greenandchic wrote:Well, shoot. Now I'm confused with the actual cost. My estimate to have it done in Poland is much lower...
As well it should be, they don't call it "medical tourism" for nothing!
Mind you, I doubt anyone in their right mind would pay 120,000 cash for all this, unless they are wealthy and want it *now*, even then cash prices are easily negotiated downwards.
Look at it this way, Stanford got a check cut for op services, 1 MRI, and a bed for one night, and the associated stents, doctors,nurses (they alone are worth the 38k), so on so forth, they aint going broke any time soon on that. Like my MS meds, they wanted some OUTRAGEOUS number for them, like 4k a month, I know, sounds ridiculous, but that's the game that is played all around. My insurance calls them, they "negotiate" and end up "settling" for exactly the going rate for the drugs, back then it was like 1900 and change, then I get whacked for the delivery fee and assorted other stuff for 100 bucks a month, nobody is losing their shirt, guaranteed.
8k a stent, times four, is 32,000 for the stents sitting on the shelf all by themselves. They could charge 500,000 for the stents, doesn't matter, when the insurance has a contract with BC/BS, and Stanford is a contract hospital, it all gets into write offs, i.e. they "lost" a ton of money on the operation. The fair market value was 120,000 (inc. follow up!), they got paid 40k, they lost 80k, voila, tax deduction.
Everyone is happy, because a lot of it is just a numbers game, plain and simple. The secret is to absolutely without question stay within your PPO network if you have one, and if HMO it doesn't really matter then.
In Poland and other countries they don't have such onerous issues, the cost of living is lower, and cold hard cash goes much further than it would here...