The $2.7 Trillion Medical Bill

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As you read this article, please share your experiences by responding to the questions that will appear. Your responses will inspire future articles in this series.

Elisabeth Rosenthal, reporter

Your Perspective

How much of a factor is cost when you are deciding whether to undergo a medical test, and where to have it done?

MERRICK, N.Y. — Deirdre Yapalater’s recent colonoscopy at a surgical center near her home here on Long Island went smoothly: she was whisked from pre-op to an operating room where a gastroenterologist, assisted by an anesthesiologist and a nurse, performed the routine cancer screening procedure in less than an hour. The test, which found nothing worrisome, racked up what is likely her most expensive medical bill of the year: $6,385.

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