Medical Costs

  1. I'm working toward my BSN. A young college student in my Statistics class said today he doesn't believe health insurance is the right way to go for someone his age. He believes he's better off just saving his money, and paying for any bill himself should the need arise. He says he doesn't think it matters until you hit your 30s.

    I couldn't really argue with him because I work in LTC and am not familiar with hospital costs these days. All I could do was smile and say to myself, "He'll find out."

    Got me curious. Just what is the average cost of a hospital stay these days?

    Thanks.
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   pkmom
    Uh, I don't know. I do know that two trips to the ER for minor things for a baby added up to over $800. (Don't put me on the lame er awards, one was on Christmas day, ugh, and the other at 0500)
  4. by   CEN35
    well while surfing the web one day, i found some intresting numbers about our hospital. however, before i continue, let me point out that we have had 17 year olds, to 90 year olds that have had to be cathed!!! i'll bet the cost for general surgery (i.e. cholecystitis, appendicitis, ect) cost about the same.

    the average cost for a patient, who comes in through the er and goes to the cath lab, and ends up going to the unit is:

    $28,000

    note: that cost does not include unit time! that is up to the point, that the patient rolls through doors into the unit!

    now re-evaluate that thought? no med insurance, can break you for life!


    me



  5. by   live4today
    That "kid" has not matured enough to know that being "young" is no saving grace! I just pray he saves up enough money before he really needs it. Perhaps you can show your classmate some real life dramas from the newspaper or magazines where people from birth to old age get sicker than sick, and end up in the hospital for days on end. Maybe that will wake up his youth-filled mind!
  6. by   P_RN
    In '96 my lap choly was $8000 PLUS the surgeon $1002 (why the two dollars? I don't know)
  7. by   pkmom
    $2 taxes?!
  8. by   kaycee
    I hope he wears a suit of armor and is never in an accident!!
  9. by   Hooligan
    Insurance if you think about it is the only form of legalized gambling allowed in every. I am not a gambling-type person so I pay the insurance...and I RARELY get sick. I figure it's the things you don't plan i.e. getting hit by a bus, smashed in my little compact car by a semi on the way to work, etc...that's why I pay. I've seen some horrible things on my drive into work!!

    I guess he just likes to keep his stakes high!!!

    I hope nothing serious happens to him before he hits 30!!!
  10. by   judy ann
    I have been doing insurance billing, and have been stunned at the cost of very simple proceedures. X-ray of wrist (he fell roller-blading) $250. Reduction of fracture $400. Casting of wrist $100. I'm sure there were other charges, but this is all I remember right now. This guy was 19 yoa. This cost at least $750, and that could buy a little bit of insurance.

    Interestingly, the doc probably got paid only about $300-$400, because he has an "agreement" with the insurance company to take what they will pay. The remainder is written off. Medicare is even worse, but the worst is Medicaid! I saw a bill for > $9,000 for a complicated knee replacement. Medicaid paid, believe it or not, $7.50. Both Medicare and Medicaid do not allow the doc to bill the patient for the difference! And we wonder why docs either limit the numbers of m/m patients or do not take m/m patients into their practice. I don't agree with this, but I understand.
  11. by   misti_z
    I've researched this in the past. Here are two things I was able to pull up quickly.


    A normal vaginal birth for a self-pay patient with a one-day stay ranges from $2,500 to $3,000.
    Midwives in private practice charge about $4,000 for professional services, which includes care during pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum.
    If you're in an HMO and choose a provider from their list, then you should pay nothing (or a small co-payment) for the provider and hospital stay.
    contents copyright 1997-2002 BabyCenter, L.L.C.
    Inpatient treatment for pnuemnia $7500 with average length of stay 7.8 days
    McCormick, D., Fine, M.J., Coley, C.M., and others. (1999, July). "Variation in length of hospital stay in patients with community-acquired pneumonia: Are shorter stays associated with worse medical outcomes?" American Journal of Medicine 107, pp. 5-12.
  12. by   blondie
    Thanks for all your help. Should count my blessings my family has been relatively healthy.

    Can't get over the cost of having a baby these days. When I was pregnant 20 years ago, the package deal from the MD for a vaginal birth was $800 or $1200, I can't remember which. Hospital costs were extra. When I was pregnant 13 years ago, the package deal from the MD was $2700 for a C-section--anesthesiologist and hospital costs extra.

    Our LTC facility charges $6000/month. And I just sent a resident to the hospital yesterday. He was admitted with pneumonia. Oy!
  13. by   CountrifiedRN
    The only hospital experiences I've had recently were an out patient surgery for my son and having a baby back in 2000.

    The outpatient surgery cost totaled about $1800. (In North Carolina)

    Having my baby by C-Section (in California) was about $12,000. I remember the breakdown of costs, I was amazed that a 1 liter bag of NS was $96, and that didn't include the cost of the IV stick! (Was glad insurance covered 100%!)

    My friend that had a baby at around the same time, but vaginal birth, had a $6,000 bill.

    I guess if you're pretty healthy and don't see the doctor very much, it would be cheaper. But if you had an accident, or needed, say, an appendectomy, the hospital costs would be outrageous!
  14. by   CountrifiedRN
    The only hospital experiences I've had recently were an out patient surgery for my son and having a baby back in 2000.

    The outpatient surgery cost totaled about $1800. (In North Carolina)

    Having my baby by C-Section (in California) was about $12,000. I remember the breakdown of costs, I was amazed that a 1 liter bag of NS was $96, and that didn't include the cost of the IV stick! (Was glad insurance covered 100%!)

    My friend that had a baby at around the same time, but vaginal birth, had a $6,000 bill.

    I guess if you're pretty healthy and don't see the doctor very much, it would be cheaper. But if you had an accident, or needed, say, an appendectomy, the hospital costs would be outrageous!

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