House and Appendix Cost the Same

The cost of a simple appendix removal could run into thousands of USD’s says a study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine. The study also reports that hospital charges vary dramatically.

The researchers say that the cost of this surgery varies between $1,500 and $180,000. The average cost of this operation was found to be $33,000.

“There is no method for madness. There is no system at all to determine what is a rational price for this condition or this procedure,” said lead Dr. Renee Hsia, an emergency room physician and researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, and the lead author of the study (reported by Associated Press)

For the study, the Associate Press reports, the researchers studied the data (2009) that the hospital were required to submit to the state on 19,368 patients with appendicitis. The researchers included only uncomplicated cases for the study.

The researchers found that the type of medical insurance played a vital role in how much the patients had to pay. Also, the type of hospital, for-profit, non-profit and County hospitals.

A woman who was billed $182,955 for the operation had cancer and was treated at a hospital in California’s Silicon Valley while the same operation cost $1,529 for a woman at a hospital in rural North California. Both were hospitalized for a day and had minimal invasive surgery, reports Associated Press.

Reports suggest that at least 7 percent of health care expenditures go towards administrative costs. Some say that the rising costs are due to private companies and the poor government control over health care spending.

“The laws of supply and demand simply do not work well in health care,” said Dr. Howard Brody, director of the institute for the medical humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and a frequent critic skyrocketing medical costs (as reported in Associate Press)

In 2009, the average annual cost of health care was $ 7,960 per person in the U.S- this is two and half time the cost of health care in Japan. (According to PBS NEWSHOUR)

According to UC atlas of global inequality, despite spending more on health care than any other country, average life expectancy in US ranks at 27 in the world.