I don't want to discourage anyone from having a nodule removed or having a biopsy. I'm releaved to know that the free-floating cyst in my scrotum is benign, but the cost of removeal seems extremely high. My details........
Late in 2005 I noticed a small nodule within my scrotum, not within the skin or on the testes, apparently not attached to anything. Doctor at that time said lets watch. On followup Jan '08, a different doctor (another urologist) would not say what he thought it was indicating that he rarely sees a free-floating nodule with the scrotum. He recommended removing to be sure.
Two weeks ago I went in for outpatient surgery. It involved 3 nurses in a small operating room and my urologist, who performed the surgery. Surgery went well. Less than 20 minutes in the OR for the doctor. Maybe an hour total time for each nurse. My total time at the hospital was about 2.5 hours. I was able to walk out with no pain, having just a few stitches in my scrotum. The nodule appeared clear, and yesterday I got the lab report back confirming that it was a benign cyst, possibly an early hydrocele, although I thought a hydrocele was fluid "around" a testical not a nodule seperate and distinct from the testical.
I'm glad to know for sure that it was nothing. But here's the thing - The cost was $9362 (and I'm not sure if this is the entire cost). Insurance negotiated it to about $6,100. My share turns out to be about $2,400. Imagine if I was a low end wage slave with no insurance! I'd be billed the entire $9362 with no negotiation.
Let's apply a little reason here.
Hospital paperwork: 3 clerical hours at $100/h
Nursing support, including preop preps: 6 nursing hours at $100/h
Surgery: 2 doctor hours at $300/h to account for travel time and file review, although I'm sure he was scheduled for other work while there. Actual time in surgery was no more than 20 minutes.
Operating Room Rental: 1 hour at $500. Wild gues but why would a small tiled room cost more than this.
Operating Room Cleanup: 1 hour support staff at $50/h
Waste disposal: $200
Lab work to ID cyst: $500
I get $2,750 being liberal with the costs and times. So where does the additional $6,500 come from? Can anyone clarify?
I have no problem with the staff (the nurses and doctor were great), but the system is broken when a 20 minute cyst removal, involving local anesthesia can take a year's salary for someone on minimum wage.
And what happens to that low wage uninsured guy who has a serious problem like some of you on this forum and he fails to get it diagnosed (much less cured) because of cost. My guess - he dies.