Well, now that I have all my doctor and PT visits in the rear-view mirror, I did an accounting of the expense of my ATR recovery. I know this is only tangentially related to the purpose of this site, but I thought someone might find this interesting and/or useful. As this was the largest medical expense I’ve ever incurred, I found it very illuminating.
The grand total billed amount for my ATR (ER visit, pre-op care, surgery, and post-op care) was $22,833. My health insurance company negotiated that amount down by 33.5%* to $15,192. Of this paid amount, $1,263 (or 8.3%) can be attributed to pre-op care, $6,247 (or 41.1%) can be attributed to my surgery, and $7,681 (or 50.6%) can be attributed to post-op care, mainly PT. After hitting my health insurance policy’s maximum out-of-pocket expenses shortly after surgery, I did not skimp on my PT as it was all covered. If it were my money, I wouldn’t have consumed as much (professional) PT as I did.
Clearly, another advantage of pursuing the non-op ATR recovery route is the expense. Over 40% of my ATR recovery expense came from my surgery–and 75% of that was for the surgical center and the anesthesiologist. The more I learn, the more attractive the non-op recovery route appears to me.
As an interesting aside, the day before my surgery my OS’ billing office called and offered me a 20% discount if I paid in cash tomorrow (i.e. before my surgery). I have a high-deductible health insurance plan and at first I thought what a great deal! However, after thinking about it further, I decided against their generous offer. I knew my out-of-pocket expenses as a result of this injury would be my annual deductible, so why pay anything any sooner than necessary. Also, I was curious about what my health insurance company would be able to negotiate–and at a 23%* discount, they did slightly better.
In the end, I’m very happy with my recovery outcome, but if I had to do it over again (I sincerely hope not!) I’m nearly certain I would go non-op–less risk, less expense, and very possibly the same or better outcome.
*33.5% was the dollar-weighted average negotiated discount for all of my ATR care, with a range of individually billed items discounted anywhere from 10% to 77%.
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