05-17-2016, 03:28 PM
Join Date: Mar 2016
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
| | Is our veterinary surgeon ripping us off?
At the veterinary specialist consultation (which cost $200):
- Earlier this year, our 10 year old beagle developed a growth on his eyelid. A bright pink cauliflower-style growth that would get bigger, break off in small pieces and regenerate every couple of weeks. He didn't appear to be in any pain or distress, but obviously we were concerned.
- In March, our vet performed surgery to remove the growth. Unfortunately, given that the growth was attached to the outer edge of his eyelid, the vet could only reduce the mass not remove it entirely. It quickly grew back less than two weeks after the surgery.
- Our vet then referred us to a veterinary surgeon specialist.
- The veterinary surgeon reviewed our pup
- Given the aggressive growth of the tumor, he said it was unlikely to be benign, but, of course, we would need to have biopsy done to confirm
- He walked us through the recommended treatment plan. It would involve three main steps:
Treatment options would depend upon type of cancer, what stage it was and how deeply entrenched the tumor was. Those options could include:
- If malignant, staging to determine how aggressive the cancer was and whether it had spread throughout the body
- Surgical removal of the tumor and reconstruction of the eyelid
- Laser removal of the tumor (using a, quote, "special laser" designed specifically for removing tumors in sensitive areas)
- A combination of surgery or laser and radiation
- Removal of the entire eye
- Or, if too advanced or if it would not provide our pup with a better quality of life, perhaps no treatment at all.
We informed the surgeon that we had pet insurance. After we requested it, he said his surgical coordinator would send us an itemized estimate/treatment plan which we could submit to our insurance company to get pre-approval and an idea of how much the insurance would cover - this is the process we used for prior treatments for our dog.
A week later we finally got the estimate from the surgeon's office. It consisted of several line items including overnight hospital stays for a total of up to $3,023. We asked the surgical coordinator if he could break down the estimate further so that we could identify which specific line items applied to the three main steps (biopsy, staging and surgery/treatment). He responded by telling us that the $3,023+ estimate was just for the biopsy.
We've been fortunate enough to have not gone through this before, but that seems exorbitantly high.
So, is this pretty normal estimate, or do you think we might be getting taken for a ride. We've submitted the estimate to the insurance company, but we're already shopping around for an alternate surgeon.
I've attached a copy of the estimate (with sensitive info removed, obviously)
Last edited by CharliesDad; 05-17-2016 at 03:30 PM.