Appendicitis needs immediate removal surgery. Perhaps you want to know how much the appendicitis surgery cost. What do hospitals charge to remove an appendix? The starling answer is that it could be the cost of a refrigerator, or even a house.

Appendicitis surgery is a common operation among all of us. The appendix removal surgery seems to be the only way to treat appendicitis (read the article here). You might expect charges to be similar no matter where the surgery takes place. A recent study of California found that the appendicitis surgery cost is about $1,500 to $180,000, with an average of $33,000.

This study makes some researchers and experts’ conflict. The researchers and experts say that the results are not unique to California and it illustrates a broken system.

As long as we know, it is indeed difficult to determine what appendicitis surgery cost. Dr. Renee Hsia in nydailynews said that there was no method to the madness. There was no system at all to determine what a rational cost for this condition or procedure was.

Disparities in Appendicitis Surgery Cost Depend on many things

The disparities usually depend on many things among patient’s condition or where the surgery performed. Some of disparities are like:

1. Patient’s Condition

Perhaps some patients had more costly procedure including multiple imaging scans, or longer hospitalizations. Patients were treated without appendicitis surgery in small number, some were sicker and needed more intensive care.

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2. Where the surgery performed

Of course it is different among countries in appendicitis surgery cost. Based on the study, the lowest surgery cost is in developed countries, and the highest appendicitis surgery cost is in rich country. So no wonder you found this variation in cost.

Researchers and experts cannot find explanation for cost differences.

In detail, developed countries have different regulations that prevent these wild disparities. Dr. Howard Brody, director of the institute for Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and a frequent critic of skyrocketing medical costs.

Rich country like U. S. A. critics that kind of system market competition, but the study illustrates that the ‘laws of supply and demand’ simply do not work well in health care. It is difficult to regulate the skyrocketing medical costs including appendicitis surgery cost.

The recent study was published Monday in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

The process of the study, researchers examined 2009 data that hospitals were required to submit to the state on 19,368 patients with appendicitis. To get the better comparisons, the researchers included only uncomplicated cases with hospitalization of less than 4 days. Patients were about 18 – 59 years old.

This study looked at what patients were billed, before contributions from their health insurance (If they had any). The figures do not reflect what hospitals were actually paid. As we known, insurance companies usually negotiate to pay less than what they are billed, and what patients pay depends on their health cares and plans. Those least able to pay — the uninsured — could be socked with the full bill.

Hsia said, “Still, even those with good health insurance may end up paying a portion of the cost, so price matters.”

Patients with no health insurance and Medicaid patients had slightly higher bills than those with private insurance. Indeed the charges were highest at for-profit hospitals, followed by nonprofits hospitals. County hospitals, typically safety-net hospitals, had the lowest charges than others.

How much the total cost?

The total of costliest bill is about $182,955, involved a woman who also had another disease such as cancer. She was treated at a hospital in California’s Silicon Valley. Her bill didn’t show any cancer-related treatment. The smallest bill is $1,529, it involved a patient who had her appendix removed in rural Northern California. Otherwise, the cases were similar: Both patients were hospitalized for one day, had minimally invasive surgery, and had similar numbers of procedures and tests on their bills.

The lowest and highest appendicitis surgery cost were not freak occurrences; many cases involved charges well over $100.000 and under $2.000. Plus, within geographic regions, the lowest and highest charges differed by tens of thousands of dollars.

Fees for appendicitis surgery

Itemized bills for appendicitis surgery can include fees for:

  • Staying overnight in the hospital
  • The surgery and surgical supplies
  • Operating room expenses
  • Anesthesia
  • Imaging tests
  • Nursing care
  • Medicine
  • Lab tests.

This analysis echoes other reports from many hospitals, including a study of 66 hospitals in the U. S. A and Canada. They found charges for the same service varied widely in those countries. Other studies have found big geographic disparities in health care costs including appendicitis surgery cost.

Then the most recent data from the federal Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality and the International Federation of Health Plans suggest the nationwide average price for an appendectomy is almost $28,000.

“The differences found in the study are credible and very concerning.” said Dr. David Goodman, a director of Dartmouth College’s Center for Health Policy Research.

Caroline Steinberg, a vice president at the American Hospital Association, also said that hospitals partly set charges based on their costs of providing services, which vary by community.

It means that if two patients with the same condition received exactly the same services in the same hospital, the charges would be similar. But Hsia said

“The problem is that most hospitals don’t advertise charges, and sick patients generally don’t get to choose the exact drugs or surgical techniques that are used on them.” Said Hsia.

The study was paid for by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which funds health research and programs