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Personal Notes: Astronomical Hospital Charges


Here is a personal note about the charges for my spinal surgery: I received a Medicare Explanation of Benefits (EOB) form a few days ago that listed a number of charges from University of California San Francisco.  The amount that the hospital charged altogether, not including surgeon’s fees, was $770, 000 approximately.  This includes $256,000 for the spinal implant (two titanium rods and screws) and $119,537 for the operating room.  In addition, there was a $2264 fee for two units of blood which were administered to me; the blood itself is not charged, but processing, typing and cross-matching was charged.

These fees, which are known as “book” charges, are only charged to patients with no insurance; insurance companies pay only a small percentage of these amounts.

I have complained about astronomical medical prices in the past, so I have little more to say.  It just shocks me more when I see it applied to my personal situation.

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