Monday, January 02, 2006

Rising Cost of Medical Care

I've been going through a box of old pictures from my Dad's Mother. I'm getting them scanned and put into albums. In with the pictures I found a folded paper that turned out to be an invoice from the hospital for my Dad's Birth.

From St. John's Hospital - Rapid City SD - March 4, 1934

Board Room and Care
Delivery Room and Anesthesia



Reading this got me to thinking about what the hospital charged for the births of our three children. Granted we didn't pay this amount, our insurance covered most of it. But they charged somebody a lot. I couldn't remember the exact numbers, but my dear wife reminded me that the hospital bill for our first born in 1992 was around $10,000. For the twins, in 1997, the hospital bill totaled around $25,000.00 (I'll guesstimate to half for only one baby).

In 1934 the average national salary was $1,368.00
In 1992 the average national salary was $22,935.42
In 1998 the average national salary was $27,426.00

Using these numbers, the cost for the hospital stay for a birth of as a percentage of the average annual salary in the United States is:


I know this isn't very scientific, and there are a lot of variables that I did not take into account such as insurance (and it's cost), locale, national average salary vs actual salary, complexity of the births, length of stay, etc. I didn't start this to be a research project. I was just wondering...

But those increases, if they are even close to accurate, are big....

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