Medical Bills Need Reconstructive Surgery

Susan Kovinsky underwent outpatient surgery recently at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The procedure, a hysterectomy, began at 10:40 a.m. By 3 p.m., she was on her way home. The hospital bill: $65,514.97. “When I saw that number, I was sure it couldn’t be right,” Kovinsky, 44, of North Hollywoodtold me. “How could just a few hours in the hospital cost that much?” Yet this is a story of the healthcare system working as it’s intended to. Cedars-Sinai did its job. Kovinsky’s insurer, Blue Shield of California, did its job. Kovinsky has no complaints about either. But if we ever intend to get our healthcare spending under control, clearly there’s much to be done to reform a system in which a relatively common procedure and less than a day in the hospital costs more than a fully loaded 535i BMW sedan.

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