Cost of a Colonoscopy in Bangkok

Trip Start Jun 05, 2011
1
132
195
Trip End Feb 28, 2013


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Flag of Thailand  ,
Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Yanhee International Hospital

Cost of a Colonoscopy in Bangkok Thailand
Since we don't have a plan to go back to the USA for the next year, we investigated the price for a colonoscopy in Bangkok. We got quotes from six hospitals by email, phone, or reading their websites. All quoted a range, for an out-patient 'no complications’ procedure; Yanhee International estimated the lowest costs of 8000 to 10000 baht. Bumrungrad quoted 25000 to 30000 baht. All prices were much lower than US prices for non- insurance rates. I could have the procedure covered and have it for free if I returned to the US right away. So for me it was about peace of mind and convenience to take care of it here and now. 

I chose Yanhee and my final bill was discounted to remain within the 10000 baht estimate: My final cost: 9973THB or $333. No complications. I received a brief handwritten summary, 4 colon photos and spoke briefly with the doctor about two diverculi findings (common for those over 60) and told that no follow-up was indicated unless they result in symptoms. He found no polops or other potential cancers.

I scheduled my procedure for the following day so I could cleans the night before. I spent from 1:30 to 6 PM at the hospital the day of the 30 minute procedure.

Yanhee is a private internationally accredited hospital with website focused on promoting cosmetic surgery. Without an appointment, we went to Yanhee to get a feel for the facility and staff.

It is not as fancy as Bumrungrad International Hospital. And the overabundance of staff was weird. The nurses’ uniforms were short and tailored. Highly efficient roller skate girls zoomed files and folders from department to department. That in itself was worth the price of admission and reminded me of the drive-in fast-food restaurants in 60's 
 
Most patients appeared to be Thai and there for a wide range of services.

We were assigned an English translator from the ‘International Desk" who escorted us to the various departments and helped us communicate with reception and billing staff. The doctors and technicians we met all spoke English.

 
 

64 Slice CT Scan – Upper Abdomen
While waiting for the colon doctor, I met with the urologist to discuss a possible AML (typically non-cancerous fatty growth) on my kidney which was noticed during an MRI exam six months ago. At that time, they suggested periodic follow-up to see if it is growing. They had also found a small cluster of gallstones. The doctor said another ultrasound would cost less, but the CT would be more precise and accurate. This was quoted at up to 10000 too. "Sure, why not.” Final bill 10356 Thai Baht ($346.16)

The suggested AML remains small and measured smaller. The gallstones are gone. Keep and an eye on it with an annual ultrasound, he said


 
Dermatologist
During the wait times, we also had time to see the dermatologist. I am worried about melanoma and wanted my moles and freckles reviewed. She identified one that needs to be watched. It is one I have been told to watch before. All others looked good. She seemed to inspect thoroughly. Her fee was 500 baht ($16.17). She also suggested cosmetic procedures that would take 5 years off my age….maybe later. …

Dave discussed a recurring fungus problem with the dermatologist and she checked out his skin too. He was also billed 500 baht and an additional $25.28 for two medications and a mysterious $4 for ‘other’ and ‘hospital’ services. Dave could submit his bill to his insurance company but it is such a small fraction of his annual deductible, its ridiculous.

  
Transparency is Good  
Transparency is good for all Health Care customers. Could you imagine this kind of price transparency with doctors and hospitals in the USA? They are just 'estimates' assuming 'normal' events. Many hospitals list prices of common procedures on their website to lure customers! It is part of the marketing. If similar transparency were required of medical organizations in the USA, prices would dip drastically. Instead, the US protects health care consumers by discouraging healthcare choices based on price. But who are they really protecting? The rules in the US are driving high prices and exaggerated price discrimination. Patients are already protected many other regulations and processes. Hospitals and doctors should be allowed to advertise without restrictions and be required to fully disclose prices for different classes of customers upon request. Think of Amazon.com type transparency. 
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Comments

Susan on

I can't imagine seeing a 'Special Discount' on a medical bill in the US either.

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