Joan Rivers Surgeon Thinks Anesthesiologists Are a Waste of Money For Throat Procedure


The surgeon who performed the throat procedure on
Joan Rivers the day she went into cardiac arrest wrote
an article telling his fellow doctors it’s not cost-
effective to have an anesthesiologist present for
procedures like the one that killed Joan.Dr. Lawrence
Cohen — who was also the Medical Director of the
Yorkville Endoscopy Center — wrote in 2012 … it was
not always COST-EFFECTIVE to have an
anesthesiologist on board for outpatient endoscopic
procedures. Dr. Cohen writes, “Although we can all
agree that [monitored anesthesia care] is a highly
effective and safe method of sedation, the question is
whether it is worth the extra cost to our health care
system.”Dr. Cohen then answers his question: “The
answer is clearly no.”Dr. Cohen crunches the number in
his article, saying the average cost for an
anesthesiologist is $400 per procedure, but the risk of
death is 1 out of 100,000. Cohen therefore concludes it
costs $40,000,000 to save one life, adding that cost “far
exceeds … an acceptable level of cost-
effectiveness.”There was an anesthesiologist present at
the beginning of the procedure, but our sources say it’s
unclear if she was there when Joan’s vital signs
plummeted. A scathing report blamed the doctors for
being inattentive and not noticing her vital signs were
in the danger zone.


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