A new article in this week’s JAMA found that a common surgical procedure, the infamous hip replacement, costs somewhere between $10,000 and $125,000.
Jaime Rosenthal, a senior at Washington University in St. Louis (my alma mater), conducted the study last summer by calling over 100 hospitals across the country. She concocted a story about her fake, uninsured, 62-year old grandma needing a hip replacement and, using the actual medical diagnostic codes, asked how much the procedure would cost.
Of course the prices were all over the map and had no logical reason behind them. Prices in healthcare are simply arbitrary and have very little relationship to economics.
I’ve known this for quite some time. When I started my practice in 2007, I focused on the uninsured. Prior to launching my practice, I called about 30 radiology centers here in NYC and asked for the price of a brain MRI with contrast would cost. I knew my patients would have to pay cash for any studies I ordered. The prices ranged from $450 to $1900. I then visited the radiology centers that offered the best prices to vet them for my patients. I formed relationships with providers that simply refused to fleece my patients because they had a mission to make healthcare affordable.
This is the very thing we do at Sherpaa. Healthcare is so, so confusing but when you have a group of doctors you can email or call when you’re in a bind and need a little guidance, everything becomes much more transparent. When you need help figuring out how much you’ll spend out of your own pocket on certain visits and procedures, we speak the right language to figure this out with you.
We think it’s wrong you’re alone and in the dark. Sherpaa simply turns on the healthcare lights with you.