Hospital Bills in Los Angeles are inflated and not transparent – even an Insurance Agent can’t give you exact the cost

Anyone who has had in the last couple of years an outpatient surgery in Los Angeles with hospitals such as Cedar Sinai, UCLA, Saint John’s must have had the same experience, Hospital charges in Los Angeles are inflated and outrageous!
When I, a health insurance agent myself, had an outpatient 30 minute procedure, I called before the procedure Blue Shield, my insurance company, and we went over the possible procedure costs. We knew that the procedure itself would cost $ 350.-, but when it came to the cost of anesthesia and hospital charge the insurance company could not give me the exact amount. When I opened the envelope and saw a hospital charge of $ 8,900.-, I thought this had to be a typo. But no it was reality. Thank god for my insurance the negotiated fee was $ 3000.-, but nevertheless why could I not have gotten this info up front.
Are you getting your car repaired without an estimate? So why do we accept that hospitals can charge without giving us a clear estimate!
David Lazarus, staff writer of the Los Angeles Times, has recently published an amazing article Medical bills need reconstructive surgery about this matter.
In order to get control of our health care cost we all should demand that hospital charges are as transparent as any other service industry. Once a consumer knows the cost, than it is much easier to evaluate if it is deemed necessary or if there are any other alternatives to get to the same result.