It's one of the hottest debates in health care: Is the historically slow growth in health spending in recent years due to the lingering effects of the recession, or is it a fundamental change that augurs well for the future? The implications are huge if policymakers think the slowdown is only temporary, they might try to take steps to cut Medicare spending further, for example; if they think the improvement is permanent, they might cross their fingers and hope for the best.
A team of researchers at the University of California San Francisco started with a simple question: How much does it cost to get your appendix removed in California? They did not find a simple answer.
The price of appendectomy ranged from as little as $1,529 to as much as $182,955 depending on where it was performed, according to results published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. These results came after the researchers focused their data on 18- to 59-year-olds whose hospitalization lasted fewer than four days, to make sure they culled out any complications.