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Mar 29, 2008

On Saipan, a circumcision costs almost $8,000

The Commonwealth Health Center’s charging of $7,901.82 for a circumcision is outrageous! And this amount is just an estimate; the actual billing could be more than that. Read the story in today’s Saipan Tribune.

The procedure lasted for only one hour and 9 minutes. In July last year, the mother of the patient was told by a CHC employee that the circumcision would cost no more than $300, but the patient waited out until this month to undergo the procedure.

CHC’s reason is that hospital charges have gone up since Dec. 1, 2007 and that they put out notices in the media letting people know of their new charges.

Given that it is impossible for everyone to know about these rate hikes, CHC should at least provide patients and their families a cost estimate for a hospital procedure PRIOR to the procedure so that they could make better and informed decisions.

Almost $8,000 for a circumcision is so unbelievable! In other countries, it would even cost a lot less than CHC’s previous rate of about $250 for a circumcision for the same result!

24 comments:

HBM said...

I'd pay $8,000 to make absolutely sure that there were no slip-ups! Ouch!

Bruce A. Bateman said...

What was the tip-off that this was going to be an expensive operation?

Any tips for others wishing to availthemselves of the proceedure?

A tip of the hat to you at middle road for uncovering this story.

Anonymous said...

Were they pro or anti federalization...how bout pro or anti Siemer NMI residency?

HBM said...

Actually, $8,000 isn't much for a "nip 'n tuck" procedure. :-) Seriously, that charge is pretty outrageous unless it's for a full-grown man.

glend558 said...

Why wait 18 years for the 'nip'?
I got one at 10 days, but it hurt so bad I couldn't walk for a year and a half!

Anonymous said...

tony glad might want to open yet another business here to add some fresh competition to this market. hey, he's already been greasing the wheels, but i suggest he do it with someone else besides the mayor's office. oh wait, he already is, and pissed off someone else.

Marianas Pride said...

First off, why didn't the mother get an official quote? I don't get my car fixed without a quote. And I certainly would not have a procedure done without knowing the exact cost. Nonetheless, $8,000 seems too high, unless it includes penis enlargement and a tummy tuck? Sorry, bad joke. Biba backyard circumcisions n potential lawsuits!

Weird Elle said...

There are lots of hardworking people at CHC. But still, there are also a lot of weird things happening there. Remember the dead baby switching incident a few years ago? The decaying body at the morgue? And now, exorbitant costs for a circumcision.

I was told in Asian countries, for example, the procedure is done for free by the elderly in the community with no incident. And they say no woman, not even their mother, should see it to stave off bad luck that includes having one's penis look like a big rotten tomato. No scientific explanation about that; just a belief passed from one generation to another :)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, that would be pretty damn weird having your mother looking at your newly-circumcised penis, wouldn't it Elle? And it would be pretty horrifying if it ended up looking like a big rotten tomato.

I remember after my penis reduction surgery (twelve inches was four inches too much for my wife), it ended up looking like a Hillshire Farms kilbasa.

JOKES!

Anonymous said...

bottom line: ask questions and have your penis circumcision quotation on hand before operation..

Hugh7 said...

If the mother of the "patient" waited from July till now, it certainly wasn't urgent and almost certainly wasn't medically necessary. Perhaps the hospital is (rightly) charging for it as a cosmetic procedure. We don't learn how old the "patient" was, but if he didn't give informed consent then it was also ethically exceedingly dubious and perhaps they are covering themselves in case he decides to sue when he turns 18.

Anonymous said...

Too much, any way you cut it

glend558 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
glend558 said...

the kid was 18 years old!

Anonymous said...

but why would a teenager get a circum-size at that age........i dont get it!

Marianas Pride said...

It is a rite of passage for some cultures. It signifies a boy's transition into manhood. What a painful experience to have to go through though!

Rick Jones said...

Anyone who actually read the article would know that the mother had previously asked about the price and was told it was around $300. CHC raised their rates by the time the surgery was actually done.

Armchair Lawyer said...

It was actually very lucky for the mother that CHC did delay the procedure.

Because the patient was over eighteen at the time of the operation, the mother is not liable for a penny.

Good luck to CHC counsel trying to collect $7,901.82 from an 18-year-old working-class citizen of China. (!) ;)

Unless he manages to stay in the United States somehow, in which case, they have decades for him to earn some money so they can collect on the judgment.

"Land of the free" does not refer to the cost of health care.

Armchair Lawyer said...

As for the mother -- unless, of course, she signed a contract agreeing to pay.

bradinthesand said...

hey, the cost of the surgery was $300. the rest was for the tip...

Tamara said...

I'm surprised the hospital even performed the surgery. It wasn't an emergency and was basically cosmetic. We had a close family member recently hospitalized for a serious condition. She had to wait over 4 hours in the emergency room before she was even seen by a doctor. She was admitted to the hospital for further testing and it took a day and a half for the doctor to come see her to advise her what was going on with her. The nurses advised her that the doctor would come when he was available but that they were very very busy in surgery...She was told there was only one surgeon on duty or in the hospital or something like that....This whole circumcision makes me wonder...will someone with serious injuries be left to suffer while the one surgeon we have is busy making someone's wee wee pretty??? Until our hospital is fully staffed and serious problems can be addressed immediately, shouldn't all "elective" surgery be stopped????

Weird Elle said...

From $7,901.82, the hospital bill of the patient who underwent circumcision at CHC is now down to $2,089.90. (Saipan Tribune did a follow up story)

I say it's still expensive, considering that the same procedure cost only about $250 just a year ago. From about $250 to almost $8,000 is a big joke!

CHC, how did you come up with the new figure?

Did you make a mistake in your original computation? Or you realized that the public will not tolerate your exorbitant fees?

HBM said...

Clearly, Weird Elle, your fearless and intrepid reporting shamed the hospital into lowering its bill. I believe that you earn the honor of "Saipan Middle Road Employee of the Month" for a second month in a row.

Weird Elle said...

It's confirmed.

CHC "miscalculated" the original billing of almost $8,000 for this circumcision, hospital staffers told Saipan Middle Road. Though I still think there's also miscalculation with the revised billing of $2,000 :)

The moral of the story based on the Saipan Tribune follow up report: Don't be peer pressured into undergoing circumcision.

Kidding, of course.

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