We recently received the first of many "explanation of benefits" from my HMO, regarding my emergency trip to John Muir Medical Center. As I explained in a previous blog post, the emergency room staff and a cardiologist quickly diagnosed me as having an irregular heartbeat that was causing me to suddenly collapse and lose consciousness.
went into the hospital on Sunday, October 23. I stayed that night in a
single room in the cardiac care unit. The next morning, at 7:30, I had
surgery to implant the pacemaker into the skin on my upper left chest. I
stayed another day in the hospital, in a room in the new 6-story Tom and Billie Long Patient Care Tower. I had one of the new 230
Actually, my corner room was pretty
nice, to say the least. It was almost the size of my living room and
dining room combined, and its sleek, urban chic design included a sofa
and two chairs for visitors and a strategically placed flat-screen TV.
I could close the door, feel very private and not be bothered by the lights or noise coming off the ward.
Yes, it didn't feel like a hospital room. Rather, it reminded me of a
very posh corner room I got to stay in at the St. Regis Hotel in San
Francisco a couple years ago.
A deluxe park-view room in the St. Regis goes for about $400 to $500 a night.
My room and board in the new John Muir tower cost $16,796 for the one night.
all, the room and board for my two-night stay at John Muir, plus what
are categorized at "IH Misc. services" and a couple random imaging
services, amounted to $155,709.
But, this does not
include the cost of my pacemaker, or of the surgery to insert it. It
will be interesting to see what those services cost. It will be
interesting to see what all of this crisis has cost.
I have an insurance, for which we pay a lot each month and which is
covering a lot of this hospital stay. But not all, and I expect I will
be contacting John Muir to work out a payment plan.
I suppose I could make some profound statement about the ridiculously high cost of health care. Not sure what I can add to the discussion. Actually, the cost didn't seem that ridiculous when, every few hours, the staff wheeled in some new amazingly high-tech device designed to conduct one specific test. But as I said, we have insurance, which I'm glad about because such costs could be devastating for anyone.