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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.[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.
  • 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

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Who will to start holding Anesthesiologists accountable for over charging?
Amount: $8,700.00
Posted by: a user in Addison, TX.Posted: November 6th, 2018 11:11AM
Procedure: Facet Joint Injection-LumbarProvider: Texas Health Surgery Center
Well, my insurance claim from the anesthesiologist was for over $8,700. Maybe a 15 min. surgery....I can't wait to get the bill to see what my charge will be. My Aetna insurance will not pay since he wasn't contracted with an insurance company. What to do??
I guess he will get paid what I think he was worth.
I can see why no one will tell you who the anesthesiologist is prior to surgery or what their estimated charges will be....
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Anesthesia Charges
Amount: $250.00
Posted by: Dr. G in Honolulu, HI.Posted: November 6th, 2018 09:11AM
I'm an Anesthesiologist in Hawaii. At the endoscopy ('same day surgery') center I practice at; we receive about $300-$350 per colonoscopy (35 minutes on average of Anesthesia time). Patients pay a "co-pay" of about $25. Patients without insurance coverage pay a (self-pay) 'out of pocket' expense of $250. I've never received more than $375 for Anesthesia services rendered for a colonoscopy there. The Gastroenterologists is compensated $500-$1,000 per colonoscopy and the endoscopy center bills between $2,000-$3,000 for each colonoscopy (depending on equipment used, biopsy charges, etc.).
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Amount: $8,700.00
Posted by: A C K in KATY, TX.Posted: September 4th, 2018 08:09AM
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Rip off
Amount: $4,800.00
Posted by: Shoulda been an anesthesiologist in Trenton, MI.Posted: August 16th, 2018 07:08AM
Procedure: Partial finger amputationProvider: Beaumont hospital
A 1.5 hour surgery from gas mask to waking up.
$2,613.00 hospital (materials)
$1,100.00 CRNA
$1,100.00 Anesthesiologists
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Amount: $1,400.00
Posted by: Moejo in Frederick, MD.Posted: July 23rd, 2018 12:07PM
Procedure: Knee InjectionProvider: Capitol Care Anesthesia Maryland
Twilight procedure for a 5 minute knee injection! Dr. AiJaz Mohammed, Capitol Care Anesthesia.
Office that did the procedure stated they would bill me. $250.00 not $1,400.00.
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Double anesthesia costs
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: a user in None, IA.Posted: July 8th, 2018 06:07AM
Procedure: NoneProvider: Nurse anesthesiologist/ anesthesiologis
I am a nurse anesthesiologist or a CRNA and have been providing anesthesia for over 15 years. I have worked in many different hospitals, outpatient centers and offices. I am finally figuring out this billing and will try to help explain.
When a patien comes in for a procedure, there are multiple bulls they will be receiving. A bill for the surgeon, anesthesia, hospital or outpatient facility fee and then any other extra charges for radiology, dialysis, etc. I had no idea until I started billing myself that there were this many fees.
Anesthesia itself is billed by units. You have a base unit for the procedure itself that everyone gets billed for that procedure. This includes set up, patient positioning, how invasive the surgery is, etc. there are added base units depending upon age greater than 70 and less than 2. There are other qualifiers that increase and add units for example an emergency also adds a unit. Once the base unit is figured then they add very 15 min of time after.
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Colonoscopy anesthesia
Amount: $5,385.00
Posted by: Still another user in Reston VA in Reston, VA.Posted: April 9th, 2018 11:04AM
Procedure: ColonoscopyProvider: Restesia
My insurance covered my colonoscopy, as well as the related facility. However, my insurance company sent me a notice that NONE of the anesthesia cost was covered since the anesthesiologist was OUT OF NETWORK! I had no choice with respect to the anesthesiologist. It seems counter intuitive to use anesthesiologists that are NOT in the same insurance plans as the doctors performing the colonoscopy, as well as the facility [really misleading in my view]. I also don't understand why spending a half hour administering Propofol is so expensive.
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Colonoscopy anesthesia
Amount: $4,400.00
Posted by: Another Virginia user in Reston, VA.Posted: March 27th, 2018 04:03PM
Procedure: ColonoscopyProvider: Restesia
I was charged $4400 for anesthesia for colonoscopy plus another $500 for the anesthesiologist surgical charges. My doctor and facility were in the network but the anesthesiologist was not. I had no choice in who this person would be. My insurance will only pay $1700 and I will have to pay the rest. Something definitely sounds wrong here for a 45 minute procedure.
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Amount: $4,200.00
Posted by: Also a user in Virginia in Reston, VA.Posted: March 11th, 2018 04:03PM
Procedure: ColonoscopyProvider: Restesia
My doctor was in the insurance network. I didn’t know who would be the anesthesiologist. I assumed that whoever it was would also be in the network but he was not. Insurance paid $1400 out of network and I owe the rest. This bill was a huge shock. How do these doctors get away with charging this for a 45 minute procedure?
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emergency surgery for small bowl obstruction
Amount: $6,700.00
Posted by: family member in Los Angeles in west hills, CA.Posted: March 2nd, 2018 09:03PM
Procedure: removed prior scar tissueProvider: West Hills Hospital
Three hours from prep time through recovery room. I think he charged extra because it was new year's weekend. And on top of everything, he had a horrible bedside manner, was mean and condescending toward my poor mama who asked him to speak more slowly and loudly.
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I do the billing reviews for Anesth & Surg
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Concerned & I want to make a difference. in Usa, FL.Posted: October 28th, 2017 09:10AM
Procedure: I'm blown awayProvider: I see many mistakes
Always ask for a break down and question every charge.
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Anesthesia for Laparoscopy
Amount: $2,346.00
Posted by: Shelly J. in Fort Wayne, IN.Posted: July 12th, 2017 11:07AM
Procedure: Endometriosis Removal, HSGProvider: Dupont Hospital
$2346 for an intensive three hour procedure done to diagnose and remove endometriosis from uterus and removal of cysts from ovaries, also did an HSG. I think the charge is reasonable - I'm upset about the "reasonable and customary" rate for anesthesia, which is apparently only $648, and that is a rate set by the government for anesthesia in that region (this is what my insurance company told me). How can they set one (very low) rate, when people have different length surgeries? So with this "usual and customary" rate of $648 covered, I'm left with a bill of $1697.
Sure, if my surgery was simple and 1 hour, it might have cost closer to $650. But it was much longer and required 3 hours of anesthesia, of course that would cost more. It just doesn't seem right. Doesn't seem to be much I can do about it, but I'm not happy about it.
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Do I need 2
Amount: $1,800.00
Posted by: charlie James in houston, TX.Posted: May 31st, 2017 09:05AM
Procedure: HisterocopyProvider: Texan Anesthesia Assoc PLLC
Bill split in two. One for Physician for 1500.00. The 2nd bill is for a CRNA for 1380.00. The physician came said hi,talked to the nurse about 3 to 5 min and left The nurse administered the drugs. I called TAA and was told by law, this was the way it was now. I call it medical fraud to pay a physician this much for less than 10 min of time.
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Plantar Wart Removal, In-Office Conscious Sedation
Amount: $1,575.00
Posted by: Amy P. in McKinney, Texas in McKinney, TX.Posted: May 15th, 2017 09:05AM
Procedure: Conscious SedationProvider: Monica Ata, DO Stratus Anesthesia
I was scheduled for an in-office plantar wart removal under conscious sedation and was billed $1575. Anesthesiologist Monica Ata began evaluation 10:45 am; procedure began 1100 am, procedure completed 1128, anesthesia over 1132. She didn't have needed supplies and had to call an associate. She attempted PIV x2 without success and associate obtained IV. Procedure was delayed due to her lack of preparation and she billed me for 47 minutes ($1575 from Stratus Anesthesia Group). This cost seems unreasonable. My son had General Anesthesia in hospital with procedure to place pins in a fracture and cost was under $1000. She had me on EKG monitoring/pulse ox during procedure but I had to correct the placement of the EKG leads as they were not placed to display an appropriate waveform. As a nurse, I had to help her "figure out" how to administer the medication as she did not have the appropriate equipment in her travel bag. Propofol only medication administered.
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insane (criminal) charges Lakewood Ranch Anesthesia
Amount: $17,100.00
Posted by: Elihu2 in bradenton, FL.Posted: March 16th, 2017 05:03PM
Procedure: retina reattachmentProvider: Lakewood Ranch Anesthesia
3 hours of surgery, no overnight stay. how come I needed two anesthesia doctors. and how could anyone charge over 17K for 3 hours.
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Questionalbe charges on Anesthesia billing
Amount: $972.55
Posted by: Steve Lipsi, Elmhurst, IL in Oak Brook Terrace, IL.Posted: January 31st, 2017 05:01AM
Procedure: Upper GIProvider: Mobile Anesthesiologist
The bill is actually four pages long, the above items are the questionable charges that are missing cpt codes. The procedure was a simple 15 minute upper GI. The patient is in good health, the procedure was scheduled and performed in a Gastroenterology facility remote from a hospital.
Dantrolene Sodium 20mg $38.75 (missing code)
Anesthesia tray $250.00 (missing code)
Canister, Nondisposable, used with suction $16.00 (missing code)
Portable Oxygen Cylinder $32.00 (missing code)
Suction Machine $32.00 (missing code)
Oxygen $69.15 (missing code)
IV Pole $9.00 (missing code)
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Amount: $2,500.00
Posted by: TheGander in Parsons, KS.Posted: November 18th, 2016 01:11PM
Procedure: Laparoscopic HysterectomyProvider: Clinical Colleagues
We are uninsured wife needed operation. We asked and received Charity Care. Gave 5-Star for Hospital and Staff for care/Services. Cost across America NOT set- ask for Discount always.
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Detached retina
Amount: $2,400.00
Posted by: Karenxxxx in Panama City, FL.Posted: September 10th, 2016 06:09AM
Procedure: retina detach w/ gen anesthesiaProvider: Dr, Charles Shapard, anesthesiologistt
Had retina surgery Sept 2015 and General Anesthesia was billed by Sheridan Corp using code for Retina surgery. Is this even legal? Tried to fight it, They would not correct it, so I paid the Anesthesia Dr the same $$ as the Retina Surgeon. Feels like fraud to me. Husband had hernia op and nurse anesthetist was 650.00. His op was 1hr 1/2. Mine 1hr 3/4 time? He was in out patient center I was outpatient hospital.
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Lidocaine received through a shot in my thumb
Amount: $2,154.48
Posted by: Amazed Patient. in Loveland, CO.Posted: June 15th, 2016 10:06AM
Procedure: Pin placed in broken thumbProvider: Medical Center of the Rockies
Got a shot in my thumb to numb the area before the pin could be inserted.
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Anesthesia for Baldder Stim Implant
Amount: $4,466.00
Posted by: Gallma in Fort Worth, TX.Posted: May 25th, 2016 09:05AM
Procedure: Bladder Stim ImplantProvider: NorthStar Anesthesia
I was charged for the doctor to administer the injection ($2,240.00) and separately for the CRNA to monitor me during the procedure ($2,226.00). for a total of $4,446.00 for a one hour surgery. The surgeon charged me less. And this does not include the hospital costs. Outrageous!!! I will never use them again!!!
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Routine Endoscopy
Amount: $6,000.00
Posted by: 50yo NOVA patient in Chantilly, VA.Posted: May 15th, 2016 09:05AM
I am getting a bill from an anesthesiologist provider for a routine endoscopy I had in my gastro's office which are two charges totalling $6,000. Why the hell is that cost 4 times as much as the charge for my gastro who performed the procedure? And why are there 2 charges? THere was nothing unusual or lengthy about this procedure which showed nothing more than GERD. It could not have taken longer than 2 hours, including pre and post procedure. I have received direct insurance reimbursement up to $973 that I am expected to pay out of pocket.
Something there does not seem right and this is not reasonable.
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Amount: $3,690.00
Posted by: Dara in Morristown, NJ.Posted: April 23rd, 2016 10:04AM
Procedure: 00952Provider: New Jersey Ambulatory Anesthesiologist
So I had a colonoscopy where I paid $0 for anesthesiology services. They accepted whatever the insurance paid. This was not NJ Ambulatory Anesthesiologist Associates!
I had a Hysteroscopy and was billed $1845 from the Anesthesiologist and $1845 from the RN! Because of this my insurance only covered 70% on half of the services so I am responsible for half of the bill which is a little over $1200! I think the cost is ridiculous! My Dr. fees plus surgery cost less than this! Anesthesiologist should not be able to charge whatever they want especially when they are mostly always out of network!
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Anesthesia for Septoplasty Surgery
Amount: $2,508.00
Posted by: a user in Houston, TX.Posted: April 7th, 2016 07:04AM
Procedure: Septoplasty SurgeryProvider:
It was for only one hour, the Provider was selected from the hospital, not in my network, well they are out of their mind if they think I pay that, they need to make sure to be in my network if they want to get paid. I am not rich at all.
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Price Gouging and Hidden Kickbacks
Amount: $750.00
Posted by: Slim Chance in SOUTHLAKE, TX.Posted: March 22nd, 2016 07:03PM
Procedure: 30 MIN. ColonoscopyProvider:
I was charged $750 for anesthesiology. Aetna says avg. price for my procedure is $280 locally. Doctor/hospital refused to provide estimate up front. Doctor/hospital will not allow patient to select anesthesiologist. I am now preparing for cataract surgery and have refused to sign papers until I find out estimate for anesthesia. I am a Libertarian politically, but I think these rackets need to be heavily regulated, because doctors are playing shell games with patients and running up costs and passing around kick backs behind the scenes. It is literally criminal in every sense imaginable.
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