Member Letter: 'Healthcare Bluebook saved $20,000 on hernia surgery'

By Samaritan member Charles, Oregon  ·  Jul 28, 2020

Recently, I was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia which needed repair. The urgent care clinic, where my condition was diagnosed, connected me with a surgeon who could do the repair. I contacted the surgeon and they scheduled a date for the surgery. Luckily, due to the Covid issue going on and the slowdown in medical procedures, they could get me in right away.  Soon after making these arrangements, I started asking about cost. The surgeon’s office quoted a cost of $1,525.28 with a $458.48 discount for self pay. The anesthesiologist quoted a cost of $1,230 with a $560 discount for self-pay. The hospital quoted a cost of $23,518 with no discount for self pay.  

I’m a bit old-fashioned and probably naïve when it comes to doctors and health care costs. I assumed that what medical facilities charged for various procedures was always fair and reasonable. Why should I assume that they were not? However,  the cost for the hospital was really alarming. I didn’t know what to expect, but this seemed really high.

I knew that Samaritan Ministries often talked about the high cost of medical procedures and steps to take to reduce cost. I went to Samaritan’s website and started looking into this in more depth. That’s where I discovered Healthcare Bluebook. I was familiar with Kelly Bluebook when buying cars, but I had no idea that there was a group out there that provided similar information regarding health care. What I found out was astounding, that the total "fair" cost for my procedure should be in the $5,000 to $6,000 range, not $25,000!

I contacted Healthcare Bluebook and eventually connected with Jami. Jami was wonderful. She went right to work and found a local surgery center that would do the surgery for $3,400; an astounding $20,000 less than what the local hospital had quoted. What made this so wonderful was that the same surgeon would do the surgery and the same anesthesiologist would be attending. Jami made all the arrangements with the surgery center, including payment. She kept me well informed of who she had been in contact with and where she was at in the process. The total cost for the surgery ended up being $5,522.67, much more in line with what Healthcare Bluebook suggested it should be. I thank God for Samaritan Ministries, and for leading me to Healthcare Bluebook. This was such a blessing! I strongly recommend that anyone facing any type of medical procedure do some homework on what are "reasonable" medical costs, and definitely get in contact with Healthcare Bluebook and see what they can do to find a more cost-effective solution.