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Small surgeries, huge markups

Los Angeles Times, February 1, 2013
A Southern California surgery center charged teacher Lynne Nielsen $87,500 for a routine, 20-minute knee operation that normally costs about $3,000. The 61-year-old is the latest patient caught up in a growing battle nationwide over billing by outpatient surgery centers. Industry experts say some of these surgery centers seek out well-insured patients such as Nielsen, sometimes by waiving their copays and deductibles, and then bill their insurers exorbitant amounts for out-of-network care.