Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Cost of a New Hip

MarTech Building on campus, Carteret Community College, Morehead City, North Carolina

I don't have pictures of my new hip (consider yourselves fortunate) so I thought I'd just stick in a couple photos I'd taken on campus at Carteret Community College.  Now on the the hip.  The operation was done at the beginning of April, and the statements have started arriving from my insurance company, Blue Cross, Blue Shield of North Carolina.  The first couple statements were a little alarming because they talked about what wasn't being covered.  My initial alarm proved unwarranted, but it did get me to wondering just how much this whole thing had cost, and what our share was going to be.

Well, BCBS has an excellent online site where I could see all of my statements to date.  It looks like most major claims have been filed, and the total cost has already topped $63,000.  And it looks like our cost will be around $4000.  Still a lot of money, but, obviously, peanuts compared to the total! 

Reading through the statements, I saw that the hospital had filed claims totally almost $50,000!  Now, I was in there for three days, but the food wasn't all THAT great....  We noticed that there was a separate little code for each of the many claims filed by the hospital, the largest claim being for $27,000.  Being curious folk, and hating to "not know," Ed looked online and found a code book used by hospitals filing with BCBS.  It's a pdf file, 253 pages long, which he added to my Favorites.  (Thanks, Ed....) 

We compiled a list of all the codes used in my statements, and, in particular, checked out the code related to the big expense.  It said, "Implants."  Okay, I'd never giving any thought to the fact that the pieces being used to construct my new hip had to be purchased, but there they were.  The "hardware" for my new hip costs $27,000.  Wow!  Silly though this may sound, I am inordinately pleased to know that I now have $27,000 worth of value added to my body.  I'd always heard that the elements in a human body were worth about a dollar, so this it quite a leg up, so to speak. 

On campus, looking out over Bogue Sound

Well, enough silliness for today.  I am more than thankful that I have good health insurance, and it brings to mind all the people who have to deal with medical issues without any insurance to fall back on.  I am blessed....


Vicki Lane said...

I have an appointment to discuss knee surgery and the cost is going to be a big part of the discussion. We have Blue Cross and Medicare so I'm hopeful it won't be too bad.

How are you doing with your recovery?

Robin said...

I knew we got more valuable as we got older:))))

Holly Knott said...

Yikes, that certainly is pricey. So glad you have insurance to cover at least most of it. How are you feeling?