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Thread: Outrageous Cost of Cystoscopy

  1. #11
    Indeed. After reading about this and the poor kid with an 800k hospital bill.. I'm just shaking my head. I mean, declaring bankruptcy and risk losing a house and or car as a 'reasonable' option??? Heck, if I had my accident down there I would have disowned my (common-law) wife and kids so they wouldn't be stuck with the bill.

    I've had two urodynamics tests, a cystoscopy, and a bladder stone surgery over the past year and all I paid was bus fare. That's not including going to the clinic 3x a week for 14 months to get a dressing changed on my elbow (although the 2 months of a wound vac and the associated increase in care needs took a few weeks to get authorized... didn't stop me from traveling to Vancouver and Germany last year).

    My heart goes out to all of you because I seriously don't know how I'd cope.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Cripply View Post
    I am a doc and I don't understand why they needed a OR to look at your bladder. Are you sure that is all they did? Did they sedate you?
    I think this is just how it is. I go to Craig too and whenever you see the visiting uro you're taken into the same big room and have whatever procedures you need done.
    Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by dnvrdave View Post

    If we are ever going to fix the health care system in the U.S., and not socialize it, providers need to be required to disclose their costs to us up front (so that there is more honesty, better competition and we can shop around). And there shouldn't be "contracted amounts". It should be the same price to everyone. (My insurance seems to have a "good ol' boy" network with some providers, where they charge and pay up to 5 times as much as the price of some out-of-network providers. And they make it very hard for me to go out-of-network. So I do have an insurance complaint, but that is a different topic.)

    Probably many others here don't know the amount their provider charged for their last cystoscopy (because their insurance paid it transparently to them), but I was hoping to use our collective experience to determine a "reasonable and customary cost".

    Before getting a product or service, we are required to sign something, taking ultimate responsibility for payment of the charges. The provider should be required to tell us those charges before we sign.

    Could you imagine going to the store and not seeing prices? Or bartering for our health care? It's possible, but inefficient and encourages dishonesty.

    (Sorry if I'm opening up a topic already discussed here. I didn't search this forum first.)
    If you were to say "price" instead of cost (which I think is what you meant), I'd agree with you. If we're going to have a free marketish health care system, then knowing the price of procedures up front is a pretty important thing.

    However, if that's all your cost was, it doesn't sound crazy out of line. I imagine the hospitals cysto cost varies widely. And if a urologist so much as laid eyes on you, it definitely cost you a chunk of change. (Average uro salary is pushing $400k). Plus it takes some reasonably advanced facilities and expertise to do that type of a procedure.

  4. #14
    That seems like way too much! Like the other Canadians here I have no idea what my cysto's cost and am so thankful for that! The cost of those bills in close to what we pay annually in taxes! Which covers so much more than health care!

    What is the average premium for health care there?
    Emily, C-8 sensory incomplete mom to a 8 year old and a preschooler. TEN! years post.

  5. #15
    The charges in the OP are within the range I see in my part of the country. Remember that you are paying for the use of the operating theater, nursing support staff, possibly anesthesia, sometimes processing of specimens (biopsies, stone analysis, etc.), and the recovery room costs (staff, etc.) for a procedure like this.

    "Use of the room" charges include the costs of sterile processing, heat, lighting, and other administrative costs required to maintain a sterile operating theater. I assume you want to have only sterile instruments used on you, right?

    Something like a colonoscopy would run about the same.

    You may be able to negotiate a discount if you are paying cash. Your insurance would probably have a contract price...ask if you can get that price if you are having to pay out of pocket.

    (KLD)

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    The charges in the OP are within the range I see in my part of the country. Remember that you are paying for the use of the operating theater, nursing support staff, possibly anesthesia, sometimes processing of specimens (biopsies, stone analysis, etc.), and the recovery room costs (staff, etc.) for a procedure like this.

    "Use of the room" charges include the costs of sterile processing, heat, lighting, and other administrative costs required to maintain a sterile operating theater. I assume you want to have only sterile instruments used on you, right?

    Something like a colonoscopy would run about the same.

    You may be able to negotiate a discount if you are paying cash. Your insurance would probably have a contract price...ask if you can get that price if you are having to pay out of pocket.

    (KLD)
    Yes I agree. It sounds like the use of the OR is what inflated the bill. However, many sterile procedures are safely performed out of an OR: central lines, paracentesis, etc. Hospitals do want to have all ORs full every day to maximize revenue.

  7. #17
    We only do flexible cystoscopies in a sterile procedure room. Rigid cystoscopies (done with a scope that can be used to take biopsies, crush stones, or administer meds like Botox) must be done in the operating room, and often with anesthesia (spinal, etc.) on board.

    (KLD)

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    We only do flexible cystoscopies in a sterile procedure room. Rigid cystoscopies (done with a scope that can be used to take biopsies, crush stones, or administer meds like Botox) must be done in the operating room, and often with anesthesia (spinal, etc.) on board.

    (KLD)
    Rooms need not be sterile for the procedure to be performed in a sterile fashion, as you know. I still think that interest, and not clinical indication, guides many of these decisions, which is sad.
    Colonoscopies, EGDs, and many other "scopy" procedures are done in regular rooms.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    We only do flexible cystoscopies in a sterile procedure room. Rigid cystoscopies (done with a scope that can be used to take biopsies, crush stones, or administer meds like Botox) must be done in the operating room, and often with anesthesia (spinal, etc.) on board.

    (KLD)
    I think this has changed, at least for Botox. Maybe when it got FDA approved.

    I just had botox with a rigid scope, and it was definitely NOT done in an operating room. (although the two previous times I've had it were with a different hospital)

  10. #20
    Senior Member dnvrdave's Avatar
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    I wrote a letter to Craig Hospital disputing the charges, and had a long talk with the CFO. As several of you stated, the costs really are very high. She reduced my bill to their cost, and I still have to pay (above the $1000 I had in insurance, HRA).

    I appreciated her openness and availability, calling me from Craig at 7:30pm. She said that Craig doesn't send bills to collections; they work with the patients. And they would have reduced my bill further if I had financial need.

    Now if we can just reduce the costs..

    I wonder if I could use a webcam to do a cysto. That will require a little more research.

    I'm going to at least ask a couple urologists what it would take for them to do house calls. That would eliminate a lot of overhead, I think.

    Does Canada have lower costs than the U.S.? Do patients even get to know the costs? At least we have that, even though Craig couldn't itemize them.

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