The price of an appendectomy
by jerry on January 18, 2020
The Washington Post published an opinion piece in which the author recounted her experience of receiving an emergency appendectomy. Unfortunately, she chose to go to a nearby hospital instead of one that was in her insurance's network. Consequently, she had a much larger bill to contend with.
The emergency nature of the procedure limited the author's options. What's surprising is the detail that the surgeon asked for the author's profession (and that of her husband) before announcing the price of the procedure. In other industries, variable pricing is allowed (e.g. the price one might be offered at a car dealership could depend on a variety of factors). In the context of emergency procedures, however, stories like this add fuel to a growing discontent with the healthcare industry. Much as there has been momentum against balance billing, I suspect that people will also push for pricing reform within healthcare.