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Thread: Surgery cost!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    43

    Surgery cost!

    I was amazed to get our "bill" for surgery today!!!

    $82,781.97

    Of course we have insurance, but goodness!!! That is ALOT of $$$!!
    SARAH ~Mother of 3~ 11 year old son had a Posterior Spinal Fusion on March 17, 2005. He had a 77*, right thoracic curve, and was fused T4-L1. His curve is now less than 10 degrees* He is doing great!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Northeastern Oregon
    Posts
    515
    Sarah,
    That is a lot. That is why we used Shriners Hospital. Our insurance wouldn't cover enough of the costs to be able to afford surgery for Crystal. Shriner's Hospital paid the entire bill. The estimates we got for Crystal's surgery were between $175,000-250,000. That coupled with two other daughters with orthopedic problems and Crystal has to have two more surgeries, on her feet, these bills, even with what insurance covers, can add up fast. So, we use Shriners Hospital for anything orthopedic.

    'til later,
    Nikki

  3. #3
    Mary Lou Guest
    Sarah,

    Jamie's bill for surgery was just over $101,000 and that doesn't include following visits or p.t. etc. If I added up everything from the time of diagnosis until now, the cost would be well over $110, 000 I'm sure. Thank God for insurance!

    Mary Lou

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    55

    These kids are pricey, but worth it!

    Sean hit his lifetime insurance max (my 2 million dollar boy!) while we were in Seattle last fall for his halo traction. SO VERY thankful that we have Katie Beckett to cover him, else I have no idea how we would manage to pay his medical bills.
    Heidi (mom to 3 boys, Sean is 9 and has LCDH, SBS, is TPN, O2, and Bipap dependent, has SVC stenosis/stent x4, severe malignant scoliosis fused twice from T1-L2, halo traction for 2 months, severe restrictive lung disease, a CVL and GT, Fundo x2, and is one of my heroes.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    236

    Katie Beckett?

    Hello!

    Who or what is Katie Beckett?! Maxing out insurance is a very big concern with some of our kids! Thanks! Pat

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    55

    Katie Beckett

    Katie Beckett is also known as the medicaid waiver. It is a federal provision/mandate, though each state has its own way of interpreting and administering it. I think 30 some odd states call it Katie Beckett, others have different names for it. It is specifically for families dealing with catastrophic medical issues, and is supposedly based on the child's income rather than the families income.

    In our case, my son has had over 30 surgeries in 8 yrs, he is dependent on IV's for his nutrition as well as he gets some feeds through his g-tube. Just his IV nutrition is over $300 a day... can NOT imagine how we could manage to pay for that ourselves without insurance, and of course his issues are all pre-existing which would make for difficulty with finding new job/insurance to cover.

    Hope that helps a little! Check with your local health and welfare office if you think your child might qualify. Some states have very long wait lists, as there is a limited amount of $$ available.......
    Heidi (mom to 3 boys, Sean is 9 and has LCDH, SBS, is TPN, O2, and Bipap dependent, has SVC stenosis/stent x4, severe malignant scoliosis fused twice from T1-L2, halo traction for 2 months, severe restrictive lung disease, a CVL and GT, Fundo x2, and is one of my heroes.)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    43
    Isnt it all amazing! The surgery, the costs, and the end results!
    SARAH ~Mother of 3~ 11 year old son had a Posterior Spinal Fusion on March 17, 2005. He had a 77*, right thoracic curve, and was fused T4-L1. His curve is now less than 10 degrees* He is doing great!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Morpeth, Northumberland
    Posts
    194
    Really scary reading about all your insurance worries. We Brits complain about the National Health Service but at least I don't have to think about costs. You people really have my sympathy.

    Lorrie

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    43
    In the US we have insurance, medicaid, medicare, etc... for the most of us our medical bills are partly if not ALL covered.

    The bulk of our bill WILL be paid by our insurance
    SARAH ~Mother of 3~ 11 year old son had a Posterior Spinal Fusion on March 17, 2005. He had a 77*, right thoracic curve, and was fused T4-L1. His curve is now less than 10 degrees* He is doing great!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    64
    surgery costs:

    It is almost mind boggling. My 5 day hospital bill alone was right at $233,000, rehab for 10 days $15,000, surgeons bill appr. $32,000, still haven't made a total of the anesthesiologist, radiology, etc. etc. etc. Thank God for our insurance, our out of pocket expense in entirety was $165.00. My PCM said "Boy are you worth a lot of money!" This is in Tucson, Arizona.

    Gayle
    Gayle


    November 4, 2004, 57 yo
    Instrumented Spinal Fusion ~ T 10 -S1

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington State USA
    Posts
    13
    Thank goodness, my son has the CAP waiver-medical coupon...whatever insurance doesn't pay, they pick up. With all of his surgeries, therapy, prescriptions. Not sure how much has been paid out anymore, but it's a lot!

    He will be going to the ICU after his surgery. I requested an MRI of his brain to make sure everything is fine (peace of mind) before surgery. He goes in for that today.

    I can't imagine having to pay what isn't covered. We were on a waiting list for 3 years before he was able to get it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    1,010
    In addition to the hospital-only bill being $75,000 for Braydon's TRP implant surgery, the cost of the titanium pieces alone were $25,000 ($18,000 for one and $7,000 for another). In a room full of people with implants of any kind, the value of that room increases incredibly! LOL
    Carmell
    mom to Kara, idiopathic scoliosis, Blake 19, GERD and Braydon 14, VACTERL, GERD, DGE, VEPTR #137, thoracic insufficiency, rib anomalies, congenital scoliosis, missing coccyx, fatty filum/TC, anal stenosis, horseshoe kidney, dbl ureter in left kidney, ureterocele, kidney reflux, neurogenic bladder, bilateral hip dysplasia, right leg/foot dyplasia, tibial torsion, clubfoot with 8 toes, pes cavus, single umblilical artery, etc. http://carmellb-ivil.tripod.com/myfamily/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    27
    My daughter's anterior/posterior spinal fusion medical bills were $279,000 two years ago. What you really have to watch out for (and have little control over) are all the medical staff who bill you that you do NOT participate in your insurance plan. We had operating room staff and PICU staff that were absolutely required, but did not participate in our major medical plan who billed us separately. Our out of pocket costs were $29,000! Luckily, we were able to manage it. Some doctors were willing to reduce their fees, but others were not.

    Shriner's sounds like a wonderful idea for families who can't afford the high medical cost.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Kannapolis, North Carolina, near Charlotte
    Posts
    373
    I notice Scoliosis-mom was caught with a big chunk of bills insurance did not pay. Anybody know how to avoid this? Did anyone else experience this? Thanks, Kris

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Northeastern Oregon
    Posts
    515
    Kris,
    One way to avoid the costs of scoliosis surgery, or any orthopedic surgery, for children is to use Shriners Hospital. I can't afford $29,000 for surgery on one child, let alone all three of my children have kyphosis/scoliosis. Shriners Hospital provides free services to children under 18. If the child is diagnosed by Shriners before their 18th birthday, they get free services until they are 21. Your local Shrine Club can help you with a referral, or you can go on line to www.shrinershq.org for application forms. Some of the local Shrine clubs will also assist with transportations/lodging/meal costs. We are very thankful for the Shriners. We drive, one way, 5 hours for our daughters appointments. The reason we do this is because they have the best doctor working on them. Shriners Hospital is supported by funds raised by Shrine Clubs and donations made by individual people. It would amaze you at the money that is donated every year to support these hospitals. The best part to us was, that you have the worlds best surgeons working at Shriners. A good number of them teach various state-of-the-art surgeries all over the world. Our daughters doctor was preparing to leave for a conference, not as a participant, but as one that leads the conferences all over the world, as soon as he knew she was safe back in her room. What did these services cost us? Zero. The problem with a lot of insurances is that many doctors won't take insurances any more for these kinds of surgeries. The reason is that a lot of insurance companies consider them experimental or cosmetic, even though they have been done for years and proved to improve the child's quality of life. Insurance companies don't want to pay for anything they don't have to and will look for a reason to not pay for something. We have Regence/Blue Cross. It would amaze you at the things, even though it is a wonderful policy, that it doesn't pay, regardless of deductable. And, the discounts the participating doctors/clinics/hospitals are required to give by the insurance companies.

    Don't let anyones comments make you feel like a charity case. You aren't. People of all facets of life use Shriners. Business owners and low-income alike use Shriners. How many of us keep $29,000 on hand or can afford to make payments on that amount for numerous years? Shriners is not a charity hospital. It is a hospital that offers the very best services in the world for free to children regardless of their race, economic class, etc. I could tell you way more about Shriners, soley because of the things my husband and I are involved in. My husband is a Shriner. So, we now a lot of the ground work that is done for the hospitals. Next time you go to a parade and see the men on motor carts in red fezz hats, wave and let them know what a good job they do. It is because of these men, that the Shriners Hospitals are out there.

    If you have any questions about Shriners please feel free to ask. There are a number of us here that use them exclusively for orthopedic surgeries.

    'til later,
    Nikki
    Last edited by nikyergen; 04-02-2005 at 10:46 AM.

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