What my $100,000 Appendectomy Taught Me About Our Broken Healthcare System

Posted by joe rigs on Monday, September 1, 2014
A few day ago I posted the story about my nearly $100,000 ($89,200 to be exact) appendectomy. The support I received has been nothing short of mind-blowing and heart warming. Thank you, most of all, for your warmth and incredibly kind words. That means the world to me. If you missed that post you can read it here: My $100,000 Appendectomy.

Because of you, we've sold over $500 worth of my product bundle which will go toward paying off the remainder of my medical bills. And that was over a holiday weekend when not many people opened their emails. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Please continue to share that post.

However, there's a much bigger issue here and that's our seriously broken healthcare system. While I was writing that article, I came across some disturbing information.

First, I'm not the only one to get hit with an astronomical bill for a routine appendectomy. This story went viral after the patient posted his bill for $55,000.

In a study done in 2012, researchers looked at nearly 20,000 "vanilla appendectomies." In other words, appendectomies on otherwise healthy people with no complications. The median cost across all 20,000 patients was $33,611. Not too bad when compared to my $89,200 bill. The the highest price in the study was an even more overwhelming $183,000 while
the lowest price was a head-scratching $1529. How could there be such dependency for such similar procedures?

Then I came across something called The Healthcare Bluebook, a site that gives you the "fair market value" for various healthcare services. According to their website, my surgery should have been a total of
$11,904, not including an overnight stay. They quote the "Physician fee" (removal of appendix using an endoscope) as just $1326.

The anesthesiologist, according to healthcarebluebook.com, should have been $810. Instead I was charged over $2,700. For my CAT Scan I was charged an astounding $10,984. That's $9,988 more than the purported market value according to The Healthcare Bluebook.

What happened to free markets? Are insurance companies gouging physicians and healthcare facilities so badly that they need to inflate prices to such an unfathomable degree? Or are they simply getting away with it because a majority of these bills are being paid by the insurance companies, and because of that, we're not really paying attention?

That raises another question: How much less would our insurance premiums cost if doctors and hospitals were made to really compete in an open market. What if the free markets truly prevailed?

Now, don't get me wrong, as I stated in my previous post, I was thrilled with my surgeon and moved to tears by the courtesy extended to me by his office. That said, the courtesy wasn't really $44,000, but a really good deal on what the market value should have been.

Still, there are many questions raised by this experience– questions I think we all need to start asking.

Once again, if you'd like to take advantage of my One Year Surgery Anniversary Sale on all of my products in one bundle, just click below (About $100 worth of stuff-- ebooks and the Primal Cooking Workshop).

Suggested donation is $20 but you can spend as little as 5 bucks to get the whole bundle. The shopping cart is set for $5 but if you'd like to pay more, simply click Add to Cart and change the quantity and click 'Update'. Example: Qty: 4 = $20.

Thanks again for all your support!

*This is a digital product and ebooks. No physical books will be mailed to you.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Because of my agreement with Amazon.com to sell my books, I need to stop selling this bundle ASAP. I'll try to keep it open through the weekend (Sept. 7) but it might have to come down earlier. Please take advantage of this deal while it's still available. Thanks.


Tweet: "This guy had a $100k appendectomy. Read his story here."

About Me

Joe Rignola, HHC, FDN Joe Rignola is an author, Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist and Health Counselor. More importantly, I hate talking in the 3rd person. I'm really just a guy who took control of my own health and overcame several ailments including metabolic disorders, digestive issues, depression and ADD. Actually, my recovery from ADD however is questionable.