View Full Version : costs

10-23-2004, 01:38 PM
Does anyone know any examples of average costs or where to find out average costs for scoliosis surgery, or would anyone like to share what their final bill was before insurance?

10-23-2004, 02:48 PM
It says its $60,000 US
It says its $100,000 US

It's a pretty expensive surgery but I'm sure your insurance company will be covered by it or half of it in the US.

I personally live in Canada and it is 100% covered by Canada's Health Care System because apparently if the specialist/surgeon thinks that the surgery is neccessary and it isn't for cosmetic reasons then it can be billed to the government.

Also, there's these Shriners Hospital scattered around USA. They supposedly do surgery for no cost. If you or your son/daughter is 18 and under. I'm not sure if you need to be Christian or attend church as I've heard the Shriners are like religious people and the signup form on their website does need a signature from a religious place.

If anyone could clarify the Shriners it be very greatful.

Mary Lou
10-23-2004, 06:54 PM

My daughter was treated at the Shriner's of Philly and there was no need to be Christian or anything else. I've never heard of such a thing!

Shriner's Hospitals treat children up to the age of 18 at no cost to the patients even if they have insurance. Some people choose to take their children to Shriner's because that is where some of the best doctors are located.

Mary Lou

10-23-2004, 10:18 PM
My final bill was close to $250,000. That includes everything for the surgery. Doctor, anethseiologist, hospital stay, operating room, this was also for 2 weeks. My insurance paid 100 percent after my $250.

10-24-2004, 02:32 AM
Thanks Mary Lou,

I see the Specialist in November. Just a month before my 18th Birthday in December. So if the specialist feels that my 44 or higher curve is not enough to do surgery. I might as well get it over with and hope Shriners will accept me.
This may be a dumb question, but were you allowed to sleep in the hospital with your daughter? Or did you had to pay for your own hotel accomodation. Hey, I'm just asking because as a son I don't want them fighting just because I used their money on flight tickets and like previous treatments for my scoliosis problem.

Mary Lou
10-24-2004, 07:43 AM

Have you been told you will be needing surgery soon? Are you searching for a doctor or just a hospital?

The reason I ask about what you are searching for, is just from my own experience with my daughter. We went to five differenct doctors before finding one who suited both my daughter and myself. We went to Shriner's only because that is where Dr. Randal Betz is located and we were told he is one of the best in PA. However, the waiting to have surgery done on my daughter by Dr. Betz was six months to one year! My daughter didn't want to wait that long, so we kept looking and actually found a doctor that we are more impressed with than even Dr. Betz, and we were very impressed with Dr. Betz. We chose our current doctor to do surgery for several reasons. My daughter has another condition that we need to keep tabs on and only our current doctor and Dr. Betz were the only two doctors (out of five we saw) that even seemed knowledgable about the condition and our current doctor was the one who seemed the most knowledgable.

For us, the expense of going to Shriner's would in some ways be more costly out of our pockets than to have surgery done closer to home. Sure we will probably have some of the bill to pay, like deductibles, etc. but to go to Shriner's it would cost us $4.50 per vehicle each way to travel the turnpike;plus a tank a gas for each vehicle per trip; we would have to eat all of our meals out; I was told one parent could stay with the child (she's only 13, but not sure of rules for older children), therefore, it would cost us for a motel; as for the healing power of family/friends, we would be without that in Philly; so, as you see, there was a lot more than money factors that went into our decision on a doctor/hospital. Talk to your parents. We parents are willing to do whatever we need to do for our children as along as we feel it is the best for them, no matter how much it costs. If we hadn't found a doctor we were pleased with close to home, we would have done anything we needed to do and went with surgery in Philly.

As for answering questions about hospital stays, I can't answer that yet. My daughter's surgery is scheduled for December 7th.

P.S. Please know that you might want to check into getting into Shriner's now for an appointment. It might take some time for you to get an appointment.

Mary Lou

10-24-2004, 08:55 AM

May I inquire what company you are insured witth?

The Kleins

10-24-2004, 03:58 PM

My insurance is with CIGNA POS. I go through Kelsey-Seybold Clinic as my primary physician. Also I forgot to mention, that my costs also included one 14 hour day in the operating room, and then an 8 hour day in the operating room.


10-24-2004, 10:04 PM
To MaryLou,

Apparently, i was refered to a doctor that specializes in orthapedics however he does not do the spinal surgery.
Now, in November I will see Dr. Reilly who specializes in Adult Scoliosis and is the surgeon. He is the only adult scoliosis surgeon in my province/state British Columbia. He works with Dr. Tredwell who is more wellknown because he's the one doing all the congenital and childhood scoliosis. There's some people in this forum who has said Dr. Tredwell doesn't do surgery until 50-55 so his partner Dr. Reilly could be just like that. It has been like 2 years since I first discovered Scoliosis. I just want to get it over with.

I'm classified as an adult because they checked my risser sign(hip section of AP scoliosis x-ray) and they told me i had finished growing in the spine. However, my curve keeps getting worser and worser for they don't know reasons.

Our family and myself agree that it's better to do the surgery now since at 44 degrees, studies show the curve will increase yearly or through adulthood. Then, there's a higher chance of succesful rate and avoid other spinal problems with scoliosis.

So, I'm looking for a hospital and a doctor at Shriner's just as a backup. Most likely going to the Montreal or Spokane Shriners as I live in Vancouver, British Columbia. I'll call them and see what they say tomorrow.

10-26-2004, 11:20 AM
I am from England. I had my surgery on the NHS it was free.

10-26-2004, 11:56 AM
I had my surgery done privately in England and it cost roughly 10,000
Love Jules xxxxxxx

10-27-2004, 09:34 PM
Hi Jules...

Could you let me know where in the UK you had your surgery?

thanks!! ~Laura

10-28-2004, 04:23 AM
I just have a question, more of a curiosity (sorry, I am a curious person :-). How does Health Insurance work in America??. Do you have to have insurance before you are able to get medical treatment, can you be treated with out it, can it "run out". Is it accepted anywhere in the USA.

In Australia there is the public health system and then there is Private Health Insurance. However its not compulsory, and you don't need it to get treated. Under the public health system of "medicare", you are treated for free in public hospitals, and are often "bulk-billed" by your G.P (means that when you take your claim to Medicare, the money is sent straight to the Doctor). However in the hospitals, you get no chocie over who you are treated by and if you need surgery, you are usually put on a waiting list which is usually quite long. You are also left with an "out of pocket" cost between what things cost and what Medicare pays you back.

If you have Private Health Insurance you get a choice over who you can be treated by and aren't on a waiting list for surgery. It means you get charged for all the "costs", but you get the majority of it back in a "Claim" from your Private Health Insurer as well as Medicare. By the end of it your "gap" that you are left with is extremeley small.

For example, my scoliosis surgery was done as a Private Patient. All up it would have cost 10 thousand Australian dollars. It was less than normal because my surgeon didn't put his "Fee" on top of all the costs. However after the "Claim" my parents were only about one thousand dollars out of pocket.


10-28-2004, 10:27 AM
Originally posted by lrmb
Hi Jules...

Could you let me know where in the UK you had your surgery?

thanks!! ~Laura

Hi Laura

I had my surgery done at the Nuffield Orthapedic Centre in Oxford
Do you come from the Uk?

Love Jules xxxx

10-30-2004, 10:31 AM

Insurance and Healthcare in general is really complicated in the US. There is Government sponsored coverage, employer sponsored insurance policies, and individual policies.

Medicare and Medicaid systems are funded by the Federal and Local Governments. These systems provide healthcare for seniors, disabled persons and low income families or children. If you are covered by Medicare or Medicaid, you can go to any doctor you want (assuming he or she will accept medicare/medicaid. No doctor is forced to accept it). You may have out of pocket expenses, as some things, like drugs, are not covered. You have the option to buy supplemental insurance that may reduce your out of pocket expenses.

Those not eligible for Government sponsored coverage must purchase individual insurance policies or may get insurance through their employer. Most people must pay a substantial amount of money for these policies. There are so many different variations, it's almost impossible to cover them all, but I will give you the "encyclopedia" simplified version.

Some plans are called "HMOs" or managed care programs that require that you go to a specific list of doctors, and most care you receive is approved in advance by your "primary care" doctor and the insurance company. The cost for these plans is generally lower and the out of pocket expenses are quite low. The drawback is the limited choice of doctors. It can be scary if you have a major illness or need surgery.

There is also is what Americans call "traditional" insurance. This coverage is usually very expensive, and the out of pocket expenses can be quite high. A typical program pays 75-80% of your expenses, but there's a deductible that must be met before coverage kicks in. That deductible might be $2500 or more, so you pay everything up to the deductible. The major benefit is you can go to any doctor you want, and almost every doctor will accept traditional insurance.

There's an intermediate category, sometimes called "PPO", where you have a network of preferred providers (doctors & hospitals). If you go to a preferred provider, your out of pocket expense is quite low (90% or more is covered). You have the option to choose a doctor out of the network, but your out of pocket expense will be much higher (maybe 60% of the cost is covered). Again, most major procedures must be approved in advance by your insurance company. Again, there might be a deductible that must be met before coverage kicks in.

OK, that's my very basic American Healthcare 101. Hope that satisfies your curiosity.


11-01-2004, 11:16 AM
Hello all,
I contacted Shriners and i just said that i'm almost 18 in December. So i talked to the nurse at Montreal's Shriners. They seem nice and ready to make a rush appointment for me. I left a message to the lady incharge of out of town patients applications.
As she's off for today.

Wow, they are nice. I just said i have 44 degree scoliosis curve . They say that they'll make an appointment as soon as possible.
They say once you made an appointment you stay until 21. :)
I hope that i don't have to go all the way to Montreal for an appointment and can't do surgery. I hope they allow like my doctor at BC CHildren's Hospital to fax the x-rays and information over. All questions will be answered tomorrow i hope.

Stay tuned and goodluck everyone doing surgery.

11-01-2004, 09:37 PM
Good luck with Shriners- it sounds great!

I guess that i got lucky. I have Kaiser Permanente health care, and our benefits covered the entire cost. My parents were really surprised to leave the hopsital and not have to pay a bill!