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Most Trusted Name? CNN Runs Outrageous Health Care Tale

CNN reports a man couldn't find a better quote for his surgery than a price ten times higher than the going rate. This is bad enough to put all CNN health reporting in question.

by
Dr. Peter Weiss

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May 7, 2010 - 12:00 am
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CNN recently published the story of Godfrey Davies, an American without health insurance who wanted to have his nasal polyps removed: “I can’t afford surgery in the U.S, says bargain shopper.”

Davies says he got several “bids” from independent doctors, as well as from hospitals. The cheapest price he could find in the U.S. was $33,127 for the entire procedure, but Davies claims he was eventually able to locate a doctor and hospital in the UK that would perform the procedure for approximately $3,500. Davies, originally from Wales, said:

I can put up with a lot of inconvenience to save that kind of money.

In accompanying video, CNN’s Elizabeth Cohen and Davies parked alongside Northside ENT in Indianapolis. Davies stated that this was his first stop, and where he was quoted the $34,000 fee. CNN claims they followed up with Northside ENT and received the following email:

We inadvertently provided an incorrect quote for the consumer. The actual price was less than half of what we initially quoted.

Does Godfrey Davies have no insurance, and was he actually quoted an exorbitant amount from a hospital for what should be an outpatient procedure? Did he actually go to Wales for his nasal surgery?

I don’t know, but the remainder of the story is just not true.

While it’s very expensive to have a nasal polypectomy at a major hospital, the same procedure could be performed at a surgery center anywhere in the U.S. — including Indianapolis — for a lot less. Less than Davies claims the procedure cost in Wales, in fact.

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