You want something that is much more home hitting? Try asking them how much it costs to set a broken arm. Or leg. I called 4 of the hospitals in my area, and only ONE would even begin to talk to me.
The calls usually went with me calling up and asking who does the billing for procedures. And they say that the doctors make up the prices. Okay, except that none of the doctors that I could actually talk to knew how much anything cost. They sent me off to the nurse and secretaries and they didn’t even know. So I asked them who submits the bills? Billing, was the answer. Okay, so send me there.
The people in billing don’t actually know or care what things cost either. They were trying to get me to give them an account number over and over again. I kept telling them I didn’t have one, I wanted to know how much it cost for the procedure. They said they would have to send me off to the doctor, and when I said I already called them they said they coulden’t help me.
The last place actually had someone who–bless her heart–understood my question. She looked up someone elses info who had a broken arm, and while she stressed to me over and over again she could NOT tell me anything about the patient (and I had no desire to even know any of that info) that she would tell me the cost submitted to the insurance company for each part of the procedure.
I honestly forget the numbers, but it came out to just over 8 thousand dollars. X-Rays and the doctor coming in for all of a half hour was 2/3 of the cost. The rest was the actual cast, and the pain medication that was given through an IV, and the cost of the room.
And that, is why we can’t have nice things. Because it costs 8 freaking thousand dollars to set a bone in plaster–something humans have been doing for centuries.