High Costs of Hospital and Surgery vs. Chiropractic Care

I have heard from patients on several occasions that chiropractic care is expensive.  Health does cost money and lets look at the stats here:

Hospital and surgery costs in America was approximately $2.7 trillion in 2011.  $814 or 31% of the $2.7 trillion was spent on hospital bills.  For a one day stay in the hospital the average cost is $3,949.  Most patients average $15,734 each time they go into the hospital for care.  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the total number of inpatient surgeries performed in 2009 was 48 million. Total spending for common hospital operating room procedures in nonfederal community hospitals was over $166 billion. These amounts don’t even take into account time off of work for rehabilitation or sickness!

So what are the top 3 surgeries performed?

1. Spinal Fusion surgery ($11.26 billion)

2. Heart angioplasty ($11 billion)

3. Knee replacement surgery ($10.36 billion)

Hospital Costs

There is no standard system that determines what a hospital can charge for any service or procedure. Hospital pricing depends on a few things, including the patient’s health circumstances, the cost of lab tests, X-rays, operating room costs and surgeries, medications, and each doctors’ and specialists’ fees.

This means that no two hospital bills are likely to be the same. So regardless of a hospital’s published fee schedules for a service or procedure, the best information that a prospective patient can receive is a good-faith estimate. Until the bill is actually processed, there is no reliable way to assess a patient’s final hospital costs.

Surgery Costs

Total payments are often broken down into hospital expenses (60-80% depending upon procedure), physician payments (13-19%), and post-acute care (7-27%).

In addition, surgery costs vary depending upon who pays for the operation. An individual who is self-paying will be charged a different amount than a private insurance company which, in turn, will be charged a different amount than Medicare or Medicaid.

For example, in 2005, the average total payment for back surgery in the United States was $26,515. But the difference between the lowest and highest payments for the procedure was $18,762. Coronary artery bypass surgery averaged $45,438, but the differential between the highest and lowest cost was $16,668. The gap was $10, 615 for hip fracture repair, and $12,988 for a colectomy.

The community in which a hospital is situated will also cause surgical costs to vary widely. In 2012, the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) Education Fund, a consumer watchdog organization, studied geographic variations in the state’s hospital charges for similar surgeries and found that facilities in California’s highest-priced region charged up to 2.7 times as much for the same surgery as did hospitals in the lowest-priced region.

So, how expensive is Chiropractic Care again?  Taking care of yourself not only saves you money in surgeries and hospital visits but it makes you feel great as well.  For each visit that you come in you may pay $65.00 per visit.  Even if you are coming in frequently, it will never equal the amounts stated above.   Take the steps that you need to stay healthy and save money!