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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > General Surgery & Neurosurgery > Anesthesia

Anesthesia Cost


How Much Does Anesthesia Cost?

 
average costWith Health Insurance: 10%-50% Coinsurancehigh costWithout Health Insurance: $500-$3,500+
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  Typical costs:
  • Anesthesia typically is covered by health insurance for medically necessary procedures. For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs for anesthesia can consist of coinsurance of about 10% to 50%.
  • For patients without health insurance, the cost of anesthesia can range from less than $500 for a local anesthetic administered in an office setting to $500-$3,500 or more for regional anesthesia and/or general anesthesia administered by an anesthesiologist and/or certified registered nurse anesthetist in a hospital operating room.
  • Total anesthesia costs typically include: the anesthesia provider fee and the hospital anesthesia fee, which covers the cost of supplies, equipment, medications and hospital staff used for anesthesia. General anesthesia costs typically are calculated based on a base unit value assigned to the procedure based on its complexity (for example, an appendectomy is six base units and coronary bypass surgery is 20) added to the number of 15-minute time units the provider spends and multiplied by the provider's charge per unit. A 2010 survey by the American Society of Anesthesiologists showed a median of about $60 to $64 per unit. So, an anesthesiologist might bill $600 for an appendectomy that takes an hour, or bill $2,500 or more for heart surgery that takes six hours.
  • Hospital anesthesia charges typically depend on the complexity of the procedure. For example, at Akron General[1] in Ohio, the typical hospital anesthesia charge is about $200-$1,050, depending on the surgery. HealthcareBlueBook.com[2] lists approximate anesthesia costs for a variety of procedures: $469 for a leg fracture surgery, $582 for hernia repair, $619 for a tonsillectomy, $1,243 for a total hysterectomy without cancer, $1,159 for spinal fusion surgery and $2,495 for coronary bypass grafting.
Related articles: Appendectomy, Back Surgery, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • For local anesthesia, the provider will inject a local anesthetic into a specific area of the body to numb that area by preventing the nerves form sending pain signals. Lidocaine is an example of a commonly used local anesthetic.
  • For regional anesthesia, the provider will inject the anesthetic near a cluster of nerves. Typically, the patient can either remain fully aware or be given a sedative. Spinal blocks, epidural blocks and peripheral nerve blocks -- which can numb a leg, arm or the head -- are all types of regional anesthesia. Regional anesthesia can be used alone during surgery, in combination with general anesthesia during surgery or after surgery for pain control. The American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine[3] has information on regional anesthesia.
  • For general anesthesia, the provider typically will administer the anesthetic as a gas through a mask and/or intravenously. The anesthetic makes the patient unconscious and unable to feel pain. An anesthesia care provider will monitor the patient's heart, lung and kidney function and temperature and will adjust medications if needed. A reversal agent may be administered after surgery to help the patient wake up. WebMD offers an overview[4] of what happens before, during and after anesthesia.
Discounts:
  • Many doctors and hospitals give discounts of up to 30% or more to uninsured or cash-paying patients. For example, Washington Hospital Healthcare System[5] in California offers a 35% discount.
  • A 2010 study by The Lewin group, a healthcare consulting firm, showed that the total anesthesia cost is about 25% less if a certified registered nurse anesthetist, rather than an anesthesiologist, is the sole anesthesia provider. The American Society of Anesthesiologists offers information about anesthesiologists[6] , and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists offers information about nurse anesthetists. Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) can perform all types of anesthesia, and 16 states have chosen to opt out of a federal law that requires physician supervision of a nurse anesthetist; in other states, the surgeon sometimes acts as the supervising physician.
Shopping for anesthesia:
  • The surgeon typically will choose an anesthesiologist for the surgery, but the patient can discuss the choice of anesthesiologist with the surgeon ahead of time. The anesthesiologist should be certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology[7] . In some cases, a registered nurse anesthetist will provide or help with anesthesia care.
  • The American Society of Anesthesiologists[8] recommends that patients ask their anesthesiologist: what qualifications he or she has, how many similar procedures he or she has done; who else might be involved in the patient's anesthesia care; if the anesthesiologist will monitor heart, breathing or anything else; where recovery will take place; whether there will be an anesthesiologist on duty in the recovery room; and who will manage pain control after surgery.
  • The American Society of Anesthesiologists[9] offers an FAQ about anesthesia.
  • The National Institutes of Health offers a tutorial[10] on how to minimize the risks of anesthesia.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
reasonable charge?
Amount: $3,300.00
Posted by: ROBERT STEVENSON in Houston, TX.Posted: August 5th, 2014 03:08PM
Procedure: hip pinningProvider: anesthesiologist
41 minutes in operating room. Surgeon's charge $800. Anesthesiologist charged $3,300. Is this normal or reasonable?
Patient has no insurance. Too rich for Medicaid, too poor for Obamacare.
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Left Shoulder Dislocation
Amount: $7,000.00
Posted by: Rockn17 in Jourdonton, TX.Posted: July 23rd, 2014 07:07AM
Procedure: Shoulder relocationProvider: South Texas Medical
Total cost was a little above $7,000.
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prostate cancer
Amount: $5,100.00
Posted by: tony earnst in cookeville, TN.Posted: February 6th, 2014 03:02PM
Procedure: robiotic radical prostectomyProvider: cookeville reginal medical center
$3600 for the hospital included the equipment and drug for general anesthesia. $2080 for the anesthesiologist. Very overpriced.
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Doctor\'s office in-network procedure
Amount: $600.00
Posted by: a user in League City, TX.Posted: January 15th, 2014 11:01AM
Procedure: hysteroscopyProvider: Cigna
I recently had a simple hysteroscopy done by an in-network doc in her office. Anesthesia was performed by a traveling service in her office. Because this service was "out of network" and not a part of the "doctor's office" which was in-network, the EOB was $6400!!!! Heck, I didn't have open heart surgery...I'm an RN and I was "out" for 15 minutes! The final bill came oh, with discounts, $600.00 which I'll pay at a monthly rate of $1.00 for 600 months! Shame on them!!!!!! Here is a good reason why our healthcare costs are skyrocketing!!!!!
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Anesthesia for Hip RFeplacement
Amount: $1,900.00
Posted by: Tim Smith in York, PA.Posted: December 12th, 2013 10:12AM
Procedure: Total Hip ReplacementProvider: Depoe, Craig
Thsi fee of $1,900 was for the MD plus a helper, probably a Nurse Anesthetist. This fee was totally separate from the hospital fee. My insurance paid only 25% so I "took one to the shorts," so to speak.
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Detach Retina
Amount: $2,500.00
Posted by: a user in Naples, FL.Posted: September 21st, 2012 11:09AM
Procedure: Restore RetinaProvider: GULF-TO-BAY ANESTHESIOLOGY
I think it is a LOT of money and it is a hard ship.rnOn the other hand your eye's are worth all the money in the world.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.akrongeneral.org/portal/page/portal/AGMC_PAGEGROUP/Price_guide/PRICE_GUIDE5
  2.  www.healthcarebluebook.com
  3.  www.asra.com/patient-info.php
  4.  www.webmd.com/pain-management/tc/anesthesia-topic-overview
  5.  www.whhs.com/about/washington-hospital-discount-policy-for-uninsured/
  6.  www.lifelinetomodernmedicine.com/Who-Is-An-Anesthesiologist/Types-of-Anesthesia-Provide...
  7.  www.theaba.org/
  8.  www.lifelinetomodernmedicine.com
  9.  www.lifelinetomodernmedicine.com/FAQs.aspx#risks
  10.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007410.htm
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