October. If you're interested, you can give it a try and see how it goes - it's certainly cheaper and less invasive than your surgery. It's not that I work for ediets or anything - I'm just letting you know what's been working for me. Just figured you might try it while you waited and heck, if things go well, maybe you wouldn't need that surgery after all. And if you decide not to try it, well, there's no harm there either.

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