As mentioned in the past, the cost of surgery is broken down into basically 3 separate charges:
• Surgeon's charge
• Anesthesia's charge
• Hospital's charge
So... after surgery, a patient typically will get 3 bills; one each from surgeon, anesthesia, and hospital.
At least in the United States, the three charges are completely separate from each other to the point that anesthesia will have no idea what the charges for the surgeon as well as hospital will be.
Same goes for the surgeon... the surgeon will know his charges, but will have no idea what the charges will be for anesthesia and the hospital.
Even if the surgeon demands to know what anesthesia and the hospital will charge for a surgical procedure (s)he will perform, a specific charge will not (can not) be provided in the United States typically.
Why is that?
If I am going to perform for example, a tonsillectomy, why can't anesthesia give even me the surgeon a specific dollar amount of what anesthesia will charge? Why can't the hospital administration provide me the hospital charges?
Here's why... or at least part of the reason why in the United States...
Anesthesia charges on a per time basis (in increments of 15 minutes) on top of a "base" charge that depends on the surgical procedure.
For example, let's say a given anesthesia group has a base charge of $500 for tonsillectomy.
Let's also assume this particular anesthesiology group charges $500 per 15 minutes of anesthesia.
SO... if the surgeon performs a tonsillectomy and it takes the surgeon 30 minutes to perform the procedure, the anesthesia charge will be $500 base charge PLUS $1000 for the time ($500 per 15 minutes) for a total anesthesia charge of $1500.
If it so happens that the surgery takes only 15 minutes... than the anesthesia charge will be $1000 ($500 base charge plus $500 for the 15 minutes surgical time).
In other words, for the SAME exact surgical procedure, the anesthesia charges may be different for different patients depending on how long the surgery takes.
Different hospitals calculate their charges differently... but in essence, the hospital will charge whatever it cost them to allow the surgery to happen in their facility plus a nebulous "profit" factor.
SO, a given hospital charge will include the:
- Salary of all the personnel used in the surgery (surgical tech, registered nurse, circulating nurse, anesthesia tech, secretary, etc)
- Equipment used during the surgery (IV lines, needles, anesthesia tubing, masks, endotracheal tube, surgical equipment, etc)
- Medications used during the surgery (gases, IV drugs, etc)
- Facility costs expended during the surgery (electricity, water, oxygen, medical waste disposal, etc)
In Summary, the Cost of Surgery is... It Depends
Given anesthesia charges vary based on the time duration of surgery regardless of WHAT the surgery is as well as hospital charges which may vary based on how much was "expended" during the surgery regardless of WHAT the surgery is, the anesthesia and hospital charges are moving targets which roughly correlate with how long the surgery takes.
The surgeon can certainly state what their charges will be up-front because this charge is fixed, but anesthesia and hospital charges are NOT fixed and depend on a certain time factor regardless of WHAT surgical procedure is being performed.