Thursday, October 13, 2016

Medical WTF

I had heard that healthcare costs can vary depending on what region of the country you are in but this point was driven home lately at Chez Sluggy.

Daughter had a procedure performed locally through the pain clinic at the hospital here in late August.  This is the same procedure she had done in Louisiana when she lived there earlier in the year.
The "procedure" is a couple of injections into the back.

I am having a difficult time understanding the charges and amount that were billed for the most recent procedure given that they are so much higher than the charges when she had this done in Shreveport on two different occasions.

For example, the doctor's fees in LA came to $1,422.00.  After discounts and what our health plan paid(plus deductible we have met for the year), our co-insurance cost came to $20.23.

The doctor's fees in August in PA came to $3,878.00.  After discounts and what our health plan paid(plus deductible we have met for the year), our co-insurance cost came to $193.90.


But the LARGER problem is the discrepancy in the EOBs received from the facility/corp. in PA compared to what the facility/corp. in LA charged.

The LA bill came to $3,037.46 for supplies(ivs/drugs/etc.)and use of the operating and recovery rooms.  Our responsibility was $124.98.

The PA bill came to $16,420.56 for supplies/ivs/drugs/etc.)and use of the operating and recovery rooms.  Our responsibility was $893.28.

How can there be a $13 THOUSAND DOLLAR difference in basically the same supplies and way in which the facility's rooms were used for the same procedure?!?

The biggest discrepancy seems to be what Geisinger in PA charged for use of the facilities(operating and recovery room)use versus what the Spine Institute in LA charged for the same items.
LA charges were $2,721.08.
PA charges were $16,224.00.

Again I say WTF?!
How can they get away with charging $13,502.92 MORE for the same exact type of rooms used in the same exact way?!?!

So by using Geisinger here we pay $1,087.18 out of pocket while we were paying $145.21 out of pocket in LA.

This is just not right.
And of course Geisinger has a monopoly on healthcare services in this region of PA and I am going to have a hard time finding a doctor/facility to do these for her that isn't connected to them and at a "normal" cost.

Just so disgusted by this.



  1. When my daughter moved from the city to the suburbs her insurance payment went up they said cause the area she moved to doctors charged more maybe that's the same thing they will tell you

  2. Just like everything else in life, price varies throughout the country. Why is a 900 sq ft apartment in NYC $4,000 a month when the same size apartment in Osh Kosh Begosh is only $450 a month? Look at the price of milk. It's $6 a gallon in NYC and $2.56 in Florida.
    I'm certain the higher costs are due to insurance, payroll, taxes, leasing fees etc. Somebody has to pay the costs and it ain't gonna be the doctor.
    Good luck with giving the health co a call. Maybe they can give you a good reason for their different price justifications.
    I feel your pain, Sluggy.
    And all I can say is: UGH!

    1. Milk is not $2.56 in Jacksonville, Florida. It's well over $3. But I get what you mean, and you're correct, of course.

  3. WTF, is right!!! Obscene.
    Don't even get me started, we pay $10k a year and we don't use it because it is such a mess. We go to CVS clinic. It's BS. Oh and don't ask about the bill for when Den ended up in the ER when you were here.

  4. They charge more in different areas for health care just like they do milk. Can you go across state lines?

  5. I find everything from healthcare, the price of gas, and food much higher in PA then different parts of the country. I would complain if only to make you feel better. Cheryl

  6. My healthcare costs are a bit higher in Florida than they were in Illinois, but when I lived in Illinois I was married to someone who had great insurance as part of his "I'm a big deal" benefits package. My doctor was great about letting me know that I can get some things done for free in his office, but I have to pay for them if I go elsewhere.


  7. Hubby and I both got glasses and our VSP covered almost the entire cost. The problem was though that we had to pay AL sales tax (10%) on the full cost of the glasses. That sucked, but the total cost was a lot less than we paid in PA with VSP. I agree with Cindi. Wages are lower here as is office space, etc..

  8. Ridiculous! I'd hate to see what they'd charge for this procedure here in California. Re VSP, I always end up paying at least $350 out of pocket. I wouldn't be caught dead in the frames that are fully covered, plus I need nonglare lenses and blended bifocals, neither of which are covered.

  9. As a Canadian my cost for all of the above would be $0.00. But before you label me a gloater I pay 13% tax on most things that I buy or use. But, I wouldn't change things. I had a colonoscopy done this week - all sorts of nurses/doctor/anesthesiologist/drugs/bed etc all at no cost. Yes we pay a ton of tax but it gets filtered back down into needed services.


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