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.